Suffolk Young Farmers column: Stacks of enthusiasm for bale sculpture contest

Debenham YFC's winning bale sculpture

Debenham YFC's winning bale sculpture - Credit: Archant

What a month. Our county AGM brought our new chairman in the form of Angharad Bendall who is our very own whirlwind, full of bright ideas to keep the members entertained and we have started Angharad’s new year with a bang. Alongside Angharad is our new county president Teresa Pemberton so the all-girl team are certainly piling on the events and already we are seeing the results of the clubs efforts.

Brett Valley's winning bale sculpture

Brett Valley's winning bale sculpture - Credit: Archant

The first competitions of the year took place at the fantastic Old Buckenham Hall School and our membership rocketed from 29 on the Tuesday to a huge 212 by the Friday and it keeps increasing much to our delight.

The members had a lovely day of sport and competition apart from a couple of rugby and hockey related injuries it went off without a hitch. The rugby was won by Stowmarket and Brett Valley Juniors, hockey by Melton and Deben Valley seniors, Netball Stowmarket and Deben Valley, Junior Kwik Cricket was an honourable draw and the cross country won by Bury and Hadleigh for the seniors and Deben and Brett for the juniors. It was a delight to organise such a well-supported event and to see such enthusiasm for competitions from all clubs, old and new.

The Young Farmers Bale Sculpture competition has been a brilliant show of ingenuity from our members and enthusiasm for promoting their clubs during New Members week. It was a huge delight to receive so much fantastic feedback on the sculptures and to see their impact reflected in the new members to the federation, 21 in one night from Bury St Edmunds was astounding.

We were obviously disappointed that one of our sculptures was set alight by vandals, but, as with all YFC activities, it was a huge surprise to me to discover that the cunning members had also had the good sense to put camera surveillance on the sculptures. We are pleased to have been able to pass this footage on to the police as a result. Despite this the competition results are in and Debenham YFC took the senior win with their massive combine and Bale Man on the A1120 at Saxtead and Brett Valley with their brilliantly decorated sculpture at Hitcham.

Stowmarket YFC winning netball team Jess Jacobs, Abbi Taylor, Helena Fellingham, Becca Inch, Lily Gr

Stowmarket YFC winning netball team Jess Jacobs, Abbi Taylor, Helena Fellingham, Becca Inch, Lily Griffiths, Bea Vinten and Jenny Binder - Credit: Archant

The Mole Valley and Strutt and Parker-sponsored turkey competition is well under way and the turkeys, who boast names such as Tiny Turkey Temper, Cranberry, Sharon, Richard, Del Boy and Rodney, to name a few are growing at a huge rate. It seemed to come as a surprise to some members that turkeys were quite lively with the answerphone message of “you never told me they could fly, Del Boy’s up in a tree”. The Brett Valley turkeys are gaining weight at approx. 2lbs per week and the Halesworth pair are being treated to a huge variety of delicious treats although aren’t overly keen on potatoes apparently. The competition is fierce and the clubs are pulling out all of the stops to win the overall turkey title which will be decided in January at the Grand Turkey Curry Buffet.

Coming up we have our Junior Ball, the YFC Bake Off, Halloween Night, New Officer training and the Friends of YFC reunion, we’d love to see as many ex members as possible at county office on Friday, November 28. Tickets are free we just need to know numbers in advance if possible on 01473 785547.