Essex Young Farmers column: Lightyears ahead at harvest as Young Farmers combine to create fancy dress buzz

Josh Smith, Halstead Young Farmers, working for Hyde Parker Farms, Long Melford

Josh Smith, Halstead Young Farmers, working for Hyde Parker Farms, Long Melford - Credit: Archant

August is always a busy month for farmers, but relatively quiet when it comes to Young Farmers meeting up, unless it rains of course, writes Jess Roche. The Young Farmer meetings generally wrap up mid July, and we start again in mid September, with the 12 Young Farmers clubs holding AGMs and voting in their new committee. We are always looking for new members, and remember, you don’t have to be a farmer to be a Young Farmer! If you’re interested in joining, drop the County Office an email on: This year we promoted ourselves at Brownstock, a popular music festival, with various activities such as wellie wanging, a bush tucker trial and tug of war. Our fun and games proved popular and hopefully we have attracted some keen new members!

Colchester men’s tug of war team reached the National finals in August and did very well, coming 4th overall. One even ended up on the National Federation’s new banner!

Autumn is always a busy time in the Young Farmer calendar both for county events and club events. My own club, Dunmow Young Farmers, has lots coming up from a Forklift Challenge at the Good Easter Fete on Sunday, September 8, to our Harvest Supper in early October. As a county we always have a harvest festival church service where the young members and subscribers turn out to sing their hearts out and donate food to the hungry.

Everyone spends time at harvest competing with other farmers about whether they are the first to get the combine out, and sending photos via the latest craze: Snapchat! This smartphone app allows people to send instant photos and videos to their friends, and nearly all my received Snapchats have been of the combine, dinner in the combine and dogs in the combine! To mix things up a bit, Halstead Young Farmer Josh Smith (better known as Buzz Lightyear) and fellow workers at Hyde Parker Farms had a day of “fancy dress combining” which kept everyone entertained during the long hours of harvest. The weather for V Festival is always a bit hit and miss, and farmers with tickets keep their fingers crossed for rain while the other tens of thousands of people that attend couldn’t think of anything worse. This year it rained all day Friday and some of Saturday which meant hard working farmers could take some time off and head to V, joining thousands of others decked out in wellies.

All in all August has been pretty busy work wise and hopefully now that we’re into September the Young Farmers fun and games will begin! I’m sure next month there will be lots more to report!

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