What better way for a young farmer to make some friends and gain some confidence than joining a local young farmers club!
When I was younger, I was very shy, I was okay with people I knew but when it came to speaking in public or having a conversation with a complete stranger, I would turn bright red and instantly clam up.
When I was 14, I found out about the Young Farmers. A few of my friends were going already and they convinced me to go along. I remember the first time I went, I felt so nervous. But when I got there, everyone was fantastic. Everyone had the same things in common and there was always plenty to do there.
So what do the Young Farmers actually do?
- Stock Judging- And don’t worry if you haven’t done it before, they teach you all you need to know with practice days and guest speakers who will teach you the ins and the outs.
- Public speaking- Debating about set subjects, learning how to speak confidently and to get your point across correctly (great for job interviews etc later on)
- Eisteddfod- Now coming from Wales, means you have an Eisteddfod. Singing, dancing, recitation, comedy duets, hymn singing. You name it, we do it.
- The YFC rally- This is the ultimate competition, where all the clubs come together at one venue and compete against each other. In our region, this usually happens in May. These events usually include competitions such as shearing, fencing, digger driving, woodwork, cooking, flower arranging more singing and dancing. There is a competition to suit any talent you may have. And the best part? The dance at the end of the evening (usually held in a barn) where everyone gets to meet up and have a good knees up!
- Scholarships- Currently, the Wales YFC have a scholarship for one lucky entrant to farm at Llyndy, a national trust farm in Snowdonia. You get the chance to farm the place for a whole year! and it looks great on a C.V afterwards.
- The Royal Welsh Show– This is usually any Young farmer’s holiday. Once a year in July is the show of all shows, and trust me, it’s not just for farmers. There’s the chance to try new foods, see stunt bikes, digger dancing anything goes really. It is also a great chance to meet new people and suffer a sore head in the morning! And if you ask a few farmers around here where they met their other halves, most will tell you it was at the Royal Welsh!
- Friends for life- I have met some amazing people through the YFC, some I wouldn’t have thought of speaking to before. This is even how I met my partner (yes at the Royal Welsh)
Either way, I have some amazing memories of being a YFC member. It gave me a confidence I never thought I had. It certainly helped me getting jobs and going to interviews later down the line. It also taught me many valuable lessons that I’ll never forget!
Interested?? Go have a look!!
If you are a member of the YFC, what were your lessons and experiences?