Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster tug in a crowd at Balmoral

By Rachel Hessin

Young Farmers’ Club of Ulster (YFCU) drew in the masses as they competed among themselves for the bragging rights of best club in competitions at Balmoral Show.

Competitions included sheep shearing, ladies’ football, floral art and machinery handling.

Young farmers shearing results

Philip Buchanan, from Gleno Valley YFC, was awarded first place and the James Gilpin Cup in the novice sheep shearing competition.

First place in the advanced sheep shearing competition and the Lister Hand Piece trophy went to Russell Smyth from Coleraine YFC.

The Quality Prize in Sheep Shearing was awarded to Stephen Morgan from Spa YFC.

Co. Derry won the machinery handling competition. The runner-up was Co. Tyrone.

Ladies’ football and tug of war

While the shearing and machinery handling may have been dominated by young men, member Joyce Allen said that there was “stuff for everybody” – including the ladies’ football final and tug of war competitions.

Lisnamurrican YFC sweeped up in the junior section of the ladies’ football competition – its first team took first place, while its second team managed to come in second.

Lisnamurrican 2 won the junior ‘Respect and Fair Play’ award.

Glarryford YFC won the senior ladies’ football competition. The senior Respect and Fair Play award went to Lisnamurrican YFC 2.

Lisnamurrican YFC also won the novice tug of war competition. Meanwhile, Derg Valley YFC won both the advanced tug of war competition and the ladies’ tug of war competition.

Floral art

Several young farmers also put their creativity to good use in the floral art competition – one entry even incorporated a trombone and a trumpet.

The 12-14 category in the floral art competition was won by Lucy Rodgers. Emma Mills won the 14-16 category.

Diane Stewart won the 16-18 category, with third place going to Connor Woods, the only boy who was placed in the floral art competition.

The 18-21 category was won by Rachel Lamont. The 21-25 category was won by Gemma Dickey, and Sarah Thompson won the 25-30 category.

Visitors to the show could also get involved in the pull of strength competition at the YFC stand on a special pulling machine set up to test upper body and core strength.

‘Growing and getting better’

YFCU communications officer, Linda Surphlis, said the organisation revisits Balmoral every year because it’s a “great place to meet our members.”

She added that it also provides an opportunity for younger boys and girls to “compete at such a prestigious show.”

Joyce said that YFCU is constantly “growing and getting better,” because it offers opportunities to meet new friends whilst learning new skills like flower arranging, public speaking, presentations and demonstrations.

YFCU also offers a range of accredited and non-accredited training courses.

There are currently 52 clubs based across Northern Ireland and over 3,000 members aged between 12 and 30 years of age.