Young famers look forward to a packed season
WITH winter coming on, members of Cumbria’s young farmers’ clubs are looking back at a year of high achievement and ahead to a season packed with activity.
It has been quite a year for the county’s 25 clubs, with members having competed their way to the very top at national level, proudly reclaiming the NFU Trophy for the champion county for the sixth time in seven years — making Cumbria’s the best out of the 48 young farmer federations active in the UK.
Numerous northern area and national awards and trophies have been won by county young farmers, with Raughton Head YFC claiming the NFU Trophy for their dazzling entertainment Medical Mayhem. With a stage full of singing and dancing young farmers and a hilarious routine involving zimmer frames and crutches, the club’s production epitomised the true spirit of Cumbria YFC — fun, friendship and learning — as they brought the house down at the northern area weekend held in Yorkshire.
Other successes across the weekend included Raughton Head winning the men’s football and Caldbeck YFC’s energetic street dance routine also taking first place, ensuring Cumbria won the Adrian Willis Trophy for the county with the most points.
Further successes followed, with Raughton Head repeating their entertainment triumph by taking a well deserved first place at the northern national semi-finals held at Retford, Nottinghamshire.
Skelton YFC showed great sporting prowess as they took first place in the men’s football at the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ competitions weekend held in Stafford. Caldbeck YFC’s Christina Coulthard also won the Sydney Fawcett Trophy during her year as county chairman for making the most meaningful contribution to the annual national federation’s annual meeting in Torquay.
Additionally, Cumbria’s young farmers have been active contributors and collaborators within their local communities over the last year. Through activities ranging from pushing sledges to organising tractor runs, they have raised nearly £27,000 for local charities.
County YFC members are now looking forward to the festive season, with Caldbeck YFC decorating their parish hall for the OAPs’ Christmas lunch, and a school disco. They will also be hosting a Christmas disco to raise funds for the club and local charities, and are set to celebrate Christmas with a club meal at Denton House, Hesket-new-Market.
Pennine YFC have filled 20 shoe boxes to donate to Boxes of Hope Cumbria, who will take them out to be appreciated by children in Romania.
Raughton Head YFC members will channel their inner Torville and Dean with a club ice skating trip, followed by a party later in December at which festive games and competitions will get members in the Christmas mood. Skelton YFC will also celebrate in style with a club Christmas meal at the Heather Glen Hotel.
After all the mince pies and parties are over, the new year will see the young farmers taking on more challenges and adventures. Competitions will continue with the keenly anticipated club pantomimes, the finals of which are to be held at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake in February.
Preparations will also begin for the county field days, which are to be hosted by Eden Valley YFC for the southern district and Brampton, Walton and Longtown YFCs for the northern district. They will take place in May. Cumbria YFC will also host the northern area field day in June at North West Auctions’ J36 mart.
Meanwhile, clubs will continue to meet each week over the winter, usually on Tuesday evenings, at venues across the county, enjoying activities ranging from judging cattle and sheep to craft sessions, dancing and visits to ice rinks.
A spokesman for the county federation said: “All that remains to be said is a very big thank you to all those unsung heroes who support Cumbria YFC in draughty village halls, on windswept pitches and in muddy fields — the parents, advisory members, judges, stewards and supporters who give of their time so tirelessly and who enable our members to make the most of their time as young farmers.”