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Cornwall’s Young Farmers rally to recruit 1000 members by 2020

Hundreds of young farmers in Cornwall braved the first rain of the summer for their annual County Rally and the launch of Project 1000, a drive to get 1000 members by 2020.

The 81st annual County Rally – on Saturday, July 28, 2018 – was hosted by the Camelford, St Mabyn and Wadebridge Young Farmers Club (YFC) at Tolraggott Farm in St Endellion near Port Isaac.

Cornwall YFC’s 20 clubs battled it out over a series of activities, including pole dancing, horn blowing, Bucking Bronco riding and cramming as many people as possible into a rowing boat. This year, Launceston YFC reigned triumphant as overall winners.

The focus of this year’s annual County Rally was to help promote the Project 1,000 campaign – Cornwall YFC’s drive to achieve 1,000 members by the year 2020, supported by leading rural insurer, NFU Mutual.

Since the county federation’s origins in 1937, the scope of its membership has expanded well beyond the confines of the farming community to include all young people interested in rural affairs or living in rural areas. Through its Project 1,000 initiative, the federation hopes to welcome more members.

Ed Harris, Cornwall YFC Chairman, said:

Since the launch of Project 1,000, we’ve increased our membership in Cornwall by 100 people to around 850, so are well on the way to achieving and possibly exceeding the target. Our annual rally really showcases the fantastic spirit and enthusiasm of our members and the strong network of members we have right across the county.

The series of challenges at this year’s event covered a variety of categories – cookery, art, handicraft, floral art and sports – testing members’ creativity as well as their coordination, strength and speed.

Sporting events included sheaf pitching, homemade chariot racing and a ‘greasy pole’ battle involving competitors knocking their opponents off a greasy pole using pillows. Meanwhile, over 50 classes of arts and crafts competitions included floristry, decorating eggs to depict the royal family, welly decorating and soap carving.

Cheryl Valter, Agent for NFU Mutual Launceston, said:

It’s so important for NFU Mutual to support initiatives in the farming community, such as Project 1,000. Young Farmers are the future of the rural community and we’re keen to help develop their skills and knowledge, as well as promoting best practice and personal development.