Essex: Crowds enjoy sunshine at YFC County Show

WHAT a busy month it has been for Essex Young Farmers!

We held our annual Country Show on May 20 at Roxwell, near Chelmsford. The sun shone throughout the day and drew the crowds in; it was a great success with more than 12,000 people in attendance – one of the biggest events of its kind in Essex.

Members of Essex Young Farmers pulled out all the stops to make the show another great success. A big “well done” needs to go to Ian Metson, this year’s show chairman, and his committee made up of the Essex Young Farmer members who put so much effort and hard work into making the show a success.

New attractions for this year were Camel Racing and the Monster Truck Display team which kept the crowds amazed. We were also very pleased to have the National Farmers’ Union President Peter Kendall with us on the day.

Essex Young Farmers are keen to get across the farming message and educate the public into farm life and where food comes from. The livestock area allowed the public to speak to herdsmen about their cattle, pigs and sheep and understand where meat comes from.

Other attractions in the livestock area included Essex honey bees, alpacas and day old chicks and turkeys to fully grown turkeys. We feel that these areas are very important educationally as it allows children to see various livestock to help understand where their food comes from.

Along with the individual areas of the show visitors were able to look at how tractors have developed over the past decades with a display from the Vintage Tractors consisting of tractors from 1927 up to 1970 which proved very popular.

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The Game Fair area was popular once again with demonstrations from a local chef cooking a number of game dishes on an AGA including a rabbit pasta dish and a number of game pies. The Essex Hunt also drew the crowds to both the main ring and the Game Fair area with their hounds and young hound puppies along with the Trinity Foot Beagles and Eastern Counties Mink Hounds.

The Forestry area drew the crowds with demonstrations from local tree surgeons along with fence post production, chipping. There were also demonstrations of carving and wood turning to produce highly crafted products from wood which were on sale.

Alongside the modern forestry and arboricultural skills on show there were also some traditional features such as a steam powered rack saw bench and a working forestry horse showing how the industry has developed over the years.

One of the most important aspects of our annual show are the Young Farmer Competitions ranging from entries in the Exhibition Hall to the infamous tug of war competitions.

In the Exhibition Hall the Young Farmers showed off their creative side competing against other clubs in a number of competitions including flower arranging, cookery, painting and sewing all under the theme of the Olympics. All entry classes were directly related to the 2012 Olympics; medals, sashes, designing an energy drink to name but a few.

The Tug of War competitions took place at the end of the day in with huge crowds gathering to see which club would come victorious in our hugely competitive competition. Halstead Young Farmers won the girls competitions whilst Colchester Young Farmers took the men’s crown. Both teams will now go on to the Eastern Area Competitions where counties including Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire will compete to see who will head to the national finals later in the year.

Colchester Young Farmers are not newcomers to the Eastern Area competitions as have successful won these in the past and have gone on to the National Competitions to come a very respectful third in previous years. We wish the both teams the best of luck.

All the money raised from the show will help to fund the activities of the county federation over the coming year. Essex Young Farmers are self-funded and rely solely on the fundraising efforts of the county as a whole to run the county office and all activities.

Events coming up for Essex Young Farmers include a number of members are heading up to London to join in with the celebrations of the Diamond Jubliee and our Eastern Area Weekender where members from the local counties will compete against Essex in a number of competitions in the middle of June.

Colchester and Wix Young Farmers will be having their usual area at the Tendring Hundred Show on July 14 at Lawford, near Manningtree. Here they will be publicising the county federation for both new members and Subscribers as well.

Our county subscriber network is very supportive towards us by attending our numerous events and balls across the year and helping with our fundraising efforts. As a small thank you Colchester and Wix members will be providing lunch for subscribers at the Tendring Hundred Show – head to the Young Farmers tent.

Events coming up for Essex Young Farmers include the cricket competition on Sunday, June 10 and the county AGM on Wednesday, June 20. For more information on Essex Young Farmers or the diary dates above, please call the county office on 01245 360455 or email essexyfc@btconnect.com. Our website also provides a wealth of information www.essexyoungfarmers.com .

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