Winter programme begins for Holestone Young Farmers

Members pictured alongside exchangees from Honiton YFC, Devon
Members pictured alongside exchangees from Honiton YFC, Devon

It’s been a busy few months for Holestone YFC members, full of competitions, social events and club meetings.

The end of summer saw club members host Honiton YFC for a weekend, a young farmers club based in Devon.

Holestone YFC first club meeting of the winter programme

Holestone YFC first club meeting of the winter programme

After an initial night of icebreakers and getting to know each other, club members entertained Honiton with a jam packed weekend of activities including a morning at the driving range, a trip to the north coast and of course letting their visitors experience their first YFC BBQ! On the final day of the exchange, Honiton members were taken on farm tours in the surrounding area, before sitting down to a set lunch in the club hall and saying their goodbyes. A fantastic weekend was had with many great memories made and new friendships formed.

September saw the beginning of the club’s winter programme with the first club meeting being a ‘welcome and games night’ in the club hall.

Many familiar faces returned for another year and many new faces came along to join the fun.

A great night was had taking part in icebreaker games and showing new members what young farmers is all about.

Club members, Emma Bell and Hannah McMaster taking part in Grassroots Challenge

Club members, Emma Bell and Hannah McMaster taking part in Grassroots Challenge

Other club meetings have included the annual ‘Brain of Holestone’ quiz night, a trip to Ballymena Fire Station and an exchange with neighbouring club, Randalstown YFC.

Most recently, the club held a Grassroots Challenge night when members took part in a bird and barn owl workshop, even getting up close and personal with some of the species, and testing their practical skills by building bird boxes. It has also been a very successful few months for the club, with Holestone members taking part in the various competitions that young farmers offers.

In September, four club members travelled to Magherafelt to take part in the annual swimming gala, where club members were awarded third place in the relay race.

Many members also took part in the public speaking competition in October. A special congratulations must go to club member Laura Robson, who was placed first in both prepared and impromptu in the 16-18 age group.

Holestone members at a recent out meeting to Ballymena Fire station

Holestone members at a recent out meeting to Ballymena Fire station

October also saw members head to the annual county dinner where the club had a successful night with members picking up lots of silverware on the night.

The club picked up awards for choir festival, advanced fencing, tug of war novice and junior girls football.

A special mention must go to individual prize winners:

Jack Patterson - Dairy stockjudging and silage assessment (16-18)

Holestone members presenting a cheque to Headway Ballymena at a recent club meeting

Holestone members presenting a cheque to Headway Ballymena at a recent club meeting

Jessica McConnell - Sheep stockjudging (14-16)

Zara Stirling - Beef stockjudging (14-16)

Laura Patterson - Senior proficiencies and secretary of the year

Club members have also been busy fundraising for their chosen charity of the year, Headway Ballymena.

Headway Ballymena is a Branch of Headway UK that is run by volunteers who all have personal experience of living with the effects of acquired brain injury.

Headway promotes wider understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provides information, support and social activities for people with brain injury, their families and carers.

The club recently invited representatives from Headway along with Robert McClelland, a former Holestone club member who has benefited greatly from the charity and presented them with a cheque of £1,100 towards their work.