Young farmers hit by recession woes

YOUNG farmers in Suffolk are desperate to get their hands dirty, but are being hindered by the recession.

Rebecca Lefort

YOUNG farmers in Suffolk are desperate to get their hands dirty, but are being hindered by the recession.

The Suffolk Young Farmers (SYF) organisation is facing dire financial worries, and is expecting to make a loss of around �3,400 this year.

In a desperate bid to make some money the group is pleading with land owners to take part in one of its major fundraising activities, the Muck Chuck.

In previous years the SYF, which is due to celebrate its 50th anniversary in October, has distributed more than 4,000 tonnes of manure onto land annually, earning thousands of pounds to support its work.

But so far there have been no takers for this year's event, to be held in mid July, and the club is getting increasingly worried about its future.

Most Read

Tory Lugsden, fieldworker for the young farmers, said: “We are desperate for some money.

“We are budgeting to make a loss because we weren't able to do the Muck Chuck last year and there haven't been many events to do fundraising this year.

“We have had to cancel events because no one bought any tickets. It is probably to do with the recession because people are watching their pennies. But we're not really sure why it's so bad.

“It is probably the worst year we've seen apart from when we had foot and mouth. We really don't want to have to dip into our reserves.”

The SYF has seven active clubs in the county, and about 250 members. It provides training and support for young people in rural Suffolk and puts on social events.

Mrs Lugsden, 34, said she hoped landowners would get in touch to take part in the Muck Chuck by paying around �1 per tonne of muck, depending on diesel costs.

The young farmers will then spread the animal mess on the land using tractors and trailers.

She also added she hoped people would visit the Suffolk Young Farmers Show on May 23 at the Mid Suffolk Showground.

For more information visit www.suffolkyoungfarmers.com.