Suffolk Young Farmers: A tribute to ‘amazing’ Thomas

Suffolk Young Farmers co-ordinator Tory Lugsden reports on a sad end to the year

WE ended 2011 on a distinctly low note with the loss of one of the biggest characters in the federation over recent years. Our county chairman, Helen Walker, a close friend and fellow Halesworth Young Farmer, pays tribute to the fantastic Thomas Desborough.

“On the Tuesday, December 20, 2011, one of the most amazing people was taken away from us. He had a big, cheeky smile and was the most caring man there was. Thomas Desborough, aged 36, previously a Halesworth Young Farmers member in Suffolk, was a member for a good 15 years and a bit more as an honorary social member! Thomas never really took on a title within YFC as he always seemed to have another going on with his family business, but he was the member who was dependable, always there. Whether it was a hockey match, party or loading muck for charity he was there, just as he was for all of his friends. He would help you with anything. He befriended everyone, young and old. Thomas was welcoming, friendly and could make conversation with anyone. He always had his funny ways about things, nothing was ever straightforward and he always put a twist on everything.

“Legends are always taken away young, they say, and this is so true. Thomas Desborough was one in million. He will be greatly missed not just by myself, family, friends and fellow young farmers but every single person Thomas came into contact with. RIP Thomas.”

We held our Public Speaking and Member of the Year competitions at the beginning of December with the juniors and seniors in action. Stowmarket tackled “this house believes that romance is dead” and Halesworth took on “this house believes that Facebook and social media have destroyed the art of communication”. Our judges had their work cut out but awarded the title to Halesworth for their excellent take on the pros and cons of social media and modern technology.

The junior public speaking entries wowed the judges with their ability across all teams. The ability to speak to a large audience while being aged under 16 is astounding. Gipping Valley’s A team took the trophy. Well done to all who competed.

The final competition of the day was the Senior Member of the Year, which was a very close contest. We had entries from all senior clubs and Fenella Morton of Stowmarket YFC took the title.

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Stowmarket held their traditional post Christmas/pre-New Year party at Excel in Stowmarket with a Naughty or Nice theme. From what I have heard an excellent night was had by all and it was a perfect end to the year.

Coming up is an agricultural forum on Friday, January 6. The theme is “New Entrants” with panellists from Sentry Farm Management, Savills, Chadacre Agricultural Trust and Ben Martin, New Entrant.

There are two further sessions, on Wednesday, February 15, focusing on “Business Skills” and Wednesday, March 14, focusing on “Business Innovation and Diversification”. All are open to everyone.

We are also holding our first competitions of the New Year with Senior and Junior Ten Pin Bowling.

Other dates for the diary include: Saturday, January 28 – Stowmarket YFC Annual Ball, All Manor of Events tickets via Harriet Taylor on 07534 254628. Friends of YFC Quiz – Friday, February 3 – Coddenham Village Hall, open to all, tickets via office.