It's been nearly a whole year on from the first lockdown announcement and the end is within touching distance, great news for Somerset Young Farmers Clubs.

Georgia Manning, Somerset YFC's Marketing & PR Officer, said:"Having adjusted our County operations to facilitate YFC from home, we are proud of how our 23 Somerset clubs have adapted to the change and continued to function over the last year.

"We have had a busy start to the year with a virtual Pancake Day event; a variety of speaking competitions, including Junior Public speaking, Situations Vacant, Junior and Senior Member of the Year. We were very pleased to have entries from all over the county. As always, we are very grateful for our judges and stewards kindly giving up their time.

"Over the next month we have plans to hold a virtual cider tour and tasting kindly organised by County vice-chairman Edward Down & Perry’s Cider."

Throughout lockdown, the Somerset YFC's County chairman, Ben Goulding; management chairman, Tom Pope; and sports chairwoman, Jenny Paull had the opportunity of meeting with MP, Rebecca Pow in February where they discussed many subjects. These included government policies and legislation, Young Farmers throughout the pandemic, educating the youth of today on agriculture and nature and linking farmers to local action groups and the wider community.

Rebecca Pow, MP for Taunton Deane said: “It was a pleasure to meet with the Somerset Young Farmers – a club I was an active member of in my youth. I look forward to working with the Young Farmers’ and helping make the links between the farming community and the wider community to increase understanding of where our food comes from and the importance of developing a sustainable environment for us all.”

As with many not-for-profit organisations, the pandemic has had a knock on effect for Somerset YFC financially. The lack of fundraising events and the drop in membership numbers will hit them hard in the pocket.

Manning added: "We thank those members who have signed up for this year and for supporting us during this difficult time.

"Like the rest of the country we are very much looking forward to the lifting of the restrictions and doing what we do best; promoting a positive image for rural young people, having fun and raising money for good causes."