Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs membership increases as it opens new clubs
Demand for a rural youth organisation which offers training and social opportunities to young people interested in agriculture has seen a “tremendous” growth in the last year.
Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs (SAYFC) increased its membership to over 3500 as it opened new clubs, particularly on the west coast.
Laura Fleming, chair of the association in 2014/15, said membership went up 8% in the last year.
Laura (27) of Avondale YFC, said: “The formation of new clubs on the west coast of Scotland including the reformation of North Argyll has shown we are meeting our objective of benefiting more 14 to 30 years olds in areas that do not currently know about Young Farmers.
“The continuous development of our Agri and Rural Affairs Committee and introduction of regional visits and a conference has allowed us to provide more services to those interested in the agricultural sector.
My first objective is to see more young people benefit from our network through improved and increase services to membersScott Wilson
“This combined with additional training opportunities such as our foot trimming courses and health and safety meetings, and a strengthened network of support for office bearers has all contributing to an increase in membership.”
Laura’s term as chair of SAYFC is now over. She is to be replaced by Scott Wilson (27) of Beith YFC.
Scott, a member for 14 years, said he had achieved one of his biggest ambitions by becoming chair.
Looking ahead, he said: “I plan to keep the momentum up and drive SAYFC forward with passion, continuing to grow and develop membership at all levels.
“My first objective is to see more young people benefit from our network through improved and increase services to members.
“Secondly I would like to see us offer additional support and encouragement to the Agri and Rural Affairs committee so that we can increase our voice within the Scottish agricultural sector.”
Scott will be supported by the new national vice chairman Stuart Jamieson (28) of Belhelvie JAC. The regions will be headed up by Ruari Box (23) of Mearns JAC in the North, Jane Orr (27) of Bell Baxter ADS in the East and Sheena Foster (27) of East Kilbride YFC in the West.
Hazel Ritchie will be leading the International Programme for another year and newly elected Sarah Allison (23) of Lanark YFC takes on the role of agri and rural affairs chairman.