National Committee Chat with Aimee

National Committee Chat with Aimee

We Sat Down with National Finance Chair, Aimee Margrove, to hear about her experiences being on a National Committee

Briefly tell us about yourself.

Originally hailing from Aberdeenshire I am a ‘Turra quine’ now living in Carluke, South Lanarkshire. I am 29 and I am the current National SAYFC Finance Chair. I work as a Business Advisory Assistant Manager for Johnston Carmichael managing a client portfolio of c.120 farming and landed estate businesses across the central belt from Stirling, Lanarkshire to Ayrshire and Argyll.

Tell us about your role as SAYFC Finance Chair and within the National Committees.

I joined the newly formed Finance committee in 2021, and this past year have taken on the role as Finance Chair. Alongside the National and Regional Chair’s and Vice Chair’s we form the Senior Leadership Team. Each committee has its own focus and our remit is to safeguard SAYFC finances. When I took on the position of Chair I was keen to set objectives to work towards and my 2023/24 goals have been as follows:

1. Organise new fundraising Initiatives

2. Increase treasurer support and understanding via training & a survey

3. Review internal budget and forecasting processes

4. Ensure financial stability

As we approach the AGM it is great to reflect on the past year and what we have achieved. In the summer we organised ‘SAYFC Cycling A to B’. Members cycled from Aviemore to Biggar Show to raise funds for SAYFC & RSABI and I was proud that we raised over £6,000 in total. We undertook a Treasurer’s Survey with 70+ responses and ran 2 online sessions ‘Preparing for your Year End’ to assist our treasurers. Further to this we are hoping to launch a Treasurer Training Hub before the end of April. And finally we have continued steady the financial ship, post-Covid. Overall it’s been a busy but productive year for our Finance committee.

What have you gained from being Chair of a National Committee?

Where to start! Being part of the Senior Leadership Team and Chairing the Finance Committee has been a fantastic experience and I would encourage any member to get involved with the National Committees.

It has been brilliant getting to know members from all round the country, the innerworkings of SAYFC and I am extremely grateful for the development opportunities I have received. The current leadership team received invaluable external Board and Leadership Training, and I know I will be able to apply this into future roles outwith young farmers which is brilliant.

What would you say to those considering a role on a National Committee?

With Six National Committees* there really is the opportunity for grassroots members to drive the change they want to see within the organisation and shape what current members on the ground can experience. Being member-led is a key feature of SAYFC, and the National Committee structure epitomises this. I believe in “being the change you want to see’ and I would encourage members to be proactive and don’t be afraid to bring new ideas to the table; whether that be within AOCB at the end of a club meeting or within the National or Regional committees. Enthusiasm, challenge, and diversity of thought is what drives a progressive and successful organisation.

Members from all levels can register their interest now to be considered for election on to the national committees as a Regional Representative. Depending on your skill set and interests there is definitely a national committee that will suit you, should you wish to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. If you want to get involved and be considered on these committees, register your interest by next Friday the 22nd of March.

*Note: There are six national committees consisting of the Agri & Rural Affairs; Finance; International; Development & Wellbeing; Communications and Marketing; and Competitions and Events Committees.

Tell us about your work and life outside of YF

Outwith YF, I am thoroughly enjoying my job as a Rural Assistant Manager within Johnston Carmichael. With a farming background I am pleased that my work now as a CA is connected to the Agri sector.

Day to day tasks can range from reviewing year end accounts, a tax computation and submitting a VAT return to having a client meeting where succession or tax planning is on the agenda. A definite highlight of the job is interacting with clients and getting to know their businesses. My role is not just discussing annual accounts but also future plans and tax planning matters – which is fantastic to hear about, and also great to see what we can do to help with any growth plans.

I also enjoy staying active, and having caught the running bug last year I signed myself up to the Paris Marathon. Training has been tough to say the last, but I shall be raising funds for Cancer Research UK and with less than 4weeks to go there’s no going back now!

What advice would you give to new members

Stepping out of my comfort zone has resulted in some of the best experiences of my life and I really feel this is a mantra for so many young farmers. To any new members; say yes and grab the opportunities with both hands, you won’t regret it!

Tell us about your involvement as a member within SAYFC

At 18 I joined my local club Turriff & District JAC, and like many instantly became consumed by young farmer life – ironic, since I found the concept of joining quite daunting – however the passion of members is infectious, and the competitive and social nature was a perfect fit for me too.

During the past decade I’ve undertaken various office bearer positions; Club and District Treasurer, District and 90th Anniversary Secretary and now National Finance Chair. I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in a wide range of competitions also – competing in the Highland Show Stockmanship programme, Catwalk Couture, Tug of war and Talentspot, to name a few – I’ve given most things ago!

Moving to the West region, I have dual-membership with both Turriff and Carluke clubs. And as I near Young Farmer retirement, this past year I have been keen to tick off a few more items on my YF Bucket List. At the start of the year I participated in Carluke YFC’s Annual Variety Concert and last summer I attended the RYE European Rally in Austria. I have always been keen to partake in both and they didn’t disappoint!

What has been your highlight of your involvement as a member within SAYFC

One of my personal YF highlights was competing in the Senior Speechmaking competition and going on to win the National Senior Speechmaking Competition. I’m a big advocate for speechmaking – and have coached the 3 Carluke YFC Junior Speechmaking Teams this year. Public speaking is a hugely beneficial life skill to learn and being a Junior coach has been very rewarding!