The 2023/24 year marks 80 years of Biggar & District Young Farmers Club. The club has grown in strength since it began in 1943, reaching 111 active members this year and taking part in a huge number of competitions and events throughout the year from charity fundraisers, stock judging, beef cattle dressing, sports, speechmaking, handicrafts, curling, and club exchanges.

A couple of the most notable events throughout the year have involved raising money for chosen charities selected by members during their AGM. This year The Scottish Ambulance Service – air ambulance department were one of two chosen, who have directly helped a number of the club’s members past and present in times of need. The other chosen charity was BRAKE, a road safety charity which was chosen in honour of Beth Damer, a member who sadly lost her life during an RTA in 2022, the charity helped to support the Damer family during the extremely difficult time.

The Scottish Farmer: Left to Right: Laura Wight and Kim LairdLeft to Right: Laura Wight and Kim Laird

To raise money for the chosen charities two events were carried out including three current club members Laura Wight, Finlay Barr & Abbie Baillie deciding to carry out a skydive, alongside past member Kevin Robinson. The skydive took place at Skydive St. Andrews during July 2023. Participant and club chair Laura Wight commented on the experience: “It is pretty scary, the free fall part at the start is definitely the worst bit. Once the parachute is open you can actually enjoy it. The 4 of us all really enjoyed it and would do it again.”

The Scottish Farmer: Skydivers - Left to Right: Abbie Baillie, Laura Wight, Kevin Robinson and Finlay BarrSkydivers - Left to Right: Abbie Baillie, Laura Wight, Kevin Robinson and Finlay Barr

Additionally, during August a totally of 66 club members teamed together to venture 974 metres to the peak of Munro named Ben Lomond. Club members expressed: “It was a fantastic day; everyone completed the climb in just four hours. We had a meal afterwards and it was a great way to catch up with past members and raise funds for two amazing charities.”

Through these events the club has raised an impressive £8380 which was split equally between the two charities.

The Scottish Farmer: Float at Biggar Gala dayFloat at Biggar Gala day (Image: web)

During the last year Biggar YF continued to provide a range of events, many of which were opened to past and future members, and all were extremely well attended. One event which received great support was the annual burns supper where 160 guests attended The Tinto Hotel on the outskirts of Biggar.

The night started with a number of speeches from guest speakers followed by a night of ceilidh dancing. The club’s points trophies were also presented on the night. Points are awarded for attending and successfully competing in the most events throughout the year. The senior trophy was awarded to club secretary Laura Wight and junior trophy went to Hollie Hodge

The Scottish Farmer: Club day out at Musselburgh RacesClub day out at Musselburgh Races (Image: web)

Another popular event in Biggar YF calendar is the annual variety concert, this year entitled ‘Tup time tales and chimney trails’. It saw 50 members take to the stage at the famous Coulter Hall in Biggar, where Biggar YF have been preforming on stage for as long as anyone can remember!

The Scottish Farmer: Club committee attending the annual burns dinner danceClub committee attending the annual burns dinner dance (Image: web)

Members preformed for five nights in front of three sold out audiences including friends, family and even some familiar faces from This Farming Life. The concert contained a variety of acts ranging from sketches, choirs to whole cast scenes. All 50 members took part in acting, singing, and dancing to follow storylines which this year were: a chimney sweep who was thinking of giving it all up and a day at Kelso tup sales.

The Scottish Farmer: Club members at a netball and football tournamentClub members at a netball and football tournament (Image: web)

Following on from the concert, members are set to attend the Lanarkshire talent spot which this year is taking place at the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline on March 23, tickets are still available here

The Scottish Farmer: 66 club members attended the charity climb of Ben Lomond66 club members attended the charity climb of Ben Lomond (Image: web)

Looking forward Biggar Young Farmers are anticipating another busy and successful year. With their main aim to have a busy syllabus once again ensuring there is something for everyone whilst getting as many members along to events as possible.