Jan 2017 18


The Northern District of Cumbria YFC held their 35th AGM at the Greenhill Hotel, Wigton with an audience of current members, officials and many young farmers from days gone by in attendance.

Northern District President, Mrs Helen Pickup, chaired the meeting and gave an enthusiastic and heartfelt speech, stating that our individual “footprints count”. She encouraged members to do their best and get involved so that they could get the very best out of their time at Cumbria YFC. 

Helen went on to tell those gathered about the highlights of her year in office. These included the Northern Area Weekend hosted by Cumbria in March 2016 and held at the Richard Rose Morton Academy. The excitement and jubilation at our members winning most of the trophies on offer made the weekend one to remember with pride. Another outstanding achievement in 2016 had been Brampton YFCs exceptional performance of their drama, “The Wrong Fifty”, which left hardly a dry eye in the theatre at Blackpool’s Opera House and went on to win 1st prize in the national drama competition.

After thanking Northern District officials and staff for supporting her in her year in office, Helen brought her speech to a close by telling the young farmers that “YFC is your signpost; to personal development, happiness and progression in life. Always have faith in yourselves…you are the future of rural Cumbria and I can see we are in good hands”.

Following on from Helen’s speech, Robert Carruthers and Matthew Emmott, the respective outgoing and incoming Northern District Chairs gave an over view of the year, praising our young farmers for their success in both district and national competitions. A specific highlight for Robert had been the Northern District Field Day, hosted by Drigg YFC and held at Calder Farm, Seascale by kind permission of the Fenwick family. The sun had shone and an excellent day was had by all.

Robert went onto tell those gathered about the increase in members, with 974 young farmers currently members of the 10 Northern District clubs, an increase of over 12% on the previous year. Robert commented that the future looked very good and he hoped that the upward trend would continue.

As Robert brought his speech to a close, he thanked all those who had helped him during his year in office, including; Helen Pickup (District President) Matthew Emmott (Vice Chair), Laura Potts (Social and Competitions Secretary), Laura Graham (Minutes Secretary) Lindsay Marrs (District Treasurer) and her assistant, Lisa Bowe, Joanne Mills (Chief Officer) and Anne Gargett (County Administrator), and Longtown YFC. The biggest thank you was saved until the last, with Robert thanking the Northern District members for their input and constant support throughout the year. Robert commented that “Being able to represent and support you all has been a real honour”.

District Treasurer, Lindsay Marrs followed on from Robert, reporting that £14,396  had been raised at the Field Day, the main fundraising event of the year, slightly down on last year, but still a good result. Thanks were expressed to Iggesund Paperboard Ltd, the main sponsor of the Field Day, whose support insured that the day was a great success. Finally, Lindsay thanked County Office, Robert Carruthers (District Chairman) and Lisa Bowe for assisting her in her duties over the past year.

The Young Farmers then proposed their new officers for the year as follows: – President Mrs. Amanda Place, Cockermouth. Vice-President, Mr Matthew Burbury,  Ivegill, Chairman, Mr Matthew Emmott, Greysouthen YFC, Vice-Chairman, Miss Laura Graham, Caldbeck YFC, Treasurer, Mrs Lindsay Marrs, Marrs Benson Accountants, Social and Competitions Secretary, Hannah Addison, Skelton YFC, and Minutes Secretary, Miss Emma Blaylock, Longtown YFC.

Incoming District President, Amanda is a physiotherapist and has worked for the NHS for over 30 years. She has been involved with Cumbria YFC for many years, as both her son and daughter have been members and has become increasingly involved, supporting her daughter Hannah in club and district roles.

New District Chair, Matthew has been a member of Greysouthen YFC since the age of 12, He currently runs a 2000 acre farm on the Inglewood Estate in Wythop, lambing 1300 swaledale ewes, whilst still helping out on the family farm.

Trophies presented on the night were: – Becklees Trophy for the Best Winter Competition results –
Caldbeck YFC. The Alan Bowe Trophy for the Young Farmer of The Year was presented to Miss Hannah Place, Greysouthen YFC and the Willie Whiteford Trophy for the Best Club went to Brampton YFC.

President Amanda Place with Chair Matthew Emmott