National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 November 2020

More than 140 YFC members took part in NFYFC’s national Stockjudging finals, sponsored by Kerbl UK, this November, which for the first time ever were held online due to the pandemic.

The stockjudging is the first national final of the YFC year and all the points gained from participating counties will go towards the NFU Trophy.

YFC members from Devon were hailed the overall team winners, securing the John Spear trophy for scoring the most points across all of the categories.

Devon B team member Michelle Batting said Devon was delighted to be the overall winners. 

“It was an absolute honour to win the John Spear Trophy. It’s a trophy I never would have imagined I'd get my hands on and we were very pleased to bring it home to Devon.

“It was fantastic to have the opportunity to experience a little bit of normality and compete in a national competition. The live and carcase stockjudging is personally one of my favourite competitions so I was pleased not to miss out! I definitely didn’t miss spending time in the cold fridge – and I really enjoyed having the time to make my reasons the best that they could be,” said Michelle.

While the popular competition would normally be held at the English Winter Fair at Staffordshire Showground, YFC members adapted quickly to viewing animals and carcases online instead. Entrants were shown the pigs and beef cattle on Zoom and then asked to record their order and reasons in a short video.

Michelle said that Devon’s victory was helped by the fact their county had already held some online competitions and virtual training during the lockdown.

“Devon held an online stockjudging competition earlier in the year so most of us had gained experience in competing online previously,” explained Michelle. “Our training also took place virtually with our trainers filming ‘how to’ videos and using Zoom so we had time with our fab trainers, Jill Persey and Kate Bulled.”

Due to the record number of entrants, NFYFC needed to invite more judges to help with the competition.

Chris Reading judged the entries to the senior beef carcase section of the NFYFC competition. “The competition team have done a great job in bringing this competition together – not easy given this is the first time so many participants have been brought together in a virtual way.

“There were some great presentations, given the circumstances – and some interesting backgrounds too! I learnt a new word in the context of carcase judging – bulbous – and quite a few people were using it and I think it’s a really good descriptive word. Thank you for the opportunity to do the judging and I hope 2021 is a better year,” said Chris in a video where he recorded his reasons. 

AHDB supported this year’s competition and offered prizes to some of the winners and Bradshaw Bros kindly recorded the videos of the carcases for the competition.

For a full list of the results see here. 

3 top tips for virtual stockjudging from the Devon team 

1. Use the time given to perfect your reasons as much as you can.

2. Include lots of comparative words.

3. Dress smart and present yourself in the best way you can.  



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