We caught up with Robert Kennedy, East Lothian JAC chair in an exclusive interview.

When did you join East Lothian JAC?

I joined in 2018 at age 15.

What opportunities have you found valuable from being a member?

Being a member of East Lothian JAC has given me so many opportunities, including competing in stockjudging at the Highland show, which really improved my public speaking skills as well as my confidence level. The range of different events ran both by East Lothian and by SAYFC have also helped to broaden my knowledge in the industry, leaving me with skills I’ll have for many years to come.

Do you carry out a role linked to agriculture outside of being in the YF?

I’m just about to complete my degree in Agriculture at SRUC Kings Buildings. After this, my plan is to work at home on the family farm. I also sit on the East Lothian Ploughing Association committee as well as the Haddington show committee.

What is the one goal you hope to achieve in the future as a club?

It would be great to see the club compete at even more east and national events and it would also be amazing to see the club win Club of the Year one day.

Which is your favourite event of the year within your club?

This is a tough one to decide, I think one of my favourite events would be the dinner dance. It’s great to see everyone in the club get all dressed up and come together for the night to celebrate the success of the club over the past year. It gives everyone the opportunity for a catch up and a good laugh together.

If your club had a theme song, what would it be?

It’s got to be ‘The Best’ by Tina Turner.

If you could describe the club in three words, what would they be?

Competitive, ambitious, welcoming.

What would be your best piece of advice for anyone wishing to join?

Go for it. Honestly, there’s no point hanging around. Get in touch with your local Young Farmers club, get along to some of their events and in no time, you’ll have made lifelong friends. There are so many opportunities within Young Farmers; it caters for everyone. You’ve really got to get yourself out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to get the most out of your time in Young Farmers.

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

There is huge uncertainty surrounding the future of farming and how consumer trends, world politics, and markets may affect this. However, I would like to hope that young farmers will remain a strong platform for members to develop their skills, for their voices to be heard, and opinions to be recognised.