National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

22 September 2017

Practice and preparation are key to winning the Stockman of the Year national title say this year’s winners.

Junior Stockman of the Year Jessica Odgers from Lancashire FYFC and Senior Stockman of the Year Rhydian Bevan from Pembrokeshire FYFC were both thrilled to be victorious in the final. The competition is sponsored by Rutland Electric Fencing and is a hard-fought contest by our finalists. 

Jessica, from Lancashire FYFC, missed out on her County title this year after two wins on the trot – but has more than made up for that with the national victory

“A lot of it is down to practice and knowing your breeds,” she explained. “There are a lot of people who are exceptional at one breed, but the key is to be a good all-rounder.”

As well as practice, preparation is also important. “For example, you need to stay up to date on current affairs 

for the animal health questionnaire and you need good general farm knowledge. And if you can find out what breeds you are judging beforehand, it’s a good idea to take a look at the breed standards so you know what the judge is looking for.”

And, if things don’t go as well as hoped, Jessica advises to use that experience too. “It takes time to learn how to do it so make sure you ask judges for feedback so you know where you need to improve.”

Jessica would encourage any young farmer to get involved in stock judging. “Don’t be afraid to give it a go – get involved at your Club and go ahead and enter competitions,” she said.

For Rhydian, he was delighted to add National 

Stockman of the Year title to his portfolio.

“I’ve won Pembrokeshire three times, so this is fantastic to get the National one,” said Rhydian who had to keep practising to keep his eye in as there was a long gap between the Pembrokeshire event in April and the national one in September.

"I’ve done some practices on a few different rings and made sure that I’ve been able to do the write-ups within the time allowed. The key is to make the practice as much like the competition as you can.”

Rhydian’s advice to anyone looking to improve their own stockjudging skills is to see as much stock as you can and to get help and advice from club leaders.

“You also need to think about your vocabulary,” he said. “They’re always looking for comparisons so think about how you compare the animals. It takes a bit of time to learn some of the terms and use them in your writing.”

See more information about the 2017-18 Stockman of the Year competition.  and Young Stockman of the Year competition. 


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