A SPECIAL awards night is being held this December to celebrate the extraordinary efforts and dedication of Young Farmers within their clubs and committees during the past year.

The Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC) ‘Five Star Awards’ evening is to be held on Saturday, December 4, with tickets due to be released on Friday, October 1. Open to entrants from all parts of the country, the awards will showcase the spirit, passion and adaptability of the Young Farmers' community, no matter the size or scale of their club or district.

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The awards dinner is also set to be the first black tie event to be held within the new Members' Pavilion, on the Royal Highland Showground. As such, it will mark a milestone for RHASS, which built the multi-million pound pavilion and is a long-time supporter of SAYFC.

The pandemic has highlighted the important role of local SAYFC clubs in not only keeping the nation fed, but also the contribution by members who gave up their time to help to those in need in their local communities.

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The awards night will give thanks to the individuals and clubs behind the heart-warming acts of the past 18 months, with the movement playing a major role in raising the awareness of mental health problems in young people due to the pandemic.

SAYFC is now encouraging nominations from all areas of the country, for a number of awards which include: A Community Engagement Award, recognising a club with active involvement and engagement within the community; An Unsung Hero Award, for a club member that has gone above and beyond to support others in their community but hasn’t received recognition; A Club Ambassador Award for an individual who shows great leadership and has been a driving force within their club and A Farm Safety Ambassador for an individual or a group of individuals who are helping to drive real change in farm safety.

On the night, the winner of the showcase award for the evening, the Scottish Young Farmer of the Year 2021 will also be announced, following a final competition which will take place earlier that day. Already, a short leet of six members have been chosen during regional rallies held in July, 2021, where members completed various tasks to qualify for the final round of the competition.

The finalists who will be competing are Alastair MacIver, from Inver Ross YFC; Craig Bell, from Kinross JAC; Daniel Skinner, from Garioch YFC; Gregor Bousie, of Bell Baxter ADS; James Hamilton and Sarah Whitelaw, from Avondale YFC.

Commenting on the awards, chief executive of the SAYFC, Penny Montgomerie said: “We've been extremely conscious of a lack of events being held due to Covid-19 and its various lockdowns and the impact this has had in our membership. These awards will give us the chance to showcase the very many good deeds and outstanding work done by members and their clubs over the last 18 months."

For those looking to submit a nomination for the awards, the deadline for entries is Monday, October, 18 and from there, short leets will be quickly decided in the run up to the event. The event will also precede the annual SAYFC's Agri-Affairs conference being held at Ingliston that weekend.