Worcestershire Young Farmers County Rally 2017 - #FabulousYoungFarmers


On Saturday, Worcestershire Young Farmers held our 69th annual county rally in Inkberrow. This year was my third rally since joining Young Farmers in 2015 and my last year competing as a junior as I turn 18 this year and will be moving into the intermediate age category… Rally is always great fun and brings lots of new challenges each year. 

This year I took on the Junior Cookery, as this has become a bit of a tradition for me now! The brief this year was a dessert to the theme ‘Around the World’. I ended up doing a selection of 3 desserts: a S’Mores Pie, a Tiramisu and a Berry Samosa. It was a real challenge to make all 3 in the time frame but I managed it in the end, and I think they proved popular with the judges as I managed to come first this year! This was a real surprise and a delight as I have come second for the last two years, it was great to finish competing as a junior on a high…

I also entered the photography competition this year and produced an A3 presentation board to the theme ‘Great Britain in 3 Photographs’... I hadn’t done the photography competition in the past couple of years so it was a new one for me, nevertheless, somehow I managed to come first in this too! 

I did a couple on the day competitions, one was to dress up another girl from my club as Adam Henson from Countryfile using recycled farm materials… In true young farmers style, this resulted in a quick trip to my yard on the morning of the competition (which was luckily only 5 minutes from the rally venue!) to pick up some feed bags and bailing twine to fashion an outfit out of. I don’t think that we really captured the true spirit of Adam Henson, but a gilet made out of an Allen & Page Calm and Condition bag and a skirt made out of a Spillers Happy Hoof bag was the best we could do in the time limit! There’s nothing like a young farmers’ competition to provide some quality entertainment! 

Wythall had some fabulous entries in the craft, bake off, cookery, needlework, floristry, woodwork and loads more… Our ladies tug of war team put up a good fight in the afternoon and our soapbox looked brilliant! 

There was some really stiff competition on the day, the Tug of War was particularly fierce this year with the Tenbury and Bromsgrove Ladies’ teams standing out as well as the Upton Men’s team - they’re like a machine! 
Well done to everyone who competed at Rally on Saturday, we really showcased Young Farmers and all we can do! Big congratulations to Upton Young Farmers - very well deserved winners of Rally 2017… Roll on next year’s competitions! 

It's a tough job feeding the world - a piece for Farmland


Lambing season is well upon us and for some of us, it’s nearly over. This year I have done my first proper bit of lambing and so far I have absolutely loved it! I also learnt a lot, some of which I feel could be transferred to the general public to make farmers lives so much easier…  
I was nervous and excited before I got there on my first day, as I had never met the farmer and all I had to go by were my instructions for getting there which rather mysteriously included “follow the music”. Anyway, I rocked up in my waterproofs and wellies ready to get stuck in. Within five minutes of being there, I had seen three lambs born and was already getting my first job on the yard. It had soon become very clear what this mysterious music was as they had the radio blasting out over the lambing shed. I spent the next two days lambing, filling water buckets, bedding down, moving ewes and lambs and assisting with injections. By the end of my second day I had delivered over a dozen lambs, a good few of them solo and I was feeling way more confident.
However, I have noticed that most people outside of the farming community have a very limited idea about what goes on during these crucial months in the farmer’s calendar. There is a limited amount of reliable information available about lambing time unless people venture into the wealth of farming journals and websites which they might not even know exist! The agricultural community on Twitter along with other social media provide a great insight into the world of farming, especially at this time of year. Although it could be considered subliminal messaging, all of the cutesy lamb photos provide a first-hand look in at lambing that many people may not get otherwise.
My lambing experience really brought home how important it is to educate people about farming as it really does impact the whole world. Things like keeping dogs on leads when walking through the countryside and closing gates to fields could make our lives easier if people were aware of the benefits. With the use of social media, we can educate more people to make lambing time easier on everyone. To quote the girl I was lambing with - It's a pretty big job, feeding the planet…

YFC Stock Judging 2017 - #FabulousYoungFarmers


Myself and Ruth from Farmer Ruth are starting a new collaborate series! It will be following on from my previous #FabulousYoungFarmers series I did when I interviewed some young farmers on my blog. This is my first instalment in the new lot of posts and Ruth will be sharing her first post shortly... I hope you enjoy reading about my Stock Judging I did just last weekend and that you will enjoy the new posts! 

On Saturday, it was the Worcestershire Young Farmers’ Pre-Show competition day… This is where the Livestock Judging and the Carcass Judging takes place as well as the sheep shearing.

Last year, I took part in the Junior Breeding Ewes competition and it was my first ever time stock judging. I really enjoyed it, even if I wasn’t the most successful but it was after all my first time! I wrote a blog post about it last year which you can find here. I also took part in the Senior Stockman of the Year competition already this year which you can read about here. So by this year’s pre-show day, I had competed in breeding ewes, butcher’s lambs, pigs, dairy cattle and beef cattle judging which left only horses for me to try out.

Feeling much more confident in my judging observations and my presentation of my reasons, I was keen to sign myself up for the horse category this year. I have been around horses my whole life so I thought that if I stood a chance at anything it should be horses.
Saturday quickly rolled around and I left early in the morning, with my shirt, tie, black trousers, white coat, riding hat and clean boots ready for a day of judging!

When we got there, me and the other girls from my club who were doing horses signed ourselves in and waited until they called our class to start. The first thing we had to do was the questionnaire that they had put together for the horse judging. I think it’s safe to say that we were all sufficiently challenged by it and there were definitely some tricky questions. The one that caused the most discussion had to be “In which discipline would you find a Trakehner?”. Those of you who are horsey will probably know that a Trakehner is both a breed of dressage horse as well as a cross country fence. After much discussion between the competitors after the questionnaire was over it became clear that half of the group had taken it one way and half had taken it the other, but much to all of our delight, the judges decided to allow both.

We then headed up the road to the riding school where the horses we were going to be judging were. The judges went in to look at them and decided that we were to judge them as family riding club ponies.
The juniors went in first and the horses were paraded in walk and trot for 3 minutes firstly, then we were allowed to handle them for a further 9 minutes. I placed them in an order I was fairly confident with and then started to finalise and practice my reasons.

We went back to the farm we were based on for the day to present our reasons, and once again the juniors were up first. Not wanting to stand around and forget what I wanted to say I volunteered myself to go up first. I went in and gave my reasons (probably too quickly as per usual) and came out feeling very relieved that I didn’t have anything else to do!

At the end of the day the results were presented and much to my surprise (and delight!) I had come second! It was a lovely day of competitions and well done to anyone from Worcestershire who competed… Bring on Rally!

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