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Keith Young Farmers team's national success

By David Porter

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The Scottish Association of Young Farmers Club’s annual competitions weekend was held from the 23rd to the 25th of February in Dundee, with members travelling from all corners of the country to compete.

The weekend was packed with events, contests, and socialising, all capped off by the announcement of the National Member of the Year 2023/24.

After qualifying through district competitions, the nine finalists travelled to Dundee to complete one last interview in front of an experienced judging panel.

From this, the judges had the unenviable task of picking a top three from a group of some of SAYFC’s most dedicated and committed members, determining this on the contestant’s contributions over the past year, their passion for the association and their overall Young Farmers achievements.

The results were announced at the Member of the Year dance on Saturday evening with the room packed with friends and competitors from the weekend.

And coming out on top, the National Member of the Year 2024 was awarded to Abby Forsyth of Dumfries and Galloway District.

National Member of the Year 2024 Abby Forsyth of Dumfries and Galloway District. Picture: SAYFC
National Member of the Year 2024 Abby Forsyth of Dumfries and Galloway District. Picture: SAYFC

Abby has had a busy year, with her work as vice chair of our National Development and Wellbeing committee, secretary of Stewartry YFC and as a member on both West Regional Committee and our International Travel Committee. Tie that in with winning West Ms Young Farmer and all her other contributions and achievements at all levels of SAYFC and it is easy to see why Abby is a very deserving winner for this year.

She commented: "In all honesty, words can’t even describe how I am feeling right now! It is an absolute honour and a privilege to be crowned National Member of the Year. I would not be the

person I am today without SAYFC, and I am so thankful for the experiences and opportunities I have had. The best organisation ever!’

Congratulations must also go to the competition runners up; in second place- Jordan Barclay of Strathmore JAC and coming third Jack Young of Carluke YFC.

There was plenty more going on over the weekend. The highly prestigious National Senior Speechmaking Competition was held on the Saturday Morning and the competitors put on a fantastic display, with judges and audience alike hanging on their every point and well put position. In her closing crit, judge Sarah Millar (CEO of Quality Meat Scotland) praised the hard work of the competitors: “The months of practice have been really evident; I don’t think the standard has ever been as high as it was today. If this competition is known as the breeding ground for our future leaders, then the future is definitely in good hands.”

At the end of a morning full of respectful debate, joyful laughter and thought-provoking statements the combined scores of each individual competitor were tallied and it was the team from Crossroads Young Farmers Club who claimed the winning trophy. With team member Fiona Cuthbertson picking up the certificate for Best Speaker on the day.

The top prize for speechmaking also includes a trip to Canada to compete in the ‘Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture’ Competition, kindly supported by the International Trust.

There was plenty of other Young Farmers action throughout the weekend.

Whilst the Speechmakers tried to keep cool and collected on stage, the competitors in the ‘Ready Steady Country Cooks Competition’ were turning up the heat in the kitchen, stretching their culinary creativity as they crafted delicious meals from limited ingredients in just one hour.

The competition was so tight and standard so high that the judges took as long savouring and considering each dish as the contestants did making them. In the end it was sisters

Abbie and Lyndsey Dunnet of Halkirk YFC who impressed the most and travelled North with a national to their name and a copy of the “Grab and Cook” cookbook courtesy of competition sponsor Suzanne Mulholland aka “The Batch Lady”.

Brodie, Aimee and Abbie fo Keith YFC who came third in the national competition
Brodie, Aimee and Abbie fo Keith YFC who came third in the national competition

It was fingers on buzzers at National Senior Quiz as Quiz Master and Vice national Chair Ally Brunton tested the knowledge and the speed of our contestants. With the team from Crossroads YFC showing they had the mental edge on their competitors with a confident win which saw Keith YFC placing in a respectable third.


National Member of the Year - 1 Abby Forsyth, Stewartry YFC; 2 Jordan Barclay, Strathmore JAC and 3 Jack Young, Carluke YFC.

National Senior Speechmaking - 1 Crossroads YFC; 2 Aberfeldy & District JAC and 3 Avondale YFC.

Best panel member Outwith Winning Team: Lucy Fleming, Avondale YFC and Anna McDiarmid, Aberfeldy & District JAC.

Best overall speaker: Fiona Cuthbertson, Crossroads YFC.

National Ready Steady Country Cooks - Overall winners: Halkirk YFC.

National Ten Pin Bowling - 1 Crossroads YFC ; 2 Peeblesshire JAC and 3 Carluke YFC.

National 5 A Side Football Tournament - 1Kilmaurs YFC; 2 Lesmahagow YFC and 3 Crossroads YFC.

National Senior Quiz - 1 Crossroads YFC; 2 Carluke YFC and 4 Keith and District YFC (Michael Stronach, Aimee Stronach, Brodie Bain, Abbie McGillivray).

National Mixed Hockey -1 Ayrshire Yellow; Ayrshire Pink and 3 Strathearn JAC.

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