YOUNG Farmers the length and breadth of the country will be counting down the days until the Royal Highland Show, which plays host to a number of National competitions.

Typically seen as one of the highlights of the SAYFC’s calendar, there are a number of goings on in and around the Young Farmers’ centre during the four days, which opens to visitors at 8am on the first three days and 9am on Sunday.

Here, visitors will be able to have a look at the 15 junior and 28 senior arts and crafts boxes – with the themes of ‘80 years of SAYFC’ and ‘Lights, camera, action’, respectively – as well as hand-made kists in the craftmanship section and photography entries. There will also be a number of displays on show to celebrate the organisation as well as the Year of Young People.

In addition, this year will see the introduction of the tractor pool karaoke which will see a number of key industry faces – such as John Fyall, Andrew McCornick, Alan Clarke and our very own Ken Fletcher – sing their hearts out in the tractor, with the organisers opening up the tractor to the public on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 3pm.

As well as the stockmanship programme and tug-of-war finals taking place on Saturday, this year will welcome the final of SAYFC’s newest competition, Young Farmer of the Year, where the six finalists will take part in ATV handling and fencing rounds on Friday before the winner is crowned.

Through to the final are Douglas Frame, Carluke YFC; David Mitchell, of Biggar YFC; Carluke YFC’s Scott Bourman; David Comrie, of Bankfoot JAC; Avondale YFC’s Andrew Neilson; and Robert Campbell, from Crossroads YFC.

But kicking the YF proceedings off in style will be the Friends of Young Farmers reception at 12-noon on Thursday, which is open to everyone, followed by the chairman’s reception in the centre at 6.30pm.

The first of the Scotch Kitchen Country Cook semi-finals will take place on the QMS stand at 12-noon between Brechin JAC and Turriff JAC, with SSS YFC and Bower YFC battling it out at the same time on Friday before the final at 11.30am on Saturday.

Also on the Friday will be the sheep shearing competition in the MacRobert Pavilion, commencing at 2pm, with the final to follow.

As well as a day filled with the stockmanship programme, Saturday also plays host to the hotly anticipated tug-of-war-finals which always draw a large crowd of past and present members as well as general showgoers keen to see what all the noise is about.

Looking to pull their way to the top spot after having qualified at shows in recent weeks ago will be, in the gents’ section, Biggar YFC, Carluke YFC, Callander YFC, Mauchline YFC, New Deer YFC, West Aberdeenshire District YFC, Keith YFC, two teams from Fife and Kinross district, and Strathearn JAC.

In the ladies’ section will be Fife and Kinross district, Strathearn JAC, Brechin JAC, Strathmore JAC, Keith YFC, Clyde and Central district, Avondale YFC, Ayr YFC and Crossroads YFC all looking win that all important trophy.