Young Farmers revive rally tradition

Many reading this will remember the Young Farmers’ rallies of years gone by and thought they were a thing of the past.

Thursday, 20th August 2015, 4:56 pm

Now, that was the case, until now. After hearing from past members and advisory members, and the fun the rallies – last held more than two decades ago – provided, Longridge Young Farmers’ Club decided to revive the tradition.

Spearheaded by this year’s chairman, Steven Crane, the rally was held at Lords Farm in Ribchester, thanks to the the Harrison family, earlier this month, and has been hailed a great success.

Five clubs – Chipping, Samlesbury, Winmarleigh, Bilsborrow, and Vale of Lune were invited to join Longridge and more than 100 Young Farmers attended this experimental event.

There were competitions for every member to get involved in, from cake judging and kit rolling, to the generation game and stock judging.

In unusual British style the weather conditions were perfect, with not a drop of rain in sight and staff from Little Town Dairy were on hand with a barbeque keeping all the keen competitors fed and watered.

James Oddie, Lancashire County vice-chairman, said: “It was a fantastic night which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Congratulations to all involved and a huge thank you to all for your efforts. Looking forward to more nights like this in the future.”

Members of Longridge Young Farmers are now hoping the rally will inspire other clubs to follow suit and reinvent an age old event that has somehow been lost over the years.

At the end of the night competitors who came first, second and third were all given prize cards and the overall results saw Chipping coming third, Samlesbury second and the hosts, Longridge, first.

Longridge YFC members would like to thank all the clubs for attending, Little Town Dairy for providing the barbeque, those who added up the scores, the Harrison family for providing the venue and finally, thank you to Steven Crane for coming up with the idea of recreating the rallies.

Longridge Young Farmers’ Club is always actively looking for new members and the club’s numbers have been growing in recent years, with 25 members ranging in age from 10 through to 26.

Meetings are normally held every Monday from September to June and once a month in the summer. In springtime, the club enters various regional and county competitions and throughout the year raises money for charity through a variety of activities including the annual muck haul, bag packing and clothes collections.

This year’s fund for the charity STRIDE was boosted by £300 at Goosnargh and Longridge Show after members ran a ducking stool and guess the weight of a pig and the name of a calf competitions.

The club has male tug-of-war team which will be entering the tug-of-war at Chipping Show this Saturday and is looking for more female members to boost the women’s tug-of-war team.

In April, Longridge organised a tug-of-war event with teams – not just for Young Farmers – entering from all over the country which proved so successful, it is hoped to make it an annual event.

Another event the club looks forward to is the bowling competition in November.

Club programme secretary and press officer Hayley Walker said: “People presume to be in Young Farmers you have to be a farmer, but that is not the case. As long are you between the ages of 10 – 26 and keen to meet new friends and learn new skills, then Young Farmers could be something for you.

“Young Farmers is different to any other organisation as it is run for the members by the members.”

For anyone interested in joining the club, September will see a visit to GA Pet Food Partners at Bretherton on September 7 and a visit to Gorse’s Goat Farm at Dolphinholme on September 14 and the AGM, which includes the election of officers, will be held on September 21.

If you are interested in joining one of the visits, attending meetings, or simply learning more about the club, please contact Hayley on 07964 972 050.