On Friday 8th November, Staffordshire County Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (YFC) held their County AGM in the Ingestre Suite, County Showground, Stafford. The evening was kindly supported by Pickering and Butters Solicitors, a firm of Staffordshire Solicitors who were founded over a century ago, with offices based in Stafford and Rugeley. The County AGM was attended by over 250 invited guests and members of the Federation and is the most prestigious meeting of the Staffordshire YFC year.
Polly Baines, gave her County Chairman’s report on last year of Staffordshire YFC activities, highlighting her favourite memories and moments along the way. Polly, a member of Lichfield Young Farmers said “No year as a County Chairman could ever be called boring or easy. You must plan ahead and have support around you from as many directions as possible. So long as you have passion and drive to want to achieve something and have fun at the same time, you can make anything happen. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as County Chairman, thank you to all the members and everyone who has supported my year in post.”
During Polly’s report, she presented a cheque for £8000 to Cancer Research following monies raised from a ‘Give Cancer the Boot’ Charity Lunch held in May. Polly also gave a thank you and goodbye memento to The Bishop of Stafford, Bishop Geoff Annas, who is retiring from his post at the end of the month and who has been very supportive during his time in Staffordshire to the clubs and members in Staffordshire YFC.
It was reported during the meeting that Staffordshire YFC has 601 members aged 10 – 26 years. The members have benefited from taking part in some amazing charity work and playing an active part in their local communities. From Eccleshall YFC raising over £10,000 from a Charity Speed Shear with over 1200 people attending to Uttoxeter JNFU raising over £1200 for Cancer Research with members having their hair cut for a ‘Brave the Shave’. These are just two examples of the many ways in which the eleven clubs in Staffordshire, all of whom are charities themselves, take time and plan events in order to raise funds for other charities across the Country. In total this year, the Clubs in Staffordshire have raised over £17,000 for worthwhile causes.
Philip Bourne was elected as County President for his first year. He has been very involved in Stone YFC as two of his daughters were both members of the club, serving on the Clubs Advisory Committee and as their Club President for a number of years. Philip, on accepting the position, said “I am very much looking forward the next two years and hope to encourage clubs to engage with more young people and increase the membership of the Federation.”
George Hawley was elected the Senior Deputy President. George is a former Staffs YFC County Chairman after time as a very active member of Cheadle YFC which in recent years he has been the Club President following his very hands-on involvement in the reformation of the Club. George, on accepting the position, said “Young Farmers has always been a very large part of my life and I am really looking forward to working with Philip and the rest of the County Officer team in the coming year. I am also looking forward to getting out and meeting the Club Members, which I will be doing lots this year as one of the Club Efficiency Judges.”
After a busy three years as County President, David Heminsley retired from his position. He said “It has been a great honour and privilege to be your President, and I trust Philip and George will get as much from the role in the coming years, and I wish them both all the very best for their terms as President with Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs.”
David was presented with gifts to mark his term in office, from members and supporters of the federation.
The presentations of awards were made by Mr Robert Bourne, Staffordshire & Birmingham Agricultural Society Chairman, to the following Clubs and Individuals:
Most Outstanding County Officer: Beckie Phillips & Emily Phillips, Social & Funding Chairman
David Palij Award: Awarded to the Club that has done the most for charity/community work during the last 12 months
Winner: Eccleshall YFC; Runners up – Uttoxeter JNFU
Manifold Marketing Award: Awarded to the Club who best promotes their Club and engagement in Club, County & Community Events.
Winner: Eccleshall YFC, Runner-up: Uttoxeter JNFU
The Richard Mottershead Club Programme Award: Awarded to the Club gaining the highest number of points within the Club Efficiency Competition for the Club Programme section.
Winner: Cheadle YFC; Runners up: Uttoxeter JNFU
Scrapbook Award: Awarded to the Club who produces the most interesting and unique scrapbook based on the activities of their own Club over the past membership year.
Winner: Leek YFC, Runner Up: Ashley YFC
Most Improved Club – Competitions Cup: Awarded to the Club that has achieved the highest improvement in points for competitions from the 2017/2018 year
Winner: Ashley YFC; Runner Up: Leek YFC
Small Clubs Trophy: Awarded to one of the five smallest Clubs in the County with regard to membership, that has achieved the most points throughout the year for competitions.
Winner: Chase YFC; Runner Up: Lichfield YFC
Mr Ken Unwin MBE Memorial Cup: Awarded to the Club who most improves in Public Speaking, Stock Judging, Carcase Judging and Tug of War.
Winner: Cheadle YFC; Joint Runners Up: Abbotsholme YFC & Uttoxeter JNFU
Overall Competitions Cup: Presented to the club with the most points for the Competitions that have been held for the last 12 months:
Winner: Uttoxeter JNFU; Runner Up: Eccleshall YFC
W.H.D. Hobson Cup: Awarded to the Club with the highest increase in membership.
Winner: Ashley YFC, Runner Up: Uttoxeter JNFU
Newsletter Shield: For the best contribution to the Young Farmers’ Book of the Year
Joint Winners: Chase YFC & Waterhouses YFC; Runner Up – Uttoxeter JNFU
Mr & Mrs W.A. Taylor Senior Merit Award: Awarded to the most outstanding individual at Club or County level was presented Hannah Britland of Uttoxeter JNFU. Hannah has been a very active Competitions Secretary and ensured they have had not only one but more often two teams in every competition. She organised practices, encouraged younger members and gone well and truly above and beyond to make sure everyone was included. This member has been very active in Staffordshire YFC for over 10 years and during this time their positivity and enthusiasm for the organisation is something which we would love to bottle!
Junior Merit Award: This is presented to the most outstanding junior individual at Club or County level was presented to Lizzy James of leek YFC. Lizzy has been a consistent and loyal support, acting in a mature and reliable way when working with their Club Advisory to overcome challenges within the Club. This member is not afraid to get stuck in, get their hands dirty and do whatever needs doing behind the scenes. Importantly, this member is well respected by her fellow members and the supporters of the club.
YFC Travel Certificates are awarded to club members who had travelled through the YFC Travel Programme. Certificates were awarded to: Grace Gibbs (Waterhouses YFC) – New Zealand, Lizzie Chapman (Ashley YFC) – Austria, Michael Grigg (Stone YFC), Sam Fowell (Eccleshall YFC) & Amy Nicholls (Ashley YFC) all travelled to Costa Rica.
YFA Travel Award – Grace Gibbs of Waterhouses YFC, for her report and presentation following her visit to New Zealand on the C Alma Baker trip.
Junior Stockjudging Cup: The winners were Chase YFC and the runners-up were Uttoxeter JNFU.
Intermediate Stockjudging Cup: The winners were Eccleshall YFC and runner-up was Uttoxeter JNFU.
Senior Stockjudging Cup: The winner was Uttoxeter JNFU and the runner-up was Eccleshall YFC.
Overall Stockjudging Cup: The winner was Uttoxeter JNFU and the runner-up was Eccleshall YFC.
The final awards of the evening are the most prestigious to receive and are judged throughout the year as a “Club Efficiency” Competition, which encapsulates all aspects of a YFC Club. The aim of the competition is to encourage members and Club Officers to work together as an effective team for the benefit of all. Judges look for all aspects of how the clubs are run and hope to see good club administration and record keeping, strong leadership and governance and active promotion of the clubs through publicity and community engagement. They also want to see teamwork, ideas and enthusiasm from all club members. From this competition, the following awards were presented:
Most Outstanding Chairman: Winner: Kat Clarkson, Cheadle YFC
Runner-up: Harry Bowers, Eccleshall YFC
Most Outstanding Secretary: Winner: Amy Boothby, Uttoxeter JNFU
Runner-up: Emily Cartmail, Eccleshall YFC
Most Outstanding Treasurer: Winner: Hannah Norton, Uttoxeter JNFU
Runner-up: Nicole Brereton, Ashley YFC
Most Outstanding Club Leader: Winner: Jake Manning, Lichfield YFC
Runner-up: Mel Bexon, Uttoxeter JNFU
Club Efficiency Shield: Winner: Uttoxeter JNFU
Runner-up: Eccleshall YFC
As can be seen from the above young people between the ages of 10 and 26, experience fun and excitement, whilst enjoying competitions, discos, sports, travel, meeting new friends and learning new and different skills. For photos from the evening, please click here