Every month, we feature a member of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC). In December, we heard from Vale of Alford JAC chairperson Ellen Glennie.
What’s your background? I have grown up on the family farm on the outskirts of Alford with my parents and two sisters. The farm is a mix of arable, breeding sheep, and beef cattle.
What do you do for an occupation? After graduating from Robert Gordon University with a first-class honours degree in Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management in 2022, I am now working as a Quantity Surveyor at Stewart Milne
Homes. I was recently a finalist in the North Scotland Trade Awards.
Are you an office bearer in Young Farmers?
Yes, at club level I am currently in my second year as chairperson of Vale of Alford, after previously being club treasurer for 3 years and press & minutes for 3 years prior to that. At district level, I have been secretary and at national level I currently sit as a committee member for both the Finance and International committees.
What has been your most memorable moment as a Young Farmer so far?
So far in my time with Young Farmers my most memorable moment would have to be visiting the Taj Mahal on the SAYFC trip to India in July 2023. India is somewhere I had never dreamed of visiting as I typically don’t like the Indian cuisine however it was one of the best experiences of my life and a great group of people to travel with.
Favourite time of the year in the agricultural calendar? An unusual answer for most farmers due to the challenging weather conditions but there’s nothing I love more than the winter months when the sheds are full of Salers cattle and the winter feeding &
bedding routine is in full swing. At this time of year I also overwinter a few calves for the ANM Young Farmers Overwintering competition in March, I thoroughly enjoy the process of working with my calves to have them halter trained for the show ring.
If you could change something in the world, what would it be? The cost of bottled water. In India I could buy a 1 litre bottle of water for the equivalent of 20p, but
in Scotland charges can be as much as £2.50 for a 500ml bottle!
How has Young Farmers impacted your life? Over the past 9 years, Young Farmers has kept me very busy both socially and competitively. It has been great to travel up and down the country to both north and national events and meet with
likeminded people. Through opportunities such as being the club chairperson and stockjudging reason training, my public speaking skills have improved significantly. I’ve learnt various crafts and skills and put these to good use in the many handicraft competitions that we enter as a club and individually.
What are your life ambitions? I would like to travel and see more of the world, to learn about different cultures and cuisines. After visiting my first of the seven Wonders of the World in India I would like to visit them all. I also aspire to progress in my career as a Quantity Surveyor and become a Chartered Quantity Surveyor.
Why would you encourage someone to join SAYFC? Whether someone comes from a farming background or not I would encourage them to join SAYFC as there really is something for everyone within the organisation. From learning new skills to making memories and friends for life, from my experiences the more effort you make the more you will benefit and develop.