Aberfeldy and District JAC, established in 1944, is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, serving a vast area from Kinloch Rannoch to Pitlochry and near Killin.

Despite its small size, with only 25 members, the club is active throughout the year, organising events like the annual sheepdog trials, now in its 60th year, and a well-supported shearing competition each July featuring open, locals, and YF sections.

The Scottish Farmer: Perthshire cabaret castPerthshire cabaret cast

Anna McDiarmid, the newly elected club secretary, fondly remembers her late great uncle winning the inaugural local competition. The club also excels in speech-making competitions, recently securing second place in the National Finals with a team featuring Jillian Kennedy, Nick Hutchon, Chloe Michie, and Anna McDiarmid. Notably, Jillian and Anna received awards for best chair and joint best panelist, respectively.

Former members Stewart Kennedy and Finlay McIntyre have been instrumental in coaching the team, using their extensive experience. This November, the team will travel to Canada to compete in the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture at Toronto's Royal Winter Fair.

The Scottish Farmer: Sheep dog training L to R: Hayley Ryan 3, Wills Fotheringham 2, Nathan Boyne 1, Judge Ian BrownlieSheep dog training L to R: Hayley Ryan 3, Wills Fotheringham 2, Nathan Boyne 1, Judge Ian Brownlie

A recent addition to the club's activities is the annual dung sale, which has raised thousands for charity post-covid. Advertised through local social media, the sale offers various quantities of dung, generously donated by past members, to local gardeners.

The Scottish Farmer: Members at gun dog trainingMembers at gun dog training

The club's achievements include winning the SAYFC Five Stars Development – Education and Training award for their Gun Dog training night, a popular event led by local trainer Charlotte Smith.

Rivalry among Perthshire district clubs is friendly yet competitive. Aberfeldy was proud to be named ‘Club of the Year’ within the district, and after winning the East eliminations, it now advances to the National Club of the Year finals at the Royal Highland Show.

The Scottish Farmer: SAYFC five star awards, winning the Development - Education and Training awardSAYFC five star awards, winning the Development - Education and Training award

Despite this friendly rivalry, the district four clubs including Bankfoot, Strathearn, Banks of Tay and Aberfeldy Young Farmers come together to put on a bi-annual pantomime which is shown in December at Birnam Arts Centre, with this year’s performance being Dick Whittington.

This year’s cast saw five members from Aberfeldy raise £1500 for two chosen charities, British Heart Foundation and Parkinson’s UK. The Perthshire team also competes in the East Region Cabaret competition which sees teams performing a 10-minute sketch to an audience in Perth Concert Hall which has always had a strong Aberfeldy contingent.

The Scottish Farmer: Shearing competition L to R: Steven Mckillop and Duncan McDiarmidShearing competition L to R: Steven Mckillop and Duncan McDiarmid

Visit Aberfeldy and District JAC facebook page for more updates.

New members are always welcome, and those aged between 14-30 can follow Aberfeldy and District JAC on their Facebook page for details of all upcoming meetings and events - https://www.facebook.com/groups/10150147194320471/