The SAYFC Annual Competitions Weekend was recently held in Dundee from 23 to 25 February. Members travelled from all corners of the country to compete and enjoy a weekend of events, contests, and socialising.

The highlight of every National Competitions Weekend is the final stage of SAYFC National Member of the Year. After qualifying through district competitions, nine finalists travelled to Dundee to complete one last interview in front of an experienced judging panel.

Judges narrow the contestants down to the three remaining finalists determined by the contestant’s contributions throughout the year. Factors included their passion for the association and their overall Young Farmers achievements.

Winning the National Member of the Year 2024 was Abby Forsyth of Dumfries and Galloway District.

Abby showcased her potential in many roles including vice chair of the National Development and Wellbeing committee, secretary of Stewartry YFC, a member of both the West Regional Committee and the International Travel Committee and combined winning West Ms Young Farmer.

Abby commented on her winning: “In all honesty, words can’t even describe how I am feeling right now! It is an absolute honour and a privilege to be crowned National Member of the Year.

“I would not be the person I am today without SAYFC, and I am so thankful for the experiences and opportunities I have had. The best organisation ever!”

Runners up to the competition included Jordan Barclay of Strathmore JAC in second place and coming third Jack Young of Carluke YFC.

The Scottish Farmer: Member of the Year finalists - L to R - Jack Young, Abby Forsyth, Jordan BarclayMember of the Year finalists - L to R - Jack Young, Abby Forsyth, Jordan Barclay (Image: Web)

*The weekend continued to be action packed with events including the National Senior Speechmaking Competition.

Judge Sarah Millar, CEO of Quality Meat Scotland, praised the hard work of the competitors: “I don’t think the standard has ever been as high as it was today. If this competition is known as the breeding ground for our future leaders, then the future is definitely in good hands.”

Winning the title was Crossroads YFC, with team member Fiona Cuthbertson picking up the certificate for Best Speaker on the day.

The Scottish Farmer: Best Overall Speaker - Fiona CuthbertsonBest Overall Speaker - Fiona Cuthbertson (Image: Web)

The top prize for speechmaking includes a trip to Canada to compete in the ‘Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture’ Competition, supported by the International Trust.

But as all four members of the winning team have already had this privilege due to winning two years ago, they have agreed to let this opportunity pass to the runners up from Aberfeldy and District JAC.

*Continuing with the competitions the Ready Steady Country Cooks stretched their culinary creativity as they crafted meals from limited ingredients in just one hour. In the end sister team Abbie and Lyndsey Dunnet of Halkirk YFC impressed the most, travelling North with a national to their name plus a copy of the ‘Grab and Cook’ cookbook courtesy of competition sponsor Suzanne Mulholland ‘The Batch Lady’.

The Scottish Farmer: National Ready Steady Country Cooks winners - Halkirk YFC, Lyndsey and Abbie DunnetNational Ready Steady Country Cooks winners - Halkirk YFC, Lyndsey and Abbie Dunnet (Image: Web)

*Fingers were on buzzers at the National Senior Quiz as quiz master and vice national Chair Ally Brunton tested the knowledge and the speed of our contestants. With the team from Crossroads YFC showing a confident win.

*Elsewhere athletic members battled it out on the pitch, first with Five Aside Football Finals, won once again by Kilmaurs YFC.

*Leading to the final event of the weekend, the National Mixed Hockey competition, which ended in an all-Ayrshire stand-off in the final, going all the way down to a tense Penalty Flick shootout with Ayrshire Yellow taking the title.

National Chair Jane Strawhorn commented on the weekend’s success:

“The weekend was even more jam packed than usual but that didn’t dampen the spirits of our members who came out in force, whether they were competing or just simply there to have a good time! I’d like to congratulate all of our competitors especially our newly crowned Member of the Year, Abby Forsyth and our winning senior speechmaking team from Crossroads as well as all of our other winners. You are all a credit you your clubs, districts, regions and of course, the organisation as a whole.”


National Member of the Year

1, Abby Forsyth, Stewartry YFC

2, Jordan Barclay, Strathmore JAC

3, Jack Young, Carluke YFC

National Senior Speechmaking

1, Crossroads YFC - Scott Anderson, Fiona Cuthbertson, David Smith, Andrew Taylor

2, Aberfeldy & District JAC - Jillian Kennedy, Anna McDiarmid, Nick Hutchon, Chloe Michie

3, Avondale YFC - Annie Bryson, Lucy Fleming, Caroline Hamilton, Ann Fleming

Best Chair Outwith Winning Team - Jillian Kennedy, Aberfeldy & District JAC

Best Panel Member Outwith Winning Team - Lucy Fleming - Avondale YFC, Anna McDiarmid - Aberfeldy & District JAC

Best Overall Speaker - Fiona Cuthbertson, Crossroads YFC

National Ready Steady Country Cooks

Overall winners - Halkirk YFC Lyndsey and Abbie Dunnet

National Ten Pin Bowling

1, Crossroads YFC - Jane Strawhorn, David Smith, Callum Steel, Scott Anderson, Craig Baird, Alex Drummond

2, Peeblesshire JAC - Ryan Brotherstone, Sean Brotherstone, Iain Wallace, Jaz Swinton, Craig Brown, Katie McGregor

3, Carluke YFC - Hazel Parlett, Christina Young, Robbie Gray, Frazer Douglas, Andrew Jackson, Graeme Hall

National Five a Side Football Tournament

1, Kilmaurs YFC - Glen Smith, Andrew Nisbet, Jack Reid, Lee Hill, Ross Torrance, Taylor Holloway

2, Lesmahagow YFC - Stuart Armstrong, Scott Bell, Fraser Russel, James Barr, Daniel Goulding, Dylan Taylor, James Leggate, Robert Armstrong

3, Crossroads YFC - Craig Hodge, Gavin Shearer, Zach Toye, Rory Scott, Craig Baird, Stuart Leitch, David Smith, Scott Anderson

National Senior Quiz

1, Crossroads YFC - Fiona Cuthbertson, David Smith, Callum Steel, Rebecca Newland

2, Carluke YFC - Jack Young, Andrew Jackson, Robbie Gray, Mhairi Hall

3, Keith and District YFC - Michael Stronach, Aimee Stronach, Brodie Bain, Abbie McGillivray

National Mixed Hockey

1, Ayrshire Yellow - Harry Bell, Callum Steel, Jack Reid, Jordan Bell, Andrew Nisbet, Amy Scott, Lucy Nelson, Georgia Brown, Emily Bird

2, Ayrshire Pink - Craig Baird, David Smith, Scott Anderson, Robert Clark, Lyndsay Frew, Antonia Craig, Katie Scott, Glen Smith

3, Strathearn JAC - Emily Dawson, Ewan Aitken, Jack Simpson, Ewan McLaren, Beth Stirling, Emma McGregor, James Sharp, Shula Blues, Angus Harrower, Ailsa Harrower