A YOUNG farmer's choir perfomed at two exciting events earlier this year.  

The Devon Federation of Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) newly formed county choir recently performed for the Archbishop of Canterbury at Holsworthy Market, as well as at the ‘An Audience with Kaleb Cooper’ event at Exeter Racecourse.

Dan Grist, the county chairman of Devon YFC, wanted to bring young farmers from all over the county together to create a Devon Young Farmer County Choir. They have 36 young farmers in the choir made up of members from all over the county, from Kingsbridge in the South to Braunton in the North.

Dan said: “The choir epitomises what Devon YFC is all about – bringing rural young people together, socialising, whilst also learning new skills and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

"I’ve gained so much from taking part in the young farmers performing arts programme in the past, so I wanted to create something that would bring young farmers together from all over the county.

"We were given the push we needed to create the choir when we were invited to sing at a Harvest Service at Holsworthy Market, which featured the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was a surreal feeling seeing the choir sing in the middle of the dairy ring at Holsworthy Market, with a packed crowd.”

The choir received lots of great feedback following their debut performance on November 10, which included praise from the Archbishop himself.

In a letter to the choir following the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote: “As you know there is something about a large group of people raising their voices together in voices in song which does us all good. What a great thing you have done in a short time – to be able to sing like that was brilliant.

"I encourage you to keep opening space for younger members of your communities to find a voice, and together to offer to the wider community gifts of joy, hope and moments to join in with which lift our heads and hearts.”

Following the success of their first performance the choir was subsequently invited to participate in ‘An Audience with Kaleb Cooper’ an event organised by Crediton Milling on Wednesday, December 13.

The evening raised funds for the Kaleb Cooper Bursary. The bursary, at the Royal Agricultural University, provides £3,000 to a successful applicant who wants to pursue a career in agriculture. There are two bursaries available.

The evening involved a Q&A with Kaleb, as well as the choir getting into the festive spirit with some Christmas songs.

Dan added: “This was another surreal experience for the choir, but it was a great opportunity to come together again and sing for more people within the farming community.

"From the Archbishop of Canterbury to Kaleb Cooper, we’ve certainly had an interesting first couple of performances and I can’t wait to see where the choir takes us. We’re hoping to see the choir grow and we’re encouraging more Devon Young Farmers to get involved – watch this space!”