Over 200 young farmers recently attended the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster Association’s AGM and conference, sponsored by Massey Ferguson, one of the world’s leading tractor brands.
The event was held at The City Hotel, Derry/Londonderry.
Held over two days, a president’s dinner and Peaky Blinder’s themed disco took place on Friday evening, April 12, with the main event, announcements and prize-giving taking place on Saturday, April 13.
Delegates from the sister organisations in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, were in attendance, along with supporting organisation Rural Youth Europe, and sponsors Power NI, Danske Bank and United Feeds.
During the AGM, the presidential team for 2019-20 was announced.
Zita McNaugher from Moneymore YFC was announced as president of the association, and Peter Alexander from Glarryford YFC was elected to the position of deputy president.
The positions of vice president went to re-elected members William Beattie (Finvoy YFC), Andrew Patton (Newtownards YFC), and Stuart Mills (Moneymore YFC), while Elaine Crozier (Collone YFC) was elected for the first time as vice president.
The association’s most eagerly awaited competition took place just prior to the AGM.
Five clubs made it through to the final of the Club of the Year competition sponsored by Power NI: City of Derry YFC, Collone YFC, Finvoy YFC, Holestone YFC and Lisnamurrican YFC.
They then took part in a quiz on YFCU current affairs.
After a nervous wait, Collone YFC were announced as winners and received the Club of the Year trophy.
The overall Ulster Young Farmer award was also presented on the day, with Jason Henderson from Dungiven YFC winning this year’s competition, and receiving the McCausland Trophy.
Sponsored by Danske Bank, the Ulster Young Farmer of the Year competition is one of the most prestigious competitions in the association’s calendar.
After qualifying through two preliminary rounds, Jason made it through to the final.
At this stage of the competition Jason was asked to answer questions on a series of topics including finance, countryside management, beef, arable, machinery, sheep, dairy and more
Also sponsored by Danske Bank were awards for the Junior Ulster Young Farmer, which went to Anna Boyd from Straid YFC, Ulster Young Farmer (under 21), awarded to Alexander Boyd from Straid YFC, and Ulster Young Farmer (25-30) which was won by James Purcell from Dungiven YFC.
YFCU also presented awards, sponsored by United Feeds, to Lois McCurdy from Moycraig YFC who received Junior Member of the Year, and James Purcell from Dungiven YFC who won Senior Member of the Year.
This year marks the beginning of YFCU’s 90th anniversary celebrations, which includes joining forces with the Farmer’s Bash 2019 for the UK and Ireland’s biggest country dance at the SSE Arena, Belfast, on October 11, 2019.
As part of the 90th anniversary celebrations the John Bradley Challenge was announced by Co Antrim YFC members Jake Cunningham and John Armstrong, a knockout event at East Strand Beach, Portrush, on August 9.
In keeping with the 90th anniversary, the new president has chosen her theme for the year - ‘Celebrating 90 years of Change and Challenge’.
Speaking at the AGM, the new President Zita McNaugher commented: “The AGM and conference is always the highlight of the year for our members. It’s a chance to catch up with friends but also to nominate the leadership team and members for central committees.
“I’d like to congratulate all those who picked up prizes at the AGM and conference and extend thanks to all those who were nominated and elected.
“I also announced this year’s theme which celebrates our 90 years of heritage. The theme is ‘Celebrating 90 years of Change and Challenge’. Instead of picking a charity of the year, I’ve asked clubs to donate 90 minutes to their local communities.”
YFCU would like to thank Massey Ferguson for their sponsorship of the AGM and conference and The City Hotel, Derry/Londonderry, for providing a superb venue.