With Young Farmers’ Clubs throughout the Province about to embark on their winter programme, an appeal for new members came last week from one of Ulster’s youngest clubs.
Lindsay Farries, public relations officer of Belfast YFC, told FarmWeek: “Because we are based in Belfast, our club, probably more than any other, finds it increasingly difficult to attract new faces. We constantly lose good members and are always on the look-out for more, especially at this time of year.”
She pointed out that it was not necessary to have a farming background to become a member of the club. “Our members come from all over Northern Ireland, and from the rest of the United Kingdom – and an increasing number have no farming connections whatsoever.”
The Belfast club was formed two years ago and has an average membership of 35, most of whom have participated in almost all competitions organised by Central Executive Office with a reasonable degree of success.
Meetings are held twice a month from September to June – one a month in July and August – and activities include stockjudging, factory and farm visits, quizzes and debates. Members plan their own programme and are afforded every opportunity of expressing their views on all club matters.
The present club committee comprises: President JM Ingram; club leader James McKeown; secretary Isobel Simpson; assistant club leader Jack Collins; treasurer Stewart Vaughan; assistant treasurer Colin Black; assistant secretary Valerie Stewart; press officer Lindsay Farries; project leader Oriel Campbell; council representative Barry Fitzsimmons; committee members Eileen Montgomery, Sam Patton and Roy McClenaghan.
The first date on the club’s winter programme is a social in the Ulster Farmers’ Union headquarters, Donegall Square East, and prospective new members are invited to attend.