Members from the YFCU recently travelled to Latvia to take part in the European Rally 2017.
Organised by Rural Youth Europe, the annual rally brings young people together from European countries who engage in farming and are part of a rural youth organisation. This year, around 100 young people from all over Europe gathered in Latvia.
The theme for this year’s rally was ‘AIR’ which stands for Active, Inspired and Rural.
The week consisted of participants gaining awareness of European diversity and the value of it.
This was achieved through different workshops, team activities as well as visits to Riga city and a visit to a 900ha farm with 400 dairy cows that produces butter and ice cream.
Representing the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster on the YFCU European Rally Team were Annaclone and Magherally YFC’s Jonathan Sleator along with fellow YFCU members David Oliver from Dungiven YFC, Melanie McClean from Holestone YFC, Danielle Black from Coleraine YFC as well as YFCU president James Speers, who acted as team leader.
YFCU president James Speers commented: “The European Rally was a fantastic week and I was honoured to be team leader and represent the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster along with the four other members who were fantastic ambassadors for our organisation.
“We had a lot of positive engagement during the week through various workshops and had great discussions on a wide range of rural youth issues. We also visited a 900ha cow dairy farm that processed cheese, milk and butter to see first-hand how agriculture is progressing over there and learn and share best practice.
“A highlight of the week was the International Buffet where we were able to showcase the quality local food and drink that Northern Ireland produces.
“I would recommend everyone in the YFCU to consider applying for the European Rally team next year to avail of the fantastic travel and learning opportunities an event such as the European Rally provides.
“I’ve had a fantastic week in Latvia and met a lot of good friends from different organisations who I’ve been able to share different experiences with and we’ve all learnt a lot from each other.”
YFCU president James Speers added: “We are indebted to Danske Bank for their continued support and commitment to YFCU as one of our key platinum sponsors, allowing us to be represented at the European Rally again this year.”