Farming Insight: Suffolk Young Farmers are all for onesie

Stowmarket YFC members on their post-Christmas skiing holiday modelling the latest in onesies

Stowmarket YFC members on their post-Christmas skiing holiday modelling the latest in onesies - Credit: Archant

ONCE again I start the YFC column with a comment about the weather, writes Suffolk YFC co-ordinator Tory Lugsden.

Arctic conditions and a rapid thaw have made the last month one to try and forget, the snow was entertaining briefly but caused a number of cancellations and postponing of events. I’m sure everyone is glad to see the back of it and let’s hope it’s the last we see of the snow! Many of the Young Farmers have made the most of the weather to get their annual skiing holidays in before the weather gets better and our busier times. They all seem to have come home in one piece fortunately!

We held our junior and senior 10 pin bowling competitions at the beginning of the month and as always these events were very well supported by all clubs. The Junior competition was fiercely competitive and was won by the Gipping Valley A team with Brett Valley and Lark Valley in 2nd and 3rd places. The senior competition was another event with a massive turnout and was won by the ultra-competitive Hadleigh YFC, Halesworth YFC made a surprise run for 2nd place and Debenham, Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds filled the other positions.

Unfortunately due to the weather the Junior Forum had to be postponed as we didn’t fancy standing around in the snow getting cold while they mastered the art of tractor driving! This will be rescheduled for warmer weather hopefully.

The month of January is one of our busiest on the planning front with all our upcoming events happening in the spring. The office is flat out preparing for events and getting opportunities in place for the members. We are busy working on setting up training in PA1, PA2, telehandler, first aid, stockjudging and tug of war all of which are coming up in the next few weeks and give our members the option of being trained in all manner of things as part of their YFC membership. Also in the next few months we have a number of big fundraising events coming up including our popular Clay Shoot taking place on March 30 at Stowlangtoft and our biggest event the Suffolk Young Farmers Country Fair being held at Easton Farm Park on April 21. A large number of tradestands and exhibitors are already booking spaces.

We have confirmed ring displays including police drugs dogs, birds of prey and a forestry arena. Sponsorship is fully in place. Schedules for the horseshow and tradestands exhibitors are available from www.suffolkyoungfarmers.com

The National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs is running a Drive it Home Rural Road Safety scheme to raise awareness of the fact that young people are 37% more likely to be injured in accidents on rural roads than those who live in urban areas.

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As part of this the clubs have been working with Suffolk Road Safety team and Halesworth and Hadleigh YFC’s have had evenings to find out more.

This campaign will continue throughout the year.

As you read this article the members of Stowmarket YFC will be preparing for a fantastic evening to celebrate their 70th year at Trinity Park. The Stowmarket YFC Annual Ball is always an excellent evening and approximately 400 people will be joining the celebrations. The event is kindly sponsored by Forkrent, Kenton Hall, Fen Grain and Morbeans. Watch this space for photos of the event!

Coming up in February we have the usual activities going on with much more planning going ahead on events before the chaos of Spring. We have the Junior Lazerquest competition, the very popular county quiz competition as well as Lark Valley Junior YFC’s 10 year birthday celebrations taking place on 23rd February – how time flies!