Young Farmers for me was an escape, a chance to break from the routine, build my experiences and skills, away from what I had always known, away from what I found comfortable.
I joined YF rather late, attending me first Machar’s AGM around 21 and leaving that meeting having been put straight onto the committee. That trend would continue with the countless AGM’s attended, I rarely left one without having “volunteered” for a job. From Club Secretary & Chairman, Regional Treasurer, Secretary and Chair to West Agri affairs rep, I enjoyed every job I took on. Every single one of them daunted me, but equally now fills me with a sense of accomplishment.
I was often told you got out of Young Farmers as much as you put in. As office bearers our focus is often to ensure the longevity of the movement, and the enjoyment of the members around you but it’s as, if not more, important to ensure the opportunities available at SAYFC do not pass you by.
I had the privilege of being able to take part in many of these, from the skills picked up in Speechmaking, to the opportunities for travel and meet like minded people, both within the UK and internationally. Stepping out of my comfort zone is something I still try to do, the first time I was challenged properly was on the SAYFC Cultivating Leaders Course and in my career I continue to seek coaching and mentoring from peers.
Whether you are in a small club like Machar’s where there are plenty of roles for everyone involved, or in a slightly larger club where you are content to be a member, every time you attend a Young Farmers meeting or event, you are making memories that will last a lifetime so grab the opportunities, make the most of your time (30 years of age creeps up very quickly!) and remember – YFC is not just for those who wear wellies, you just need a passion for making new friends who will stay with you for life.