ONE young farmers group had a 'record-breaking' weekend earlier this month. 

Members from Devon YFC flocked to Newquay from March 1 until 3 to take part in the South West Area Weekend competitions. 

Devon YFC had a very successful weekend, with 102 members progressing through to the national finals later this year. 

From ages 10-28 there are speaking competitions for all age groups, and clubs in the county took the top spot in all four of them.

The Devon YFC junior public speaking team consisted of Ruby McCombe, Daisy Cligg and Lauren Slawson from Culm Valley YFC. They were judged on their speaking ability, as well as their ability to conduct a meeting as a chairman, guest speaker and vote of thanks. 

The team's chairman, Ruby McCombe, said: “I’ve learnt so much doing the Junior Public Speaking Competition, and my confidence has grown hugely. 

“It has been such a valuable experience that has taught me skills I will carry forward for life. I would definitely recommend anyone starting in YFC to give public speaking a go.”

Another competition held during the weekend was Situations Vacant, which involves a mock job interview, as well as providing a CV for a job of their choice. The aim is to improve members communication, planning, presentation and personal development skills.

The winner of the senior competition was Caroline Barr from Ivybridge YFC. 

“Situations Vacant is a fantastic competition equipping young farmers with key life skills and boosting their employability," she added.

“Competing gave me the confidence to apply and secure my dream role for next year! It is a real honour to represent Devon YFC and I'm looking forward to competing at the national finals this summer.”

Honiton and Totnes Young Farmers took the two top spots in the drama competition, with both Haldon and Exe Valley choirs both progressing in the choir competition.

Cruwys Morchard and Cheriton and Tedburn clubs came second and third in the disco dancing competition. 

Dan Grist, Devon YFC chairman, added: “Young Farmers is clearly so much more than just farming! I was so proud to see our members excel in so many competitions during the South West Area weekend.

“The performing arts competitions in particular are the best way to bring rural young people together and showcase true YFC teamwork and talent. Across the county this year we had a total of 15 drama performances produced over the course of the winter. These competitions are the perfect way to bring members out of their comfort zone and try something new, not forgetting the mental health benefits of working together as a team.

“I’d like to thank all the trainers, producers, judges and supporters that make these competitions possible. Bring on the national finals where we will show the rest of England and Wales how it’s done!”