15 October 1999

BRIGHT SPARK WINNER IS A WEB WONDER

More than 1500 young

farmers from around the

country converged on

Stoneleigh, Warwicks, for the

NFYFCs Competitions Day.

The event provided the

chance to do everything from

juggling to debating. Its a

big day in the YFC calendar –

a chance to take part, watch

and learn as well as meeting

and making friends. And, for

anyone with enough energy

left, there was dancing at

the end of the day. Tim Relf

reports from the National

Agricultural Centre

A PLAN to stem the flow of people from the countryside by providing computer-accessed data won Jonathan Hall the accolade Bright Spark of the Year 1999.

The 19-year-old Nottingham University student from Derbyshire fought off stiff competition, impressing a panel of judges from organisers FW, Fwi, Farmplan, NFYFC and MLC.

Jonathans proposal is to set up an internet site – collating and cross-referring to other sites – giving the financial, practical and personal information youngsters need in rural areas.

The prize was £500 of Farmplan computer kit in this, the second year of the competition aimed at fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among the up-and-coming generation.

Last years winner, meanwhile, Alison Wilson now works as livestock development officer for Midland Meat Packers. "I am sure that winning this competition gave me something different – a slight edge on other potential employees in todays highly competitive job market. Winning was a great honour and also gave me a real confidence boost."

But, a year on, are there any drawbacks of winning? "My friends call me Sparkey," laughs Alison.