YOUNG farmers from all over were recognised at an annual awards ceremony on Friday, November 3. 

Rural young people headed to the NFYFC's annual YFC Achiever Awards, at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham last week. 

There are eight categories in total at the awards - and four winners were from the South West. 

Tom Retallick from Cornwall was awarded the Heart of the YFC award, which is chosen by the YFC community through a public vote. 

South West Farmer: Tom Retallick.

"I feel very proud and privileged to have been awarded the Heart of YFC Award," he said.

"Being voted for by the members makes it extra special and shows their appreciation for all the tireless work that is done. 

“I truly love every aspect of YFC, and I look forward to continuing to promote our federation and the opportunities that it has to offer.” 

Tom Retallick, 26, a self-employed stockman from Newquay, has just completed a year as the County Chair for the Cornwall Federation. The judges were impressed with how much Tom has been an advocate for YFC, since he joined the organisation 12 years ago.

Entrepreneur of the Year was awarded to Jack Tucker from Devon. Jack said it was a 'great pleasure' to win the award. 

South West Farmer: Jack Tucker with NFYFC President Nigel Owens and judge Ant Thomas

"There have been many long days and countless hours in the dark to get where I am today, and this award feels so special that someone has recognised me for this," he said. 

"I can’t thank my family and friends enough  for always giving support and would really like to thank the judges and the sponsors for the award too. Thank you." 

Jack founded a calf trading business which he has grown within just three years.

Andrew Body, from Cornwall, won the YFC Supporter of the Year award, and said he was 'truly honoured and astonished' that he was chosen. 

South West Farmer: Andrew Body with NFYFC President Nigel Owens and NFYFC Chief Officer James Eckley.

"The lovely glass award will always be treasured and I thank all those involved and congratulate all of the other nominees," Andrew said.

"I am only one of hundreds of people who have enjoyed their time as YFC members and have been delighted to give help and advice to those following on in their clubs and counties after them.

"May the YFC movement continue from strength to strength for evermore.”

Andrew has been a member, volunteer and support for Cornwall YFC for more than 40 years. 

And lastly, the Aspiring Rural Leader award was won by Katie Grist from Devon. She is part of the Haldon Group of Young Farmer's Clubs and has been described as an 'exemplary leader'. 

Judges included TV presenter and farmer Gareth Wyn Jones, farmer and star of Born Mucky Ally Hunter Blair and hoof trimmer and founder of the popular @Keepingcowsmoovin social media profile Ant Thomas.  

NFYFC’s President Nigel Owens MBE was among the judging panel who helped to shortlist the five nominees for the Heart of YFC Award. 

“Young Farmers’ Clubs across England and Wales provide excellent opportunities for rural young people and it’s clear to see that our winners have grabbed those opportunities with both hands," he said.

“They are using the skills and connections made in YFC to forge exciting businesses, to support their rural communities, to run efficient clubs and counties, and to mentor others to be their best. I feel very fortunate to have experienced YFC as a member of Llanarthne YFC in Wales, which also gave me skills and confidence that I have used throughout my life.”

The awards were sponsored by Kärcher UK. 

"Farming in the UK, and with it, Young Farmers' Clubs, face challenging times ahead," added group managing director of Kärcher UK Simon Keeping.

"Climate change, the impact of technology and new international trade deals all create opportunities but in turn put additional pressures on UK agriculture. 

"At Kärcher we describe ourselves as 'Custodians of the brand' – it guides us in how we act and develop the business. Young Farmers are also custodians – custodians of the land, or more precisely the 69% of this country's land mass that is in agricultural production. 

"It's a privilege for Kärcher to help celebrate success with YFC and to encourage young farmers to embrace their mantle of Custodians of the land."  

Nominations for the YFC Achiever Awards 2024 will be open to YFC members and supporters again next year.