The Scottish Association of Young Farmers' Clubs (SAYFC) National Board met to officially welcome Lucy Mitchell of West Fife JAC as it's new Chairperson.

Lucy has been firmly handed the reins from last year's chair, Katie Burns of Kilmaurs YFC who stepped down at the recent AGM following a fruitful year at the top despite the challenges brought by frequent restriction changes.

“I’m extremely proud of what the members of this organisation have achieved! The last few years have tested us all in many ways, however, the resilience and ability our members have shown in order to adapt as clubs, districts, regions and as an organisation has been inspiring,” Katie commented.

Commenting on her new position, Lucy stated: “I am delighted to have been elected as SAYFC’s National Chair. I am very much looking forward to meeting the members and working with the national and regional teams to lead them through what is going to be an interesting year. I am honoured be leading a team of wonderful people and representing a brilliant organisation loved by many.

“Everyone knows that the difficulties Covid-19 presented will take years to overcome but we have hopefully come through the pandemic and this year SAYFC board is ready to kick off with a bang. We are going to focus on fun, achievement, working together and leaving a strong legacy for those who take on roles in the next few years,” she added.

Alongside Lucy, Jane Strawhorn of Crossroads YFC has been appointed as the new National Vice Chair and like her new Chair, she is enthusiastic about the year ahead.

“I am excited to get stuck into what is hopefully another year closer to being back to normal. From Shetland to Stranraer, all of the members have done a valiant job over the past few years navigating the challenges of Covid-19 and are a credit to themselves and to SAYFC. I am looking forward to supporting them and Lucy throughout what is sure to be another successful year for the organisation.”

The association once again elected Bill Arnot – a former Bell Baxter ADS member and past National SAYFC Chairman – as the 2022-23 SAYFC President for the year ahead. Joining Bill for a second year on the top team is his Vice President, Alex Allison, former Lanark YFC member, Lanarkshire District Chairman and of course, a past National SAYFC Chairman.

Last year SAYFC restructured by replacing the former ‘Board of Management’ with the Board of Trustees, where what was known as the National Council was replaced by six committees. This has been a great success with the new National Committees taking on their responsibilities readily and running with them; creating new initiatives, launching new events, implementing new farm safety and mental health training, and contributing greatly to how the association provides for and communicates with members.

SAYFC are delighted with the results of the first year of this new structure and are excited to see what they can achieve in the coming months.

“Our regional and national committees have their aims set and are eager to start developing them. As a result of the aims we will see stronger clubs, new events, new technology and ways of communication as well as more fun, training, travel, networking and examples of incredible young people doing incredible things,” stated Lucy.

Over the past month, all of the national committees held AGMs to elect their new office bearers and the results were as follows;

  • Agri and Rural Affairs – Chair, Amy-Jo Reid, Udny JAC; Vice Chair, John McCulloch, Stewartry YFC.
  • Communications and Marketing – Chair, Hamish Logan, East Lothian JAC; Vice Chair, Laura McCulloch, Stranraer and Rhins YFC
  • Competitions and Events – Chair, Stephen Taylor, SSS YFC.
  • Development and Wellbeing – Chair, Annabel Brown, Bell Baxter ADS; Vice Chair, Skye Watson, Biggar YFC.
  • Finance and Risk – Chair, Peter Duthie, Garioch JAC; Vice Chair, Aimee Margrove, Turrif JAC.
  • International Travel – Chair, Lucy McClymont, Lower Nithsdale YFC; Vice Chair, Linsey Campbell, West Renfrewshire YFC.