5 April 1996


ALAN GOLDIE is expecting a unique year as chairman of the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs – for it is a year of change.

"The chairmans job is to ensure that what members want is carried out by the paid employees of the NFYFC, and other chairmen have done just that. But this year we have the first change of chief executive for 27 years, when Tanner Shields retires. Now we have to find his replacement," says Alan (33), who farms a North Yorks County Council holding in partnership with his father Derek. They keep 150 Holstein Friesian dairy cattle at Manor Farm, Danby Whiske.

Alan has been involved with YFC since he was 11, when he joined Allertonshire School Club. At 13 he became a member of Great Smeaton YFC, where he was later to become chairman, like his father before him. Then duty at county level called, first on the finance committee then as county chairman, but he didnt aspire to be national chairman.

"I thought it was not for me and that I would not attain it. Then a couple of years ago I was very involved in our Splishy Splashy record attempt at Blackpool. People got to know me and started urging me to stand as vice-chairman. I declined when I was first asked but succumbed to pressure eventually. My only regret now was that I didnt go for it a year earlier," says Alan, who is married and has a young daughter, Rachel. He met his wife, Margaret, in the time-honoured way – "We met at YFC; she was secretary of our neighbouring club, Catterick."

One of his first jobs as NFYFC chairman has been to sift through the 70 applications for the chief executives position, aided by vice-chairmen Andrew Woodward and Peter Morris, plus six other members of the Review Group. They will be interviewing short-listed candidates in April, and it is hoped that the new chief executive will start in mid-July, to work alongside Tanner for six weeks.

"Tanner had rolled a number of other areas into his job over the years and it would be impossible for a new person to take so much on, so we have streamlined the job a bit, and seconded Bernard Roundthwaite from Barclays Bank to take on the treasurership," explains Alan, who is also busy organising Tanners retirement bash.

"This will be at the Great Yorkshire Showground at Harrogate on Aug 10," he says.

Alan has thoroughly enjoyed his involvement with the movement. "YFC offers a tremendous opportunity for members to widen horizons, meet other people, and gain the confidence through public speaking and competitions to meet the world at large.

"A lot of young people who dont join, never go further than the local auction mart. YFC offers so much fun it is too good to miss."

Tessa Gates

NFYFC Chairman Alan Goldie:Leading the search for a new chief executive.