Providing the essential toolkit for employment!

Providing the essential toolkit for employment!

For someone who works within the IT industry, I’m certainly not the usual candidate for saying my piece in the Scottish Farmer, but here goes! From growing up on a dairy farm, joining young farmers felt like the natural next step in life as I entered my teens and I have never looked back. I joined East Kilbride Young Farmers at the young age of 14 and I certainly didn’t think I would still be in the thick of it at the age of 25. However, as I make my way through my year as West Regional Chairperson it goes without saying, I have had a deeper insight into SAYFC than I have done in the past 11 years I have been involved as a member within the association.

Having a career out with agriculture I am often faced with the question from colleagues and friends, “what actually is young farmers?” This is something I take great pride in and sometimes even great time in explaining. I feel that individuals with limited knowledge of the association automatically jump to the negatives which results in a poor reputation of SAYFC. “Drunken farmers jumping around in a tent wearing boots and checked shirts” What a stereotype we hold.

In the role of chair, each year we have to set ourselves regional aims of what we would like to achieve throughout the year. One of my aims was based around improving the reputation by pushing comms within the region. Each district is currently battling against each other to see who can get themselves out there to the wider audience and boast about the good work their clubs are doing for the community. I simply do not think this is done enough and if it was, perhaps the general public would change their perception of SAYFC. The other evening I was at an Ayrshire district meeting and between two different events the district have donated over £12,000 to their chosen charities. What an astonishing sum of money going to a great cause!

Besides the community work, SAYFC adds so much value to our members through various different ways. Over the years, going for various different job interviews without a doubt every employer pry’s into Young Farmers on my C.V. I always lay it on thick on everything I have been involved with and what I have achieved being part of the association which they highly commend! Simple skills like public speaking, volunteering, having responsibility, chairing meetings, teamwork and many more are the perfect advert for a hardworking and determined candidate for any job. These are life skills our members are obliviously gaining. Likewise, being involved at club level I’ve taken notice of many new members flourishing from shy young teens to confident sociable people which again, is a gift in itself. Being a member of the association also provides a huge social network which will grant you friends for life, contacts that will help develop your career and more often than not, will find you love!

SAYFC is a great example of, the more you put in the more you will get out. Getting pushed out your comfort zone and trying new things is a key factor to success. There is no denying that with the good comes the bad. There are various different aspects that are still needing worked on in SAYFC however I am a great believer that positivity, hard work and building a better reputation will shape the organisation more and prepare it for a great future.