National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

05 September 2018

Keep going and you’ll get there eventually was the advice from the winners of this year’s Young and Senior Stockman of the Year competition, sponsored by Rutland Electric Fencing.

Senior Stockman of the Year Henry Knowles from Grayrigg YFC in Cumbria and Young Stockman of the Year Megan Watkins from Craswall YFC in Herefordshire had both reached the national finals before. 

It was the first time that dairy and sheep farmer Henry had won the title though and he was delighted to be taking it home with him.

Henry, 25, said: “My parents were both members of Grayrigg YFC but they didn’t win this competition so it’s great to bring the trophy back to the farm! I have been entering the competition since I started when I was 10 and I take part in a lot of training with my County too. You just have to keep going, and you’ll get there eventually. It’s amazing to finally win it!”

Cumbria FYFC offers around six stockjudging training events every year with industry experts to help members improve their skills and knowledge. Henry said this has helped top up the daily education he receives working on his family farm. 

“By entering lots of these competitions, you pick up what the judges are looking for from you. They want to know about the quality of the cuts and which are the most profitable,” he added. 

For 19-year-old  Megan, it was the second time she had won the trophy and the fourth time she had made it to the national final. It’s also a family tradition, as Megan’s two sisters have also been winners in the competition.

Megan, who lives on her family farm where they have the Millend flock of pedigree texels and also sell British Blue and Limousin cross heifers with calves at foot, receives a lot of training and support from her father.

“My dad has trained me in all classes of stock, starting when I was very young. I also revised for both the questionnaire and the meat identification tasks,” said Megan about the preparation she put in for the competition.

“It has always been a dream of mine to win this competition and I am absolutely over the moon to have won it twice!”

All competitors had to submit a written project in advance of the weekend and were interviewed on it by the judges. They were also asked to demonstrate animal health and husbandry tasks as set by veterinary surgeons on the day as well as to judge and place beef, dairy and sheep.

The Stockman of the Year competition was held on 1-2 September at Staffordshire Young Farmers’ County Office for the interviews and vet tasks and then at the Wright Family’s Farm for the stockjudging. The competition was sponsored by Rutland Electric Fencing and supported by Shires Vets and ABP.


Designed by Kevyn Williams