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My YFC - Usk and District Young Farmers Club - pirate ship mishaps, caroling, dancing, and more

In the latest in our series profiling Young Farmers Clubs across the country, Laura Bowyer catches up with the members of Usk YFC.
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Catch up with @uskyfc in this month's My YFC feature @WalesYFC

What happened with a pirate ship in @uskyfc? Read up on this month's My YFC feature and find out.

Club facts

Club facts
  • Name of club: Usk and District Young Farmers Club
  • Number of members: 50
  • Length of time the club has been running: 86 years
  • When do you meet and where: Every Wednesday evenings

Q: What kind of club meetings are your favourite and why?

A: My favourite meeting is our annual Christmas carol singing evening. We always raise money for a charity while we're at it.

 

We visit farms and pubs in and around Usk and, if we are lucky, we get a sausage roll and mulled wine on our way.

 

- Laura Morgan, 22

Q: Is there anything your club does different to other clubs or traditions?

A: We are traditionally a dramatic club and have had many members nominated and winning best actor and actress awards at both Welsh and national events.

 

Angharad Gwillim, 22

Q: What charities are you supporting this year and why? What are you doing to raise money?

A: We are raising money for Cancer Research UK this year as we sadly lost our county president Kath Richardson last year. We had a successful afternoon tea with entertainment in the summer and are hoping to do more activities this year.

 

Monmouthshire has just completed its year as Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s feature county, and we have been keen supporters of this cause. We sold printed t-shirts and members have been involved in selling the county’s official fundraising merchandise.

 

Laura Baker, 25

County Field Day
Dancing team

Q: What are your top fundraising tips?

A: Firstly, you need to enjoy it, involve a wider audience so you are not always drawing on the same people, and we also find it can be useful to involve older generations.

 

Laura Baker, 25

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the club?

A: Our biggest challenge is having so much to do and so little time to do it in.

 

Some of our funding has been cut in recent years, so we are all increasingly having to support ourselves while working together as a county more effectively.

 

Owain Williams, 24

Q: What is your club’s biggest threat?

A: Our biggest challenges come from our neighbouring clubs, Raglan and Wentwood. We are always biting at each other’s heels – particularly at rally time.

 

Chester Williams, 17

Q: What are the funniest moments you have had with your club?

A: We were practising for the entertainments competition and our rats, Batty and Bunce, were testing out the possibility of using a water slide to enter stage.

 

However, they slid too far and landed in in a pile against the door! Fortunately, we abandoned the water slide for the show.

 

Abbie Williams, 22

 

 

A: We were competing in the county Brainstrust competition and the topic of TB control came up. One of our members, Sarah Reed, who is not from a farming background, argued against the badger cull saying the way to control TB was to catch the badgers and wash them.

 

Kat Morgan, 23

Christmas Caroling
Royal Welsh Show

Q: What is your proudest achievement as a club

A: Last year, one of our proudest achievements was our dancing team. Our girls practiced really hard and took lessons in Irish dancing.

 

We were lucky enough to win the Gwent rally and came second at the Royal Welsh Show, just one point off first place.

 

Bec Wills, 25

Q: What do Young Farmers need to do to promote themselves outside the industry?

A: YFCs need to get involved in the local community. If we want people to know about us and what we do, we need to go out and show them.

 

More people need to realise Young Farmers gives you contacts and opportunities in life and it is not all about getting your hands dirty or going to the pub.

 

George Lewis, 23

Q: What are your biggest club mishaps?

A: We made a wooden pirate ship for the field day’s rally sign competition. We built it in a field, and it was so big we could not get it back on the yard as there were trees in the way. So we had to cut them down.

 

Josh Williams-Roberts, 21

Q: What events do you have planned?

A: We are planning a Bavarian night later this year, in a marquee after the wedding of one of our past-members. We are lucky to be offered the use of tents and sheds during the wedding season for fundraising events.

 

We are also going to put on an afternoon tea to thank Jenny Hood, who has been directing our performances for 45 years.

 

Charlie Bowyer, 25

Q: What is your favourite competition and how do you prepare?

A: My favourite competition is stock-judging. I have had some success in it and I like putting my ideas across.

 

I enjoy representing the county at competitions and I have made a lot of friends from all across England and Wales.

 

I go to both club and county training sessions but ultimately, I just go for it, say what I see and aim for two minutes and no more.

 

Nerys Lewis, 18

5 things you never knew about Usk YFC

  • We are the third oldest club in the UK and arguably the oldest club in Wales, having stared as a calf club in the late 1920s
  • Many of our members have held office at both Wales and national events, even having a member hold the position of national vice-chairman
  • This weekend (March 4-5) we will represent Gwent at the Wales YFC Entertainments Feast, Wrexham, in the drama and time to shine competitions
  • Usk YFC members are well travelled. They have ventured over seas on the Wales YFC International Programme to destinations including Montana, Kenya, Finland and more
  • The club represented Gwent in Efficiency with Safety competitions at both Wales and national level, with a string of wins which started in the 1970s.
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