By Kim Livesey

AS I make my way through my year as national chair, I can’t help but be inspired by the work that young farmers and the wider farming community put in to raise the profile of farming and all that is associated with it.

It is great to see organisations such as RHET, RNCI, Rural Youth Project and SAYFC itself educating youth, and the future generation of the farming community, by hosting a huge variety of events. By hosting farm visits, visiting schools, attending local shows and taking part in a whole array of different activities these organisations do a fantastic, yet very important job, of educating young people. Whether that be allowing a small child to ‘milk’ a cow, training a young person how to value and judge stock, or engaging with young adults and inspiring them to work within the rural environment. The work that these organisations do is hugely important, and they must be congratulated on continually seeking to educate, in a whole variety of topics, our next generation of both farmers and consumers alike.

Within young farmers itself, we can help provide young people with a huge range of training courses and personal development. However, there is a huge army of parents and past young farmers that help and coach young farmers all the time. Whether that be training young farmers for stock judging, or helping them with speechmaking. Giving them help on how to decorate their cake for handicrafts or how to sew a hem on a skirt, or providing some pointers in how to clip a calf or turn out a lamb for showing. Many of you reading this article will be amongst those people I have just mentioned, and I can’t thank you enough for continuing to support and guide our members.

Young farmers are continually working with others in their local community, whether this be for community events, fundraisers or something completely different. Giving to charity is something that every club does over the year, however last year it was the aim of two of the regional chairpersons to raise money for local charities. Well, I couldn’t quite believe it when we got to the end of the year, but the clubs had raised an astonishing amount - tens of thousands of pounds to be given to local charities. Getting involved with our local community means a huge deal to us, and this highlights just that.

It isn’t just for carrying out good deeds that we get in the paper for. Groups such as our Agri and Rural Affairs committee are gaining more recognition all the time. Recently our Agri and Rural Affairs chairman invited a local MSP to his farm, whilst last year members were invited to Westminster. These are fantastic opportunities for our members, especially when these key influencers are keen to listen to what we young farmers have to say. We are continually raising the profile of SAYFC as well as the farming community in general and as the future of farming, we aren’t afraid to speak out and let others know what we think.