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Essex Young Farmers column: Essex Hoedowners bring more party spirit to Blackpool at Young Farmers’ AGM

06:00 09 June 2014

Halstead Young Farmers ladies

Halstead Young Farmers ladies' and men's team, who both won the tug of war finals at the Essex Young Farmers Country Show


Well, in a way I am glad May is over in the Essex Young Farmers calendar. Packed is an understatement, writes Jess Roche.


But what an amazing month, certainly the highlight of this year. We have been to Blackpool, set up and run our very own country show and released a charity single! In my last five years in Young Farmers, I can’t remember a month as intense as this one.

More than 150 Essex Young Farmers made the trip by coach, car and train to Blackpool for the annual convention where 5500 Young Farmers from around the country came to party, compete and attend the AGM to vote on issues affecting the federation.

Friday night saw Radio 1 DJ Jameela Jamil take to the decks in the Winter Garden, where Young Farmers danced away the night in black tie. Saturday evening was incredibly exciting for Essex Young Farmers as it was the first play of our charity single, Put That Hoedown, by Radio 1’s Aled Jones! After teasing the crowd, it was played with Young Farmers from around the country singing and dancing along. It was a very proud moment for all involved in Essex, as not only would it increase sales, helping to raise more money for charity, but demonstrated how much we had achieved in a small space of time.

Sunday was the AGM and the finals of the entertainments, disco dancing and choir contests.Our singing farmers took to the stage for the first live performance of Put That Hoedown, joined by a very enthusiastic, dancing and singing audience.

The Monday morning is always difficult, as little sleep has generally been, but this year sleeping in was a luxury Essex members could not afford. It was the start of Show Week, where Essex members set up for one of the county’s biggest agricultural shows on Sunday May 18.

We could not have asked for better weather. It was scorching hot, and around 450 members, helping put up fencing, set up marquees and ran various stalls and areas. We saw the highest numbers through the gate ever recorded, with just under 14,000 people, 500 more than last year, and received some wonderful comments. It included a craft hall, Game Fair, Horse Arena, Festival of Food and lots of main ring attractions.

Our charity single made it to number 60 in the official UK charts, and can be downloaded off iTunes, with all profits going to two amazing charities that are raising awareness, and providing support to people with mental health issues - The Farming Community Network and Young Minds UK. We are hoping the CD version will go live on Amazon in the next week or two, so keep checking our Facebook and Twitter pages for more information, or go to our website:

You may think that with AGM, the single and Show, we could not possibly squeeze in anymore! But each club also has its own events and meetings, with talks from reptile specialists, Snakes Alive, being one of the most memorable ones. Never before have I heard of so many grown men being petrified of such small animals.

For those of us, me included, who have been taking A levels and university exams, May is a very difficult time of year, trying to balance all the different events with cracking on and getting those necessary grades! We wish everyone who has/is taking exams the very best of luck.



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