Essex Young Farmers’ monthly column: Young farmers’ Olympic efforts to promote farm produce

THE Olympics is upon us and Essex Young Farmers have been getting fully involved with four members heading to the Newham Olympic Torch event.

This was a two-day extravaganza at the Mayor of Newham’s Show on 21 and 22 July. The Young Farmers hosted a cookery demonstration as well as running games and activities throughout the two days for the public to enjoy at Central Park in East Ham.

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) has been holding cookery demonstrations across the country as part of its Great British Food for Great British Athletes initiative, which gained a prestigious London 2012 Inspire Mark.

All the cookery demonstrations have taken place along the Olympic Torch relay route and the final event for the project coincides with the Torch visiting Central Park.

Food Adventures is a partnership between the NFYFC, Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food - Stratford, East Potential and Natural England and had been developed especially for the weekend.

It marks an alliance between ‘town’ and ‘country’ based on their common love of food and growing.

The aim was to bring together young people from different backgrounds, but with a common interest in food to run inspirational activities for families at the Mayor’s Newham Show.

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With a diverse ordinance on the Saturday the children had great enjoyment milling the wheat through our man-powered mill and then making dough with the flower they had milled.

A combination of fun and learning for both children and parents. Other activities that Essex YFC hosted included milking a model cow, butter making, wheat grinding as well as crop and food matching.

Some of the answers as to where flour came from were very entertaining, with one child answering ‘Tesco’s’.

There was also junior member of the year Tom Collison, present who carried the Olympic Torch through the streets of King’s Lynn.

He took part in a ‘cook-off’ competition with a fellow Olympic Torch bearer from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food - Stratford. It was a close call but Ministry of food crabbed 1st place..

NFYFC Agriculture Chair Helen Reeve said: “NFYFC’s Agriculture committee wanted to do its bit in Olympic year to promote all that is good about British food and farming. London 2012 has provided the platform for YFC members to do this.

We have worked with Natural England to develop and deliver a project to include as many YFC members as possible during the Olympic Torch Relay. This is the culmination of all the hard work that our members have put in to this project and, I am sure, has showcased to a wider public all the great skills that YFC members have.”

Essex YFC have also being getting involved at eastern area events with three of our members James Haywood, Andrew Sell and Jennifer Rowland doing exceptionally well and coming a respectable second place at the stock judging competition.

Essex girls and boys tug of war teams also won at Eastern area and they have been training very hard three times a week and are all very much looking forward to the culmination of all their hard work and training at the final round on September 29 at the National finals being held at the Worcestershire show. This was a great result for Essex to get both our girls and boys teams through as the competition was as always strong.

As Essex YFC start to calm down now harvest is finally upon us clubs start to hold their summer BBQ ‘s for their subscribers and friends as a thank you for the continued support and evolvement they so loyally provide throughout the year. With no formal meetings over harvest it’s all gearing up for the new YFC year which starts the beginning of September. The committee has already been elected and shall spend the summer planning and plotting for another fun packed and full year of events for us all.

For more information about Essex Young Farmers please call the County Office on 01245 360455 or email Our website also has plenty of information on at