Some 10 years ago when I joined West Fife YFC, I never imagined that I would end up as SAYFC’s National Chair and it is quite a humbling position to be in. I started off as club secretary and progressed through the ranks to become East Regional Chair and last month, I was delighted to be elected as the National Chair.

I have benefited so much from SAYFC through making the most of the travel programme, grasping training opportunities, being pushed out my comfort zone, making lifelong friends and so much more. My passion for Young Farmers and ensuring our members make the most of their time at SAYFC has motivated me to take on the National Chair position. Currently, I work as an Events Manager for the James Hutton Institute and I am very fortunate to have their support in taking on this role.

Covid-19 took away the normal, as well as opportunities to integrate for new members, but Young Farmers rose to the challenge and discovered new ways to function. Their drive shone through and they were brilliant at revamping their offering to allow for online and socially distanced events to take place.

Another challenge that Covid-19 posed was keeping the financial side of the organisation going when the key income generation was harmed. The Ingliston Trust has been instrumental in supporting us through this period, along with a host of others including sponsors and past members – a list too long to mention but you know who you are. We are indebted to your support during these challenging times.

We have hopefully come through the other end of the pandemic and this year, SAYFC is ready to start off with a bang. In order to really drive the organisation forward, the board of trustees have worked together to set aims for our three regional and six national committees and they are eager to start progressing with them.

The aims we have set focus around ensuring our members are having fun and the best possible young farmer experience – achieving, working together and leaving a strong legacy for those who take on roles in the next few years. Some examples of the aims are to revitalise our current offering to ensure it is relevant, become a more inclusive organisation, introduce a culture of longer-term strategic planning and goal setting, developing further income streams and introducing more opportunities for our younger and older members.

This focus will result in stronger clubs, new events, new technology and ways of communicating with our members as well as more training, travel, networking and examples of incredible young people doing incredible things.

It’s amazing what our members can achieve whilst holding down jobs or going to college or university, and my advice to them all is don’t hold back – make the most of your time at SAYFC and grasp every opportunity.

I am very much looking forward to representing the organisation and I am honoured to be leading a team of wonderful people for a brilliant organisation loved by so many.

Lucy Mitchell – SAYFC National Chair