Suffolk Young Farmers column: What a month!

Forage Aid shows County Chair Ed Binder, Suffolk Young Farmers organiser Tory Lugsden and George Bak

Forage Aid shows County Chair Ed Binder, Suffolk Young Farmers organiser Tory Lugsden and George Baker, Stowmarket member and loader driver extraordinaire! - Credit: Archant

What a month!! The YFC activities have been non-stop and the weather has most certainly been in our favour, writes Suffolk Young Farmers co-ordinator Tory Lugsden.

The Stowmarket girls are on the fiesta with Abbi Taylor on top and Jenny Binder in the drivers seat.

The Stowmarket girls are on the fiesta with Abbi Taylor on top and Jenny Binder in the drivers seat. - Credit: Archant

Rally Part 1 was a beautiful sunshine filled event with huge participation from all clubs. With kind support from Easton and Otley College’s staff we were able to fill the day with a great variety of competitions. The Young Farmers turned their hands to creating a 4 course meal using only 2 butane gas hobs, some of the inventiveness was quite spectacular. The floral art competition was excellent and the standard was very high. The tractor handling this year included a precision element which seemed to take some of the drivers by surprise. I know that county vice chairman Angharad Bendall certainly felt the strain of having shortish legs for her ladies tractor reversing and needed a bit of assistance with the clutch on the “retro” tractor. Bricklaying was a brilliant competition and just shows the range of skills that young farmers keep very quiet. The only “pier” that looked a little bit on the wonky side came from the Stowmarket girls but this was apparently due to their hurry to complete their cookery. The fabulous cake judges had their hands full with over 30 carrot cakes to taste.

There was one stand out cake which truly had an “original” frosting. Let’s put it this way, avoiding carrot cake in my diet is no longer an issue. The favourite precision car driving competition including a new element to Tricky Tom’s fiesta in that a ball had to be held on the bonnet of the car. This slowed things down a bit, much to my delight, but the Fiesta proved to be the most incredible display of everything that is great about Young Farmers. A fantastic day was had by all involved and we thank Otley campus staff for brilliant support and help in running our day. The senior winners were Stowmarket YFC and the junior points went to Gipping Valley. A great event which we are delighted has grown and grown.

Then it was back to the serious work with our Forage Aid collection for the flood hit Somerset farmers. Members from across Suffolk helped with the collection of forage from farms and getting in to the county collection point at Trinity Park. Our huge thanks go to Debach Enterprises for supplying haulage down to Somerset, Fork Rent for the loan of a JCB loader and to Tuckwells of Worlingworth for the loan of the “squeezy grabby” bale thing. We were delighted to be able to get four artic lorry loads down to Somerset to help with their recovery process. There are a further 16 lorry loads being collected direct from farms being co-ordinated by the NFU in the South West. A great achievement by our members and we can only hope that our donation helps a little with the long term recovery. Our final competition of the month took place at Stanaway Farm at Otley with the Farming and Countryside Competition hosted by Ensors and Lacy, Scott and Knight. Well done to Hadleigh and Gipping Valley for further wins – the other clubs need to get their skates on to compete!!

Our Country Fair continues to grow. The Flying Fergies Display Team are confirmed along with police drugs dogs display, it’s going to be a great day. Young Farmers are putting on a “hands on farming” display area to allow young people to get up close to big machinery, come and sit on a tractor, see a real life combine harvester, be a farmer! Tradestand space is available and all exhibitor are welcome. All details at

This Saturday is our annual clay shoot at Bridge Farm Lime Pits at Stowlangtoft. 11.30am start with 4.30pm last card – come along and give us a look!