National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

24 June 2022

Six YFC members from England and Wales are taking on Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland at Stockjudging in a battle of the 5 nations at the Royal Highland Show this June.

It’s the first time a 5 nations stockjudging contest has been held but it’s hoped it will become an annual event if this one proves successful.

Competitors will be judging different breeds including Holstein and Ayrshire for the dairy, and Simmental, Shorthorn and Charolais for the beef. While the sheep breeds will include Suffolk, Border Leicester, South Country Cheviots and Beltex.

Jess Stewart, from Durham City YFC, only started stockjudging last year during lockdown and after early success in the competition, she is now representing England in the sheep stockjudging.

“I started stockjudging when NFYFC held the competition online, so I haven’t got a lot of experience at it. But I competed in live and carcase at the national final at the English Winter Fair and ended up winning in the Lamb stockjudging,” said Jess who manages a herd of Belted Galloway beef with her sister. “I’ve just got some sheep this year, so stockjudging must be paying off! I’m really proud to be representing England – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Joining Jess will be Amy Bowness from Greysouthen YFC in Cumbria who will be judging the Dairy. After successfully competing in the national Stockman of the Year, Amy is looking forward to taking part in the 5 nations competition.

“I definitely like Dairy the best – I feel I know that well. I am from a dairy farm and we have a few sheep as well. I’ve been a YFC member for 13 years and I have done dairy stockjudging right from the off when I joined as a junior,” said Amy who works as a Radiographer when she’s not helping on the family farm. “I’m very proud to be taking part in the 5 nations competition. It’s not something I expected to do but it will definitely be something different!”

George Lee, from Newton St Cyres YFC in Devon, is hoping to end his final year in YFC on a high by judging the beef cattle for the England team. No stranger to success at a national stockjudging competition, George is looking forward to putting his skills to the test against four other nations.

“I have always taken part in stockjudging competitions as I like looking after cattle at home. Although I work on a dairy farm, I prefer judging beef as I find it easier.”

Jess Banks, from Sarn YFC in Montgomeryshire, will also be judging beef but for the Welsh team, despite her day job being a herdsperson for a dairy farm.

“Beef is my favourite of all the stockjudging. I came third in Senior Stockman of the Year in Wales. I have had a few troubles over the last few years so my stockjudging never got to where I wanted it to be. This year everything came together, so I am really chuffed to be heading up to the highlands to represent Wales,” said Jess who has ensured she spends time focusing on activities, such as Stockjudging, that she enjoys to improve her wellbeing.

Jess will be joined by Nia Thomas from St. Ishmaels YFC in Carmarthenshire, who will judge the dairy and Thomas Swancott from Teme Valley YFC in Radnor who will judge the sheep for Wales.

The Royal Highland Show takes place from 23-26 June at Ingliston in Edinburgh.


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