Finalists announced for YFCU Member of the Year

Clarence Calderwood from United Feeds who are once again sponsoring the YFCU Member of the Year competition is pictured with YFCU projects officer Hannah McKeown
Clarence Calderwood from United Feeds who are once again sponsoring the YFCU Member of the Year competition is pictured with YFCU projects officer Hannah McKeown

The Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) is delighted to announce United Feeds as its continued sponsor of this year’s prestigious Member of the Year competition.

The ethos of this competition is to provide an opportunity for clubs to highlight the work of members who have continuously dedicated their time to their club and shown great commitment and enthusiasm.

Judith McCombe

Judith McCombe

The competition takes the form of two parts. Each club nominates a deserving junior and senior member who attends interviews arranged by their respective county committee. The top participant from each county then makes it through to the final round which consists of competitors being interviewed by selected independent judges.

YFCU president Roberta Simmons said: “We are delighted to announce United Feeds as the continued sponsor of our popular Member of the Year competition.

“The winners of the junior and senior sections will be announced at our AGM and conference on Saturday 22nd April at Armagh City Hotel and I know the results will be eagerly anticipated.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank United Feeds, especially Clarence Calderwood for supporting our competition.”

James Fullerton

James Fullerton

The members who have made it through to the final round are as follows:

Co Down: Junior, Glyn Surgenor, Hillsborough YFC

Glyn is a very enthusiastic member and helps out in his club in any way he possibly can. He attends every club meeting without fail and is always willing to help out. At committee meetings, he always brings bright ideas to the table, many of which have been used to make the club better. Glyn is active in many competitions across YFCU and this year won the Co Down silage assessment heats. Overall, a very worthy nomination for junior member of the year.

Senior, Matthew Patterson, Spa YFC

Matthew Patterson

Matthew Patterson

Matthew is a great example of a senior young farmer, at any event or meeting and is sure to be punctual helping to open up and last to leave helping to tidy the hall. Although his singing talents may not live up to his enthusiasm, he will always be seen taking part in choir and arts festival and helping Spa YFC get to the top in both of these competitions. Matthew was absent from all the summer competitions in 2016 as he was in Montana and the surrounding areas taking part in a three month YFCU international exchange. Upon his return in November, Matthew chaired Spa YFC’s exchange talk club meeting and encouraged all members with his photos and stories to seriously consider an exchange and it was evident by how well members listened that they were enticed by Matthew’s trip. Matthew has been a member for nine years and a committee member for four so is fully apt with the running of the club and takes part in all competitions from tug of war to football to choir, group debating and public speaking. At the club’s annual barbecue Matthew is always on hand to help with the setting up, running and dismantling of the venue. Overall, Matthew is a model YFCU member and is a real encouragement for younger members looking up to him. He is selfless in his acts around the hall before and after meetings and if anyone is unable to do a task Matthew will be the first to help out without looking for thanks.

Co Antrim: Junior, James Fullerton, Kells & Connor YFC

Kells and Connor YFC has nominated James Fullerton for junior member of the year. Through his five years of membership, James’ willingness to take part in competitions, parent’s night productions, local agricultural shows and YFCU life has been outstanding. This up-coming member is an encouragement to peers within the club and will definitely be capable for the role of club secretary and/or club leader in future years.

Senior, Hannah Kirkpatrick, Kilraughts YFC

Glyn Surgenor

Glyn Surgenor

Hannah has been selected as the club’s senior member of the year as she is a brilliant member who always has the club’s best interests at heart. She has held many positions within the club and will be stepping into secretary in the new young farmers’ year. Hannah throws herself into all aspects of the YFCU at club, county and Northern Ireland level, from helping out or taking part in events, competing in all competitions and representing Kilraughts YFC and YFCU in Canada on her international exchange.

Co Fermanagh: Junior, Harry Havers , Kesh YFC

Kesh YFC have nominated Harry as junior member of the year. He has been member of the club for a number of years and plays an active role within the club and regularly attends meeting and takes part in many competitions. Harry is always willing to help within the club and has the potential to become a committee member in future years. This is why the club feel that Harry should be entered as junior member of the year. 

Senior : Rebecca Ryan, Lisbellaw YFC

Lisbellaw YFC has nominated Rebecca Ryan as she is kind, friendly, funny and always willing to do anything for the club to help out in any way possible. Rebecca has been attending Lisbellaw YFC for five years now and has always been a good attender to club meetings and is always willing to go to various different competitions. Rebecca also helps out as PRO and is taking on the job as secretary for the club. Lisbellaw young farmers committee believe that Rebecca is the right person to enter this year due to her outstanding efforts to the club.

Co Tyrone : Junior, Emma Gibson, Trillick & District YFC

Danielle Black

Danielle Black

Trillick and District YFC have nominated their junior member of the year as Emma Gibson. The club has nominated Emma due to her efforts and dedication she puts in as club secretary. Preparing for meetings, organising events and the many other jobs behind the scenes which amount to a big responsibility is very appreciated within the club. Emma is in her sixth year of membership within the club, including two years as assistant secretary and one year as secretary. She has been involved with every competition and event possible and has had great success, particularly in floral art reaching the Northern Ireland finals. Other successes in competitions include home management and stock judging and participation in several others such as group debating. This participation demonstrates Emma’s willingness to take on any challenge the YFCU presents, and her eager encouragement to her fellow members to take part demonstrates her enjoyment. Emma’s role at club events such as manning games at knockout or marking question papers at the club quiz is always appreciated. Emma is an enthusiastic and committed member of Trillick & District YFC and the club feel a deserving winner of the title of junior member of the year.

Senior: Lynsay Hawkes, Seskinore YFC

Seskinore YFC has much pleasure in nominating their current club secretary Lynsay Hawkes as this year’s senior member of the year. Lynsay is an extremely enthusiastic and dedicated secretary and personally she has had numerous successes at both County and Northern Ireland level and has encouraged many of the members to participate in the various YFC competitions and activities. Lynsay instils the ‘spirit of taking part’ into the club as well as coaching and preparing the junior members prior to competitions and indeed taking them to many of the events. Lynsay very much believes in leading by example and has participated alongside the members in most of the competitions excelling at Northern Ireland level in Impromptu public speaking and coming first in 2015 and 2016. She also participates in group debating, stock judging, floral art, one act drama, football and tag rugby. Lynsay has been a member of Seskinore YFC for nine years having served over six years already on committee. During this time she was PRO for three years and received the accolade of Top PRO in Northern Ireland in 2014. During 2016 Lynsay was the reigning Miss Tyrone YFC and she carried out her duties with great dignity and dedication. This led to her being selected by the YFCU to represent Northern Ireland at the W R Shaw Queen of the Land Competition in conjunction with Macra Na Feirme in Tullamore, Co Offaly where she was a tremendous ambassador for the YFCU. Lynsay made many new friends and forged numerous contacts within Macra and the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs in England and Scotland.

Although Lynsay is currently on her teaching placement from university and has a part time job, she still found the time to host a Swiss exchange student, show her pedigree cattle and volunteer at Omagh Show in the School and Home Industries sections as well as fitting in community and charity work with the Women’s Institute, Mother’s Union, UFU, local schools, Marie Curie and Care for Cancer.

Co Armagh: Junior, Andrew Porter, Mountnorris YFC

Andrew has worked as Mountnorris YFC’s club treasurer this year, and has helped to organise some of the club’s events to date. First, Andrew was able to secure a grant of £5,700 for the club and this grant is helping to lift the club, and to facilitate events such as their tractor run in memory of Andrew and Mark which Andrew was also proactive in organising. Andrew has set an example to new members this year, attending competitions such as public speaking and floral art, all part of helping to increase Mountnorris YFC’s participation in competitions this year. Andrew has also a role in the county; holding assistant treasurer and attending county events such as the ‘Apple Challenge’ within Co Armagh, and attending the county dinner.

Senior: Judith McCombe, Collone YFC

Judith is an extremely keen and consciousness member in all that she does. Judith competes in as many competitions that she can and always puts herself out there to try something different so that she can encourage the club’s junior members to take part. Judith never has to be asked twice to choose anything, whether this is competing in a competition or doing something for the committee or a club night. Judith continually thinks ahead and will have things done that others haven’t even thought about which is a fantastic help. Judith is an active member of Collone committee and has held the treasurer role for the past four years, winning YFCU Treasurer of the Year for the past two years. This is not only a fantastic achievement for the club but for Judith herself. Within the past two years Judith has helped to introduce a junior treasurer role as she wanted to also see juniors develop and to give them a taste for not only being a treasurer but also a position on the committee. Through this Judith gave small tasks and coached the member to give them the best experience. As well as sitting on Co Armagh’s own committee, Judith is county treasurer and also sits on the executive committee, not afraid of any challenge that may arise and always voicing her ideas and recommendations for all. Overall Judith goes over and above her role to give back what she has gained throughout her time so far in Collone YFC.

Co Londonderry: Junior, Lauren McFarlane, Dungiven YFC

Lauren has been an active and extremely dedicated member of Dungiven YFC for the past five years and continues to be an enthusiastic and active member within the club. Lauren has great competitive spirit due to taking part in a range of competitions from floral art and public speaking to stock judging and craftwork with a strong interest in the sporting end. Lauren is very interested in sports as she plays rugby, hockey, netball and also swimming. Whenever any sporting competitions are on Lauren is always participating. Lauren has got the ability to create a brilliant atmosphere within the club amongst her fellow club members which is an invaluable quality. She has also brought a lot of her friends along to meetings and events and therefore she has encouraged them to join in on the fun and become active members within the club alongside her. Lauren was voted onto the committee last year as a junior representative, and puts across her view during meetings. At the club’s recent AGM Lauren was voted onto the committee to take on the extremely important role of PRO to be the face of the club.

Lauren’s peers feel she is an asset to the club and devotes her time and effort to Dungiven YFC and are very pleased to nominate her for this competition.

Senior: Danielle Black, Coleraine YFC

Danielle is an extremely enthusiastic member of Coleraine YFC being a member since she was 12. As well as committing a lot of her time to the club she is also extremely dedicated to Co Londonderry holding the current position of county chair. Danielle has competed in numerous competitions throughout her time in the YFCU lifting cups at club, county and Northern Ireland finals as well as at the AGM and conference. Danielle has held a variety of positions in the club, one in particular being treasurer which she held for several years. Her knowledge and skills in these roles as well as her dedication to the club has helped Coleraine YFC move on from strength to strength. Not only is she currently assistant club leader, Danielle is willing to help fellow committee members using all her past experiences.

Emma Gibson

Emma Gibson

Andrew Porter

Andrew Porter

Rebecca Ryan

Rebecca Ryan

Lynsay Hawkes

Lynsay Hawkes

Lauren McFarlane

Lauren McFarlane