The new Young Farmers north region chairman, Gemma Duguid, writes about her priorities for the role this year
Young Farmers means the world to me and even more so when I moved to Caithness with my job at Aberdeen & Northern Marts as office supervisor at Caithness Livestock Centre and more recently getting out to canvass for livestock.
When I first moved to Caithness I didn’t know anyone and joining Bower Young Farmers allowed me to get to know likeminded people in the local area.
Within two months of moving to the area I landed the position of district chairman and it’s been the best thing I have done.
Young Farmers has numerous opportunities from making friends for life to travelling the world and training courses.
I’ve learnt how to dress cattle, play hockey, turn the kitchen into a bombsite while trying to bake for rallies and travelled the length of the country. I will be forever thankful for all these opportunities.
In my role as north region chairman, I have three aims this year which, with the help from the north committee and members, we will be able to smash even while we are in the pandemic.
We are resilient and adaptable and will continue to be active and support our members through this. I am looking forward to working with all clubs from Mearns to Shetland.
The first aim is ‘Duguid’s Amigos’. I feel nowadays we are all glued to a screen. After having a pretty difficult time the last back end I felt just going out for a walk or a jog, and recently going out on the bike, makes you feel so much better within yourself.
Between the north area members we are going to walk/run/cycle 3,381km – the distance between Lands End and Unst in Shetland by road. I’d like each member to submit a photo of their route, a photo taken on their route and a selfie at the finish line.
My second aim is titled ‘a right fine fancy piece’.
I’ve always had a passion for baking and cooking, which has led to many prize cards throughout my time at the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC).
There is a revival in home cooking and baking and there is nothing better than a good hearty home cooked meal and right fine ‘fly’ (cup of tea or coffee and home baking).
Therefore I’m asking all members to submit their favourite culinary delights from soup, mince and tatties, to jam sponge and rocky road. Let’s get back to basics and hopefully educate the public about food and farming. These recipes will be collated and a recipe book will be produced.
My last aim focuses on public speaking. I plan to launch a north competition to encourage members to write a speech and deliver it with no questions at the end.
There will be two topics and the contest will be divided into senior and junior categories. The speech will last about five minutes and will be pre-written.
I am hoping to speak to past members who we can pair up and help current members with this competition. Members will then record the video and it will be submitted to a panel of judges.
We will have a very busy year ahead of us working together to achieve these aims. Hopefully I will get to see you all very soon and look forward to my trips across the north area.
Here’s to a fantastic 2020-2021. Let’s do this.