Suffolk young farmers rise to the turkey challenge

The Suffolk Young Farmers nativity play, held in a barn at Debenham Hall.

The Suffolk Young Farmers nativity play, held in a barn at Debenham Hall. - Credit: Archant

Happy New Year to all young farmers, farmers, sponsors and supporters. We hope 2015 is as successful for all as 2014 was for Suffolk YFC.

What a fantastic 2014 we have had, with a hugely competitive sports calendar throughout the year, Forage Aid, the Suffolk Show- winning Mascot Race team, Tug of War in the President’s Ring and an amazing opportunity to meet HRH Prince Harry, a beautiful, sunny day for our Country Fair at Easton Farm Park, sunshine again for our clay shoot, two great rally days at Otley campus and Debach Airfield, a hugely successful ball at Suffolk Food Hall and so much more.

Since the start of the membership year in September we have trialled three great new competitions including a bake-off and an ongoing turkey competition.

Many of our turkeys have heaved a huge sigh of relief to have made it through December, although Deben Valley’s biggest contender had a run in with a fox, much to its owner’s disgust (“It could at least have taken the smallest one.”) and the Alde Valley turkey found that it was unable to swim. The date of doom has been set and the curry competition dates set for January 21 and 23. Popadoms at the ready!

The county rounds of the public speaking and member of the year competitions took place at Otley campus and the competition between the senior clubs was intense. The Hadleigh YFC After Dinner Speaking team looked the part in their full DJ attire and this was a contributing factor in them taking the win and going on to represent Suffolk at Eastern Area in March.

Hadleigh also won the intermediate brainstrust competition. Debenham YFC came second in both competitions and got first place in the hugely competitive senior member of the year with Izzy Botfield, club chair, going on to represent Suffolk at Eastern Area.

The junior teams took on the reading competition challenge of Stig of the Dump and Gipping Valley won with Lark Valley in second. Gipping Valley also won the junior public speaking competition. It was a great day, and thanks to all of our judges and competitors.

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We finished December with our very first Nativity which took place at Debenham Hall in a beautiful barn, courtesy of the Styles family. It was a “fly by the seat of your pants” day with no rehearsals having taken place and 11 clubs needing to take on 11 scenes, each putting their own spin on to their scene.

Bury’s angels were angelic, Hadleigh’s shepherds got right into their part, even including a drenching gun which drenched some audience members, Debenham’s dwarves made a guest appearance despite the event being a nativity not a pantomime and Gipping Valley’s inn scene featured more donkeys than you could shake a stick at.

The carol singing was not up to King’s College Cambridge standard but it’s definitely something that can be worked on for future years. A fantastic end to the YFC year which put everyone in the Christmas mood.

January sees the ten pin bowling competitions, junior members careers evening, a junior forum event and the first big event of the year with Stowmarket YFC’s annual ball taking place at Trinity Park on Saturday, January 31.

Tory Lugsden