On Saturday 2nd May, Staffordshire County Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (SCFYFC) held a first in their history since forming in 1952. Their traditional Annual Rally, a day with over 40 competitions held on a farm site in the County, had to go virtual! As Staffordshire YFC clubs and members are no longer able to hold meeting and activities, many members have been busy helping in their local communities, some are working hard as key workers on the farm and for others, not having the YFC activities on a weekly basis has left a large gap in their social life. Forward thinking YFC members, who are all aged between 10 and 26 years, decided that they still wanted to give their members the opportunity to get creative in the various competitions and showcase their skills, and of course have some fun too. With County Organiser, Julia Taylor now relocated from the County Office based on the Showground at Stafford, to working from her dining room table at home, the “Staffordshire YFC Virtual Rally” received over 160 entries. Members of all ages, encouraged by their Club Rally Secretaries, got stuck into making and creating their entries and judges commented on how refreshing it was to see the effort and enthusiasm made.
Judging took place via the Staffordshire YFC Facebook page, which has over 4000 followers. The number of “likes” for each entry was calculated along with an independent judge’s placings to give the overall result.
For the younger members of Staffordshire YFC, there were two craft classes – Decorated Wellies and A Decorated Pint Glass. The winning decorated wellies from Leah Trubshaw of Chase YFC, were painted with chicks and displayed beautifully complete with a real chick. The winning glass was artistically turned into a dairy cow by Molly Bratton of Eccleshall YFC.
Floral Art is always a popular competition with YFC members of all ages, who usually compete at the Rally to win a chance to take part in the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (NFYFC) finals at the Malvern Autumn Show. Due to all NFYFC Competitions being postponed for the current competition’s year, this class was adapted to a “Spring Garden Bouquet” which saw twelve stunning entries, ranging from displays in bicycle baskets to quirky floral tributes in wellington boots! The winning display was from Pip Titley, Ashley YFC member, who also won the Floral Art Competition at the Rally the previous year. Her display was described by the judge, Victoria Nicholls, as “a bold and colourful display using some fantastic garden materials.”
Members of Staffordshire YFC also showed off their artistic flair, with a Farm Animal Canvas Class. The judge, Lisa Goldstraw, was wowed by the winning painting of a Grey Horse which was created by Alisa Bartley of Abbotsholme YFC, the only school club in Staffordshire.
Other classes included Deckchairs, A Fire Pit made from recycled materials and for those who like to be a little more active, a homemade YFC style Obstacle Course, which had to be videoed in action. Greg Large of Cheadle YFC won the this class with his very varied course including football skills and a roller, complete with commentary from younger brother Harry, which proved very popular with both the judges and online audience.
There was a number of photography classes with themes including “Farm Worker in Action”, “Success” and “Stuck in the Mud”. All saw a great number of entries, with some excellent skills and amusing angles being portrayed.
Will Freeman, County Chairman of Staffordshire YFC said “This years Rally has been very different, but I would like to congratulate all the members and say thank you for getting involved with such typical YFC enthusiasm. We shall be launching more “virtual” competitions and activities for our members to involved in whilst Staffordshire YFC is on lockdown including “Shoe Box Show Floats” for what would normally be the Staffordshire County Show week. More details will out very soon!”
Once all the results were collated, the clubs were placed as follows for the Overall Virtual Rally 2020:
1st – Uttoxeter Young Farmers Club
2nd – Eccleshall Young Farmers Club
3rd – Ashley Young Farmers Club
Staffordshire YFC currently has 430 members across ten clubs in Staffordshire. Club meeting nights usually run on a weekly basis, with a wide range of activities available for members of all ages including sports, public speaking, cinema and bowling trips, quizzes and farm walks. Although not all members are from an agricultural background, the clubs in Staffordshire are based in rural communities and provide the much needed social life, new skills and learning opportunities, for any young people aged between 10 and 26 years, with an interest in rural life and activities. The Covid 19 situation has meant that all planned competitions and events for the coming months are either cancelled or postponed, however Staffordshire YFC will be adapting the services it provides to its members and clubs are adapting their ways of meeting, to online meeting rooms and holding “virtual” get togethers. The Staffordshire YFC County Facebook Page has also hosted a family quiz and a “Play Your Cards Right” evening, arranged by Deputy Vice County Chairman, Toby Hall, with his creative wit and sense of humour keeping everyone feeling part of the organisation.
For any further information about Staffordshire YFC’s Clubs and County during Covid 19, please contact Julia Taylor, County Organiser on 07841 422706 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
To view all the results from the day, please click here.