Tom Wells from Brigg in Lincolnshire scooped the coveted senior member of the year title at the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) annual general meeting in Blackpool, Lancashire.
“Young Farmers is the heart of my life, giving respite in an otherwise isolated industry – it’s the focus of everything I do and I absolutely love it,” he said.
The judges said Tom “epitomised the Young Farmer spirit” and the 26-year-old described winning the award as one of his proudest moments since joining the movement in 2006.
“It ranks alongside becoming club chairman, which is something I set my heart on, as my dad used to be chairman of my club.”
Taking second place in the competition was Alice Giles from Bow & District in Devon, while Harriet Wilson from Eccleshall in the West Midlands netted third place.
Meanwhile, members at the AGM, held on 8 May, voted to raise subscription rates by 3% for the year to 31 August 2017.
Proposing the rise in the national levy, Sam Dilcock from Yorkshire highlighted “all the work that doesn’t get seen and sometimes doesn’t get appreciated” that is done by the NFYFC. “If we keep denying National what it needs to function, then soon none of us will be here,” he said.
There was one objection to the motion from Matthew Jones of Shropshire, who said the national team should “strip everything back to basics”, claiming “vast amounts of money was being spent on things people are simply not interested in”.
Chris Manley, chairman of council, urged AGM-goers to take part in the Life Blood campaign, which is encouraging members over the age of 17 to register as blood donors.
“Blood and organ donation doesn’t cost the individual anything more than their time, but it has the potential to make a huge amount of difference to local communities,” he said.
Other AGM business
- Poul Christensen re-elected as president
- Robert Blezard elected life vice-president
- YFA multimedia trophy
Katie Hall (Gloucestershire), Jessica Bason (Shropshire), Karl Hockenhall (Staffordshire), Laura Flower (Derbyshire) and Robert Williams (Herefordshire)
- NFU trophy – championship county federation, competition finals 2014-15
- The Tug Wilson trophy – reserve champion county federation YFC contests 2014-15
- The Merrick Burrell trophy – county federation with the largest percentage increase in membership over past three years ending 31 August 2015
- The Worshipful Company of Farmers’ trophy – champion small county federation, whose membership is among the lowest 50% of counties
- The Prince of Wales – county federation raising the most money per member for a charitable cause outside of YFC
- The Lionel J Hill MBE trophy – the club that raised the greatest amount per member for charitable purposes over the past 12 months Okehampton, Devon
- The Sidney Fawcett trophy – the member making the best contribution to democratic proceedings of the AGM
Freddie Horwood, Somerset
- Top trainers of the year trophy – recognises hard work of YFC trainers who deliver modules from training programme the Curve