YOUNG farmers from Dorset took part in two national competitions last month. 

Alexandra Cartwright from Puddletown YFC took part in the Young Stockman Competition on Sunday, September 3. She came second place in the junior section as well as joint first in the meat identification section.

After Puddletown YFC needed one more person to take part in the county competition, Alexandra decided to join the group and make up the numbers - not realising she would get to the south west area round, and then the nationals. 

"I couldn’t believe it at first, it was my first time competing in this YFC competition and to qualify for nationals was quite surreal," she said. 

"I was delighted; the support I received from my fellow Puddletown members was amazing.

"I was rather apprehensive and very nervous as I was sure everybody would have been much more experienced than me. However, I knew that I had put a lot of work in as I visited even more people to learn about the techniques as well as learn about the cuts of meat, so I just needed to put what I had learnt into practice.

"I also had to quickly learn how to judge pigs which was something we hadn’t done at the county or south west area level so that was rather daunting! Once I got into the swing of things, I just went with my gut feeling on everything and gave reasons that I believed to be solid.

"I had said to myself I would be super chuffed if I could come within the top 10. Therefore, I am sure you can imagine my surprise when I came second overall (and only three points behind the person in first place) at National Level! And then to realise I had come joint first in the Meat Identification too; well, I was flabbergasted to be quite honest."

Other Dorset young farmers reached a national competition too - but this time it was the NFYFC’s national cookery finals. Joanna, Keeley and Natasha all from Marshwood Vale YFC competed against 31 teams and came ninth overall, with a display entitled 'A Day at the Races'. 

South West Farmer: Joanna,  Keeley and Natasha all from Marshwood Vale YFC at the National Cookery Finals.

The team had to cook a four course meal for two on two camping stoves.

They cooked quails scotch eggs, beer battered fish goujons, fillet steak and lemon posset. 

South West Farmer: Entry at the National Cookery Finals.

Joanna added: "When they say are you taking everything but the kitchen sink it wasn’t an exaggeration!

"But it was a great experience and lovely to see other counties interpretations of the theme."

To keep up to date with Dorset YFC visit their Facebook page.