Standards high all round when YFs compete…
That old chestnut – everyones a winner – is certainly true
in the case of NFYFC competitions day. Young farmers win
their way to national finals through club, county and area
rounds and the standard is high as Ann Rogers reports
Giving young people a voice, enabling them to have their say now and in the future, is what much of NFYFC competitions day is all about. After dinner speaking (seniors), brainstrust (intermediates) and junior public speaking occupy a large part of the programme.
And you know that the system works when you hear 16-year-olds like Robert Hoggins from Gwent (topic: Where do we draw the line?) and Robert Fulton from Yorkshire (topic: Television mania) give commanding performances as they speak about press intrusion into the personal lives of celebrities, or declare that TV brainwashes people and dominates their lives; then remain unfazed as they answer taxing questions from the judges.
Presentation, telling people who they are, what they do and why they should be taken notice of is a skill promoted in the junior YFC member of the year competition and the club of the year competition which the Royal Agricultural Society of England sponsors.
Top junior is Penny Francis of Abergavenny YFC Gwent, Edward Tudor Jones of Merionnydd was second and Andrew Drake from Devon was third.
The club of the year is Ledbury YFC, Herefordshire which was represented by Helen Davies, Hannah Blandford, James Barnes and David Taylor.
The four made their presentation in the style of the Through the Keyhole programme and presented a portfolio with a warning on the cover: "Reading this will seriously improve your life".
"They were very much a team, positive in their presentation, delivery and answers to the interview," said chairman of the judges Peter Stovold. "They have done valuable community and charity work, and take advantage of everything YFC offers and stands for – and promote it to the best of their ability."
Chittlehampton YFC, Devon was runner up and Cambo YFC, Northumberland was third.
Holidays were the theme for the cookery, fashion and floral art competitions. Italy was a favourite destination with cookery competitors who worked in teams of three to prepare four dishes depicting a holiday destination of their choice, France and Scotland also had strong followings.
In the fashion classes competitors prepared to travel far and wide. Juniors presented themsleves for a European youth camp. Here shorts and denim-look dungarees were a popular choice and many an ensemble was trimmed with stars from the European flag. Shorts were the choice of many of the intermediates too who made outfits for a safari, with sandy and camouflage colours to the fore. Seniors dressed more flamboyantly in outfits for a Caribbean cruise. Judges examined clothes for workmanship, checked them for fit, and took suitability, costs and modelling skills into account.
Floral artists represented Shore to shore (juniors) and Up, up and away (intermediates) The senior class was Going by train, for which exhibitors were obliged to include two items from a choice of book, newspaper, box of sweets, umbrella and scarf.
Farm business development
1 Lancashire (Catherine Sleight and Michael Rimmer; 2 Leicestershire (Andrew Rees and Joe Morley);
3 Cumbria (Edward Studholme and Ian Bowness). Junior public speaking 1 Buckingham; 2 Devon A; 3 Gwent. Intermediate
brainstrust 1 Cornwall A;
2 Herefords A; 3 Yorks A.
Senior after dinner speaking 1 Pembrokeshire; 2 Gloucestershire; 3 Glamorgan. Travel report
1 Sarah Turnock, Staffordshire;
2 Richard Horton, Devon; 3 Katie Hall, Derbyshire. Horse judging and stable management 1 Claire Nute, Cornwall; 2 Claire Down, Devon, 3 Georgie Arnold, Cambs. Country spotters 1 Somerset
(Tim and William Lishman); 2 Gloucestershire (Jenny Dickson and Catherine Taylor); 3 E Yorkshire (Chris Buckton and Bryony Walton). Cookery 1 Gloucestershire (Christopher Banwell, Sally Gaskins, Mary Gaskins); 2 Leicestershire
and Rutland (Robin Gill,
Sara Wordswoth, Kelly Inman);
3 Yorkshire (Jessica Mitchell,
Ben Hoyle, Kathryn Albone).
Floral art – seniors 1 Samantha Aynes, Buckinghamshire; 2 Lisa Pritchard, Herefordshire; 3 Jill Perrings, Yorkshire. Intermediates 1 Emma Fairhurst, Yorkshire; 2 Lindsey Ping, Bedfordshire;
3 Ruth Davies, Pembrokshire.
Juniors 1 Laura Jenkins, Carmarthenshire; 2 Lois Spurgeon, Lancashire; 3 Emma Thomas, Carmarthenshire. Fashion – seniors 1 Rebecca Atkinson, Yorkshire; 2 Susan Lewis, Devon;
3 Natasha Houseman, Yorkshire. Intermediates 1 Sharon Houseman, Yorkshire; 2 Kirsty Rogerson, Northumberland;
3 Sarah Jackson, E Yorkshire. Juniors 1 Vicky Newberry, Dorset; 2 Joanna Lewis, Herefordshire;
3 Angie Harker, Yorkshire.
Junior rounders 1 Yorkshire;
2 Brecknock; 3 Herefordshire.