Aberfeldy YFC secretary Anna McDiarmid highlights the benefits of being a young farmer

How long have you been a member of YF?

I went to my first meeting when I was 14, so seven years.

What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a young farmer today?

Specific to Aberfeldy, being in such a rural location and covering a large area, it can be difficult to get juniors to club events when they can’t drive. We try to co-ordinate lifts, so there’s not too much running about for parents who are busy!

What opportunities for learning or networking have you found most valuable within young farmers?

Being a part of the Development and Wellbeing Committee over the last three years has given me a valuable insight to current SAYFC policies, which now benefits me in my role as club secretary. I have learned a lot from the people I have met through this and couldn’t recommend joining one of the six national committees enough!

What do you envisage for the future of farming, particularly with young farmers like yourself?

I’d love to see more juniors getting involved with all aspects of Young Farmers – it’s well-known that the average age for a farmer is 59, and it would be good to reduce that by encouraging more young people to get involved. SAYFC are brilliant at providing opportunities, including the cultivating leaders programme and agri conference, so it would be great to see members benefitting from these experiences.

In what way do you see young farmer groups contributing to your local community or agriculture as a whole?

Young farmers have good opportunities to promote themselves. Within our club we do an annual dung sale, sheep dog trials, attend local shows, and donate money to local charities. Hopefully this will encourage everyone to see the broad range of activities that young farmers can be involved in – it’s not just for those who wear wellies!

If you had to survive on an island with three others from your club, who would they be?

I’ve grown a close bond with those I have done speech making with, including Chloe Michie who has shown me the ropes as secretary. Jillian Kennedy who is a good friend and helped get me involved in YF, plus Nick Hutchon as he is practical – I think he would be the one to get us all off the island!

What advice would you give to other young individuals interested in pursuing a career in farming?

Young Farmers is the best way to get involved! Whether you’re from a farm or not, you get to learn about businesses within your area and meet like minded people. It is the best way to kickstart any career in the industry.