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"We all learnt a great deal about Farming - it helped the children to understand the idea of Farming more. A real hands on experience!"

By Reading School Year 4 teacher

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October 2016

October 2016

8 Sep 2016

My mother died of cancer when I was eight years old.  My father was married again soon after, to the nursing sister who had looked after her at the London Hospital.  A half-sister and brother then emerged and a new family unit was born.  I felt a sense of independence from that time, which was reinforced by my father frequently asking that age old question, “What are you going to do when you leave school?” An answer was always necessary, so I bounced around, one day a doctor, next day the army.  From history lessons my heroes were Shaftesbury and particularly Thomas Barnardo, who worked with the poor from the East End a hundred years earlier.  Then one day, having moved to Glasgow, all became clear. I would be a farmer, feeding the then, and still, hungry world, caring for sheep, cattle, pigs and chickens, and breathing fresh air in wide open spaces. I remember the excitement of finding the Scottish Young Farmers’ Club and joining the branch which met in the centre of the city.  Now access was possible to farms, with the rich smells of silage, and dung splattered wellies, real tractors and men and women focused on their land and livestock rather than home comforts and personal wellbeing.  The bonus was that my father was silenced and my very fastidious step-mother had to cope with straw, filthy overalls and even ringworm invading our otherwise extremely clean home.

Today the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs is one the largest rural youth organisations in the UK, dedicated to young people who have a love for agriculture and rural life.  You don’t have to be involved in farming to be a Young Farmer, just someone who appreciates the countryside and enjoys rural life.  It is led by young people for young people. Clubs offer members aged 10-26 a unique opportunity to develop skills, work with local communities, travel abroad, take part in varied competitions and enjoy a dynamic social life.  Locally Bradfield YFC meets at Milehouse Farm.  The AGM is on Wednesday 5th October at 7-30pm and will be followed by a Harvest Buffet. Details Sarah Collins, or just come along

PS. What are you going to do when you leave…….?