Berkshire Young Farmers' Club

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Shefford Young Farmers Club Report

I would like to welcome our county president John Gent and my fellow young farmers to our AGM.

This has been another fantastic year for Shefford young farmers and I am very thankful for such a great year as chairman. Our membership numbers have once again grown and we now have over 60 members which is amazing. All the new members are very enthusiastic and are looking forward to the year ahead.

One of the goals I had as Chair was to encourage the younger members to strive for positions of responsibility within the club and get involved in the day to day running. Opening and closing meetings and running the tuck shop are important elements of young farmers gatherings and are great opportunities for the members to gain confidence.

The past year has included many new visits and talks and also some regular favorites.

The visit to Carson’s distilled essence farm was a very interesting and gave an example of farming diversity which is so important in modern agriculture

A tour round Newbury Fire station also provided an interesting site into a service that often touches rural lives so it was extremely interesting to get an understanding of what that job actually entails on a day to day basis.

More regular trips are to the panto – Oh yes we did, and carol singing, kindly hosted by our president. All these events are marks of the passing seasons and bring the young farmers community together. One of my personal favorites was the canoeing on Newbury canal

I would like to thank Simon Hiscock for allowing us to use his field for the amazing Ashford summer camp. We had an eventful weekend filled with archery, laser clays, rope swings and a trip to A&E, Johny! Can I thank Lisa Hayward, Steve Akrill and Anne Bunn for staying and putting up with us all weekend it was great and Milly for helping organize it all.

The county show was once again at the beautiful venue of Englefield estate, this years theme was The Future of Farming. The classes were many and varied ranging from tractor driving to One Man and his dog to changing a babies nappy!

The most memorable class for me was Josh and Ollies amazing makeup. I was so impressed by the number of Shefford young farmers taking part and having a good time in wet wellies.

The many weekends of hard work delivered an outstanding co-op float and Shefford won. The costumes consisted of very yellow suns and happy clouds dancing to ‘its raining men’ by the weather girls. There were two farmers controlling the weather using our amazing app, and outstanding satellites with cool headwear. Many farmers wish they could control the weather especially at harvest time. Thanks go out to Sandi, James, Helen and all of the parents for guiding and helping us prepare for the weekends before the show.

We had a talk from the air ambulance and we learned to allot about our chosen charity and what the money we raise goes towards and I think it really made it clear to the members how much the Air Ambulance is needed and how valued the money we raise is.

We recently had National Young Farmers Week which was definitely enjoyed by us all. We started off on the Monday by going on a county bowling trip, which was great fun. Then on Tuesday we had learned a new skill night where we taught the younger members how to mock judge but with something they would find more appealing so we judged a range of cakes! We also learned how to make corn dollies with Anna Smith kindly teaching us how to. On Wednesday we had our normal club meetings and Shefford and Newbury joined to have a tour round Newbury race course we went into the royal box and had a tour round the weighing rooms. Thursday there was a quiz run by Georgie at Hamsted Marshall village hall and team Shefford who consisted of Rhiannon, Katie, Katie’s mum and I and we ended the week with a tour round Rushall farm.

Thank you to everyone who came on as many nights as they could and thanks you to the club leaders for organizing such an amazing and diverse week of activities.

Thank you all for listening and I would once again like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to be chairman this year and I am sure that the next chairman will enjoy this role as much as I have..

Patrick Nield- Club Chairman

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