ANOTHER YFC year has just finished, albeit virtually, but
Newtownards YFC has kept busy with online competitions and meetings this Spring.
Members have taken part in centrally organised competitions such as photography, silage making and most recently the dairy judging. Club officials were also interviewed and judged online and the club has had some great results.
Andrew Patton came first in County Down in the silage making competition, with both Andrew and Jane Patton winning a place in the dairy judging final taking place this week.
In the top officials judging, Isaac Moore came second in the junior member section and Jane Patton came third in the club leader section for the county. Joy Dalzell came first in her role as treasurer in County Down and then went on to gain second placed treasurer in the NI finals.
On Wednesday, April 14, members had their final meeting for the year online, which was a talk by Lizzie Dyer of Cotswold Kid Meat.
One thing virtual meetings have allowed members to do is avail of meetings like this which they wouldn’t have been able to have in normal times. Lizzie explained to members how she started her business in 2013. She grew up on a 300-acre farm and always had an agricultural interest. She went travelling and visited a number of goat farms in India and wanted to bring what she found home to the UK.
She set up on a 27-acre site and at any one time has around 500 billy kids. She told club members about the life cycle of the kids, which are all outside reared, from when she picks them up from a local goat dairy at a week old and they are grown and finished within a year.
The past year has been challenging for her as her main outlet for the kid meat is to restaurants in London. She has seen a rise in private sales though, and says the challenges of the past year have made the public more aware and respectful of locally produced food and meat.
Members enjoyed the talk and it was definitely something different.
It sure has been a year like no other, but members are now looking forward to events that the summer holds and the club’s new programme, which will st-art in September and hopefully circumstances will allow normal business to resume.