THE Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster Annual General Meeting, generously sponsored by Massey Ferguson, took place on April 22-24 at the Armagh City Hotel, welcoming over 280 members across the weekend.
The weekend’s proceedings commenced on Friday evening with the President’s Dinner, welcoming YFCU members, staff and invited guests Jillian Kennedy and Cara Gilbert, members from the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs (SAYFC), and Luna Orfiamma, representing Macra na Feirme.
A Scavenger Hunt on Saturday kicked off the morning with a little lighthearted fun. Massey Ferguson event sponsors kindly provided goodies for all participants and prizes for the members of the winning team, presented by Samuel Bell of William Bell Tractors, Fivemiletown, and Cecil Troughton of Troughton and Bell, Ponyntzpass.
Following lunch, the final stage of the association’s most eagerly awaited competition, Club of the Year, sponsored by PowerNI, took place. Five clubs were successful in making it through to take part in a quick-fire quiz, including Ballywalter YFC, Castlecaufiled YFC, Collone YFC, Gleno Valley YFC and Randalstown YFC – with Ballywalter winning the quiz round. However, on collation of overall competition results, congratulations and the 2022 Club of the Year title went to Collone YFC.
The AGM was officially opened by Michael Reid, YFCU CEO, followed by an overview of the year from the YFCU President Peter Alexander.
Honorary Treasurer Bob Esler pre-sented the financial report for the year, highlighting how the pandemic had again restricted the organisation’s activities and income, but commended clubs that had
used every tool at their disposal to provide mem-bers with a programme of events despite challenges encountered throughout the year.
In his concluding remarks, Mr Esler encouraged clubs
to be proactive, getting members out and partic-ipating in events when comfortable to do so, now that Covid restrictions had eased. He urged clubs to be supportive of each other and reminded them of the opportunities available for support.
Commenting on the AGM, Gillian Kennedy, SAYFC, noted: “It was fantastic to see so many members in attendance at the YFCU AGM. It was also great to see several candidates competing for vice president roles. Both are a sign of the strength of the YFCU organisation and incredibly reassuring given the challenges faced by everyone this past year.”
During the AGM the Presidential Team for 2022-23 was announced. Peter Alexander (Glarryford YFC) was re-elected as President of the association, with Stuart Mills (Moneymore YFC) also re-elected as Deputy President.
The positions of Vice President went to re-elected members Adam Alexander (Kilrea YFC), Richard Beattie (Finvoy YFC) and Lynne Montgomery (City of Derry YFC), while Shannen Vance (Trillick YFC) was elected to the position for the first time. Hannah Kirkpatrick stepped down as Vice President and was thanked by President Peter Alexander for her significant contribution to the organistation.
Responding to his re-election, Peter said: “I am very grateful and thankful to the members for electing me as President of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster for a second term. I cannot believe that I am starting my second year as President already, but they do say time flies when you’re having fun. I would like to congratulate Stuart, Adam, Richard and Lynne on their re-election to the Presidential Team and extend a warm welcome to Shannen Vance in her first year. I look forward to working with the team and wider membership to support and drive YFCU in the coming 12 months.”
In his first duties as President for 2022-23, Peter presented members and clubs with awards for competitions and successes from the preceding year – a highly anticipated part of the AGM recognising the skill of members, as well as the commitment and work from clubs.
Member of the Year awards, sponsored by United Feeds, were kindly presented by Clarence Calderwood, Sales Manager. He said: “United Feeds are again pleased to support this prestigious competition within the YFCU competition calendar. It is great to see the enthusiasm of the members who were finalists in both the Junior and Senior categories and to hear how they and their clubs have adapted and progressed.
“The competition finalists are reflective of the resilient nature and optimism that has always been to the forefront in YFCU members.”
Lucy Rodgers, Spa YFC, was awarded Junior Member of the Year and Abby Morton, Bleary YFC, awarded Senior Member of the Year.
Emily Fair, PowerNI, attended as competition sponsor to present the Club of the Year Cup, collected on behalf of Collone YFC by Joel Milligan, Club Treasurer. Collone YFC is the first club to be presented with the Ann Cameron Cup named in honour of the organisation’s long-serving former staff member Ann Cameron, who retired in 2019 after 47 years with the organisation.
YFCU President Peter Alexander commented: “I would like to congratulate all members of Collone YFC for winning the Club of the Year Award. Winning Club of the Year is a massive achievement for all members of Collone YFC. A kind thank you to Power NI for their continued sponsorship of the Club of the Year Award. The Ann Cameron Cup is an excellent addition to YFCU and its fitting title for Club of the Year.”
Power NI’s Emily Fair commented: “Con-gratulations to this year’s winning club, Collone YFC, worthy winners of this award. We’re really proud to have supported YFCU, not just for the last number of years as Club of the Year sponsor, but also as a new Platinum Sponsor and Sustainability Partner for the organisation.”
After prize giving, the AGM was drawn to a close. Members then attended a dinner and dance concluding the 2022 AGM & Conference.
Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster would like to again note special thanks to Massey Ferguson for its continued sponsorship of the 2022 YFCU AGM & Conference. Peter Alexander said: “Their support enables us to continue to host one of the most important events in the YFCU’s calendar, facilitating core organisational business and much anticipated social gathering following recent restrictions.”
Final thanks to the Armagh City Hotel for hosting the event and providing excellent facilities.
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