Lincolnshire member Tom Wells has been named winner of the 2016 senior member of the year.
While thousands were socialising and competing in other competitions, the 26-year-old from Brigg YFC, along with six other members, were being put through their paces to earn the prestigious title.
Hailing from Barnetby le Wold, near Brigg, Tom works on his family’s 162-hectare (400-acre) farm growing spring barley for malting, vine peas for Birdseye and other mixed crops.
Following in his parents’ footsteps he joined his local YFC club in 2006.
Over the course of 10 years he has undertaken numerous roles including programme secretary, club chairman for two years; county vice chair, county rally chairman, agri steering group and CEJA (European representative).
On winning the award, the club leader was clearly overwhelmed and spoke of the tough process in achieving the end result.
“Winning this award has been the most proudest moment of my time with YFC.
“It is just amazing to win but so surreal. I never thought I would win and it’s an unbelievable feeling.”
Outside of YFC, Tom runs his own 70-strong flock of North Country mule ewes alongside his girlfriend, Lizzy, and her parents who have pedigree Herefords and British Blues.
When asked what made the Young Farmers movement so unique, Tom credited both members and staff.
“The members are its strength and the work that goes on day in and day out to make clubs work.
“The staff that organise the members are special as are the clubs raising money for charity that don’t always get recognised.
“What I love most about YFC is the members that I’ve met (literally in the case of my girlfriend), the opportunities unrivalled by anything else, the confidence I’ve gained and most of all the incredible memories, experiences and friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Alice Giles of Devon YFC was named runner up and Harriet Wilson of Staffordshire was in third place.
Being a Senior Member of the Year means: The world to me, it is far more than I ever thought I would achieve. I hope it is an inspiration to all members that they can do the same. It is possible, any member can do it if they work hard and spread the messages of the good work we do
My mood right now is: Ecstatic
One item every YFC member should have: A copy of The Source published by NFYFC it is known as the YFC bible to those that use it and it is full of excellent tips for clubs and members
My friends always make fun of me for: For them apparently not being able to turn the television or radio on without seeing or hearing me talking about farming and Young Farmers
What many people don’t know about me is that: I did a year’s working placement in New Zealand which opened my eyes to new thinking and broadened my mind
The last text message I received was: From my girlfriend Lizzy Coulson congratulating me and saying how proud she was and she wished she could have been here
I never leave the house without: my phone
The last time I laughed out loud: In the AGM as one member made a tongue in cheek comment saying he couldn’t believe a Yorkshireman was proposing to spend more on something as they proposed the levy increase
The person whose opinion matters the most to me is: My very supportive family who inspired me to want to be club chairman and I can’t believe how much further the journey has gone
The last time I felt sick with nerves: Before today’s final it was the night before our pre-rally, which I am organising, and my nerves will now be on our county rally in May.