On Saturday 5th December, Staffordshire County Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (SCFYFC) held yet another first in their history since forming in 1952. With the cancellation and adaptation of many events and competitions from their usual format this Autumn, and no social events being able to go ahead, competitive members of Staffordshire YFC decided to get stuck into another rally, similar to the one held in May. This time, it was a Virtual Christmas Rally, with classes all themed around the festive season. The members of seven Staffordshire YFC clubs wanted to get ahead with these competitions, as all points gained now count towards the main Rally which it is hoped will run in May 2021. There were 14 Competitions Classes held, ranging from “Build a 3D Snowman from any materials” to “Club Christmas Song” which saw a range of musical talents coming together on video.
Judging took place via the Staffordshire YFC Facebook page, which has over 4500 followers. The number of “likes” for each entry was calculated along with an independent judge’s placings to give the overall result. The weekends virtual event attracted the support of seven sponsors, some of whom also helped with judging the classes. The sponsors were J A Bloor, South Staffs Water, LLM Vets, NVM Construction, Uttoxeter NFU, Agrovista and Frontier Agriculture Ltd.
There were over 160 entries from current members of all ages, encouraged by their Club Rally Secretaries, who got stuck into making and creating their entries and judges gave very positive feedback across all the classes. Hannah Fitzsimmons of LLM Vets judged the “Best Dressed Christmas Pet” class which saw an array of cats, dogs, horses and various farm animals entered. Hannah said ‘It has been an honour to judge this year’s Best Dressed Christmas Pet class. There were many brilliant entries, full of Christmas cheer; alongside some incredible training to keep some of the pets still in their costumes! Well done to everyone who entered, it really was a tough decision. I was very impressed by the creativity and effort of my first place.”
Amy Boothby, County Chairman of Staffordshire YFC said “Thank you so much to all our sponsors, judges and stewards for the support and help over the weekend, it has been a great showcase of YFC talent. I must extend a personal thank you to all the Club top tables and members who came on board this new idea, I have been blown away by the standard and number of entries we received!”
Once all the results were collated, the clubs were placed as follows for the Overall Virtual Christmas Rally 2020:
1st – Cheadle Young Farmers Club
2nd – Ashley Young Farmers Club
3rd – Uttoxeter Young Farmers Club
Staffordshire YFC has members aged 10 – 26 years 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, with an interest in rural life and activities. The Covid 19 situation has meant that Staffordshire YFC has had to adapt the youthwork service it provides to its members and clubs and so many are now embracing the new normal, with weekly zoom meetings and COVID-19-secure activities.
As Staffordshire YFC looks ahead to 2021, the federation hopes to be able to plan some fundraising events and face to face competitions from the spring and in the meantime, is continuing to support members and clubs in a virtual way using technology and social media.
To view all the winning entries and results, please click here