National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

26 November 2019

After nearly 60 years, members of the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs finally brought home the John Spear trophy after a joint win with Herefordshire at the national finals of stockjudging at the English Winter Fair, sponsored by Rutland Electric Fencing.

It was 1961 when YFC members from Yorkshire last won the overall trophy for the most points earned in both lamb and beef live and carcase stockjudging. This year, they claimed their victory alongside Herefordshire FYFC who scored the same amount of points.

Two brothers Charlie and Jacob from Farnley Estate YFC were delighted to be in the winning Yorkshire team with Jack Henshaw and Christine Lofthouse-Pratt.

“The reaction from the County was amazing because we haven’t won it for such a long time,” said Charlie, 12, who hasn’t done any formal training but picked up tips from his dad on the family farm and from going to auctions with his Grandad. “It was good as my brother was in the same team. My dad was impressed – he won a beef trophy when he was in YFC.”

Charlie, who has been in the national finals once before, encouraged other younger members to have a go at the competition too.   

“Don’t be scared – just give it a go. It was brilliant being at the national final. I met lots of members from other counties too and have made some new friends I’ll keep in touch with.”

Competition judges said the standard this year was impressive but reminded everyone to consult AHDB books and video guides prior to the competition.

Ed Albutt, judge of the lamb stockjudging, said: There was a lot of competent young farmers there and they represented themselves really well.

“The best competitors went through each carcase from the most expensive end to the cheap end. They talked for about 20 seconds and mentioned each point on each carcase. They didn’t just talk about the first two and forget the last two.

“My advice would be to look at the AHDB stockjudging books and videos as that will give YFC members the terminology and the extra points to look at on the carcase and ultimately improve their reasons,” added Ed.

Gareth Lewis from Dunbia judged the beef categories and was also impressed with the standard of competitors. He said: “A very talented bunch with great potential and a good understanding of the needs and requirements for the future of the agricultural industry.”

The national competition, which is sponsored by Rutland Electric Fencing, is also supported by AHDB and hosted by the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society. Carcases were provided by Bradshaws and lambs from Madders & Johnson. Exhibitors at the English Winter Fair kindly loaned their stock for the competition too.

To see all the results from the NFYFC finals at the English Winter Fair, visit here.


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