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My YFC: Slaidburn YFC

In our series profiling Young Farmers Clubs across the country, Sarah Carr catches up with Slaidburn YFC.


Slaidburn YFC facts

  • Name: Slaidburn Young Farmers Club
  • Number of registered members: 55
  • Length of time club has been running: 82 years
  • Frequency of meeting: Every Monday evening

What kind of club meeting are your favourite and why?

My favourites are about stockjudging, because it is competitive and a chance for everyone to share their views on animals. Most of all you learn something new about it every time.

Kate Bamford, 17

Is there anything your club does differently to other clubs?

Although the club is in Lancashire, it used to be in the Settle region, Yorkshire. Every year we compete against the old region for the Semple cup which has been a tradition since the county boundaries changed. A club tradition we also have is holding a Young Farmers party in January for all our members, a celebration event we have always done.

Kate Robinson, 20

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

This year we have raised money for the Louise Hartley Memorial Fund, through our annual dinner dance, which we added to the money raised at The Hodder Valley Show. We have chosen this because Louise was close to the club and the fund benefits young people in agriculture. We also held a promise auction, choosing to split proceeds with Macmillan and Woundcare4heroes. Macmillan has helped relatives of our members, as well as Louise, and Woundcare4heroes is a smaller charity, which does a great job caring for veterans.

Mick Handley, 22

What are your top fundraising tips?

Organise an event which can involve a wide audience of people, such as an auction or show. Try to involve as many members as you can. It is also important to publicise the event well.

Mick Handley, 22

Does the club face any challenges or threats?

A challenge to the club is getting people of all ages involved, as without new members the club could not keep going. The biggest threat to the club is as technology evolves, people do not need to leave the house to be ‘social’, so meetings need to be kept interesting, with enough opportunities to keep members interested to keep the club thriving.

Jess Dodd, 25

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

My favourite memories have got to be Slaidburn’s entries in the novelty competitions over the years. We have had the boys dressed up as spice girls performing their song Wannabe; there has been a dance number involving bright pink tutus and wellies; and I got roped into folk dancing around shepherd crooks. They are always a good laugh to take part in and hilarious to watch.

Heather Alpe, 24

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

Social media is a good way to promote the club. Social media means we can reach a wider audience to inform what we are up to and it shows not everything we do is about farming.

Will Towler, 19

What is your proudest achievement as a club?

Winning regional club of the year was a good achievement, and we are proud we manage to keep a good number of junior and senior active members. We are proud of the huge amount of money we raised at the charity auction, as most of the promises were Slaidburn YFC members giving up their time or donating something.

Rob Walker, 22

What events do you have planned?

In summer I have chosen to do the Yorkshire three peaks and a large number of members are joining me. This is for Farming Community Network, which provides help to those with mental illness in farming. We will also be fundraising at our local show by holding games and competitions.

Emma Parker, 19

What is your favourite competition?

I look forward to stockjudging at regional and county stockman of the year. This is because it is usually a good laugh and improves my stockjudging. It also means I get to see friends from other clubs.

Edward Carr, 17

Five facts about our club you may not know:

  • Members of Slaidburn YFC have travelled to lots of different countries including Canada, Jamaica, Spain, Kenya, Australia and New Zealand
  • Our club is one of the oldest in Lancashire, and the club used to be in Yorkshire before the boundary changed in 1974
  • The past year has seen some of our members have success at national level, placing in the top three in stockjudging and cookery
  • Slaidburn YFC has always traditionally had a lambing time break, usually the first two weeks of April
  • Slaidburn has always been involved in the local community, keeping connections with the church, steam rally, show and pub; we also hold joint meetings with other clubs
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