Home management finalists announced

YFCU president James Speers and Paula McIntyre
YFCU president James Speers and Paula McIntyre

The 2018 YFCU home management final, sponsored by Calor Gas and the Northern Ireland Pork and Bacon Forum will take place on Wednesday, June 27, at CAFRE, Loughry Campus.

Five finalists will compete for the junior title and four senior finalists will compete for the Linda Currie Tray.

Some of the dishes which were served up during last year's competition

Some of the dishes which were served up during last year's competition

Hundreds of competitors took part in the first round of the competition in November with the top four juniors and top four seniors who gained the highest scores in each club competition taking part in stage two which took place in January.

Over 100 competitors took part in this stage and had to complete a multiple-choice paper consisting of questions based around different aspects of home management.

The top junior and senior competitors have now been invited to attend the final, which is the showcase for the entire competition. Within an allocated time, the finalists must use their practical and theoretical skills demonstrated in stages one and two to prepare and cook a starter and main course using Northern Irish pork.

The finalists’ dishes will be judged by popular chef Paula McIntyre, who will be observing the finalists as they prepare their courses. Competitors will be judged on use of pork, hygiene, work practice, menu balance, presentation and taste.

Members of the audience will be able to observe the finalists’ progress during the event, while the competitors create their dishes.

The 2018 YFCU Home Management senior finalists are:

Judith McKinley, Trillick and District YFC

Commenting on YFCU Judith said: “I have been a young farmer since I was twelve, so over half my life at this point! I enjoy taking part in public speaking and stock judging – although I’m not always too successful. Young Farmers has given me such a wide variety of skills and knowledge that I cannot imagine obtaining through any other youth organisation. YFCU offers such a variety of competitions, events and social activities, you never know who you might meet or what you might end up doing.”

Katie Witherspoon, Lisnamurrican YFC

Katie has been a YFCU member for five years now, commenting on YFCU Katie said: “I really enjoy taking part in tug of war and this was my second year competing. I also enjoy the home management competition and the stock judging competitions. During the summer I love going to various shows and getting involved in the competitions. I love that YFCU gives you plenty of opportunities to meet new people through exchanges, competitions and events. As I am not a farmer myself, I find it important to extend beyond the farming community and include everyone from different backgrounds.”

Hannah Cromie, Rathfriland YFC

Hannah has been a YFCU member for six years and enjoys public speaking, home management, girls football and stock judging. Hannah said: “I enjoy young farmers because it enables you to meet so many people and make lifelong friends, it gives young people the opportunity to do things you otherwise may not be able to, such as exchanges and competitions. Young farmers also helps to develop skills through competitions and being on club committees builds confidence. There are always plenty of social events.”

Rebecca Cromie, Rathfriland YFC

Rebecca has been a member of YFCU for six years and enjoys taking part in home management and stock judging. Speaking about her favourite aspects of YFCU Rebecca said: “My favourite thing about being a young farmer are the many opportunities you get to try new things, meet new people and make new friends. I also enjoy the social events of young farmers.”

The 2018 YFCU home management junior finalists are:

Claire Young, Dungiven YFC

Claire has been a member of YFCU for four years. Claire said: “My favourite thing about YFCU is taking part in a wide variety of competitions and meeting lots of new people. I enjoy taking part in stock judging, girls’ football, tag rugby, home management and arts festival competitions.”

Claire Ramsay, Kilraughts YFC

Claire has been a member of YFCU for four years. Commenting on her favourite YFCU competitions Claire said: “The arts festival would be up there, getting to perform and even do a solo in my first year on the Waterfront stage is unforgettable! Although there’s a lot of commitment everyone always comes together and it adds a bit of competitiveness! In the end it’s always a big family aspect of the year across the whole of the Young Farmer’s Association.”

She added: “I feel like the extent of young farmers is hard to portray fully from the outside, if you’re not part of it! Kilraughts and the association have done a lot for me in such a short time, not only meeting a lot of people from near and far. I’ve also made lifelong friends. It has also given me massive opportunities I would never have had, pushing me to do more stuff, continuously get involved and in general I feel it’s made me a better person.”

Sarah Spence, Bleary YFC

Sarah has been a member of YFCU for the past three years and particularly enjoys the stock judging competitions the association offers. Sarah said: “I enjoy the social aspect, the friendships that are formed and the social life it gives members.”

Nicola Mitchell, Annaclone and Magherally YFC

Nicola has been a YFCU member for four years and enjoys taking part in girls’ football and stock judging. Commenting Nicola said: “My favourite thing about being a young farmer is getting to meet new people and try new things.”