Essex Young Farmers has raised nearly £30,000 after local farmers each donated a tonne of wheat which members then sold on to raise money for a new headquarters.

Producers donated a total of 280 tonnes of wheat to the Great Grain Campaign, which was launched last October.

This was sold at a price of around £91/t ex farm, raising a total of £26,189. On top of this the charity received cheques totalling £3086 from farmers in lieu of grain.

The money means that the county has now raised £70,000 of the £350,000 needed to turn a redundant farm building into a new headquarters, just outside of Chelmsford.

The building will house an office for the two full time members of staff, as well as meeting rooms, an office for YFC to use and storage space.

Chelmsford member Tom Benton said: “Clubs were busy throughout November going round to all their farms with their tractors and trailers and collecting the donations. It was very impressive to see the different ways in which clubs carried this out, with carloads of members leading the tractors to the farms in some cases.

“Each club had a local store to take the wheat back to, which were kindly donated by various farmers in the county. Members deserve a special thank you for giving up their time to do the collecting which proved quite a time consuming process.”

The grain had now all been sold through a number of grain merchants and the organisation had been helped by three local haulage companies who each moved a load free of charge, he said.

“The Grain Campaign has taken a lot of time to organise but all the hard work has been well worth it.

“It has worked wonders in linking the federation back to the farming community from which it has grown, and we know from my talking to many farmers on our collection rounds that they are still as enthusiastic about Young Farmers now as they were when they were members,” he added.

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