National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

29 July 2020

More than 200 entries were received for Devon’s online County Show – an alternative to the popular event that’s usually held at the showground in Exeter but was this year cancelled due to Coronavirus.

YFC members in Devon didn’t let the virus ruin their competition fun because everyone was able to enter classes online instead.

Held across three days in July, the online event showcased members' talents, from club videos promoting British agriculture, to individual entries such as cake decorating, needlework and floristry.

Out of the 19 different classes, with 243 entries, judges chose to award Katie Grist, from Cheriton & Tedburn YFC, the ‘Best in Show’ for her woodwork entry.

Michelle Batting, Devon FYFC’s Competitions Chairman, said: “We wanted to recreate the fantastic show of YFC talent that the show provides online, with various classes for members to enter and partake in as we usually would. This gave members something to keep them occupied during lockdown and enabled us to keep some small sense of normality in these strange times."

As well as showcasing members’ talents from home, the show also included demonstration videos. John Malseed from Chagford YFC provided a sheep shearing demonstration, explaining what the judges look for during a shearing competition. Fran Mobbs from Newton St Cyres YFC gave a demonstration on butter making – a competition that would have previously taken place in the YFC tent during the show. 

Sophie Pratt from Withleigh YFC, who was awarded the Senior Award for most points overall, said the online alternative was a great replacement to the real thing.

“Rally season is one of the highlights of the Young Farmers’ year for me so the announcement of DFYFC’s Online Show was met with great enthusiasm. The initiative was a fantastic way to adapt and will be one for the history books. Watching the entries and results come in virtually was a very exciting and engaging way to view everybody’s creations!”

Devon FYFC also hosted an online Agri-Debate webinar, supported by NFU Mutual and chaired by David Fursdon, Lord Lieutenant of Devon and Devon YFC President. The debate asked “Driving production or the environment; what takes priority for farming?” and panellists included Devon YFC’s Agri-Chairman Helen Bellew; organic farmer and former Devon YFC County Chairman, Liz Priest; Farm Manager at Clinton Devon Estates, Sam Briant-Evans; and Cornwall NFU Chairman.

John Varley, Director of Clinton Devon Estates, who is a key supporter of the Devon YFC Feature at the show, expressed his support for the online alternative: “Devon YFC represents the next generation of farmers, at probably one of the most exciting and transitional times for agriculture for many decades. To top it all, we now have a global pandemic, which has meant the Devon County Show cannot go ahead. But the resilience of Devon Young Farmers has come to the fore, carrying on with an Online Show.”

To catch up on the show you can check out Devon YFC’s Facebook and Instagram pages, or read the full list of results on Devon FYFC’s website

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