A NEW county team was elected at a young farmer's club (YFC) meeting last month. 

Devon YFC members took part in their county annual general meeting (AGM) on Friday, November 24, at the Fingle Glen Golf Hotel, near Exeter. 

At the AGM, there was a report from the outgoing county chairman, as well as reports on competitions, sports, socials, travel and the Devon YFC AGRI programme.

The new county team is as follows: 

  • County Chairman: Dan Grist
  • County Vice Chairman: Kayleigh Lovegrove
  • County Junior Vice Chairman: Anneliese Retallick
  • AGRI Chairman: Ben May
  • Vice AGRI Chairman: Chloe Arscott
  • Competitions Chairman: Jordan Winter
  • Vice Competitions Chairman: Hannah Rich
  • Sports & Social Chairman: Robin Bennett
  • Vice Sports & Social Chairman: Phoebe Parker
  • Travel Chairman: Alison Balsdon
  • Vice Travel Chairman: Harry Sprague

New county chairman, Dan, said: "The new county officer team are from all corners of the county and we’re all determined to put on a packed and varied programme for our members.

"From the ski trip in January, to farm walks, new sporting events and what is going to be an epic Devon County Show next May – lots of plans are already in place and I couldn’t be luckier to have such a committed bunch of incoming officers. 

"The National Federation of Young Farmers are also rolling out a new training module on road safety, of which we are encouraging every one of our 37 clubs to get involved with.

"As Chairman, one of my main aims is to showcase and raise the profile of what our 37 clubs are doing at a local level. That’s what young farmers is - it’s the hours spent rehearsing a drama in a cold village hall, it’s the bucket loads of money raised for charity and it’s the brilliant events that they’re all organising throughout the year for their members and the local community - I want to make sure that their hard work gets the recognition it deserves.

"One of the ways we’re doing this is via the new ‘Club of the Month’ in partnership with SW Farmer, so we couldn’t be happier with the support. Thank you!"

Trophies were awarded at the AGM to clubs, individuals and groups for their hard work over the past year. 

Winners included: 

  • John Spear Award for Best Young Farmer: Louise Pearse (Braunton). Louise has been so dedicated to her club, organising many activities for junior members. She has also been the driving force behind a national YFC conversation surrounding support for senior members undertaking roles and tackling the large age range within YFC (10 to 28!)
  • Bowden Shield for outstanding contribution to YFC: Ben Rodd (Witheridge). Ben has been Chairman of Witheridge YFC over the past year and has done a brilliant job at encouraging the club to take part in all aspects of the YFC programme. He even took Witheridge YFC all the way to the National YFC Street Dance national finals, where they were runners up!
  • Veronica Ley Award (Best member under 21) Jessica Kingdom (Cruwys Morchard). Jess is an absolute superstar and has done so much to support her young club. Her club is a Junior Club, of which all the members are under 18. Even though she is only 17 years old, she has already been Club Secretary for three years and encourages many members to get involved with the YFC programme. Jess has herself taken part in public speaking competitions, performing arts, skills for life and this year reached the national finals in cookery!
  • FCN Care & Compassion Award: Thomas Weaver (Anstey)
  • Group with the highest points in sport: Exe Valley YFC
  • Club with highest percentage increase in membership: Chagford YFC (380% increase)
  • Overall increase in club membership: Woolsery YFC (27 members increase)
  • Group with the highest increase in membership: North Devon YFC
  • Club outstanding in Skills for Life: Cruwys Morchard YFC
  • Group raising most money for charity per member: North Devon YFC
  • Community Project Award: Yarcombe & District YFC
  • Champion Stockjudger: Rosie Bennett (Whimple and Broadclyst YFC)
  • Outstanding member in National Competitions: Rosie Bennett (Whimple & Broadclyst)
  • Runner up with most points in National Finals: Lauren Parkhouse (Culm Valley YFC)
  • Bellew Family Speaking Shield for most points in public speaking: Jack Tucker and Georgie Pengelly (East Devon)

Kellogg Shields for most active club within each group:

  • East Devon: Culm Valley YFC
  • Exe Valley: Witheridge YFC
  • Haldon: Newton St Cyres Young Farmers
  • North Devon: Meshaw YFC
  • South Dartmoor: Totnes Young Farmers
  • Tarka: Buckland Brewer Young Farmers