Three cheers for the talents of YFC members
The Young Farmers movement has had a sometimes chequered reputation in recent years, and just occasionally censure has been justified.
For example, excessive high jinks at a national conference in Torquay a few years back led to a lot of negative publicity about alcohol-fuelled deplorable conduct.
But don't let anyone tell you members of the YFC don't contribute positively to society as a whole – with a laudable degree of entrepreneurship. Just how considerable this is was brought home to me by young Lucy Berisford, who featured in the WMN a year or so ago after she started up Devon Eggs, run from her home at Perkins Village in East Devon.
She was out on her rounds delivering eggs last week and made a regular delivery to Bartlett's Farm Shop, near Honiton. It is run by the two daughters of the Bartlett family, Rebecca and Nicola, whom Lucy knows outside of work, through the Devon Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs.
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The girls discussed how both their businesses had now been going for four years – and it occurred to them how many more young members of the YFC in their county had begun to "paddle their own canoes" successfully.
In fact a considerable number, all aged under 26, have founded their own companies, of all sorts and kinds, a laudable achievement and clearly demonstrating how young people can succeed when they put their mind to it.
Lucy supplied me with a list of members who have gone solo. It's worth seeing.
As well as herself at Devon Eggs, and Rebecca and Nicola at Bartlett's Farm Shop, there's Zoe Berisford, of Exeter, with Exe Signs; Emily Sizmur, of Okehampton, with Emily Fleur Photography; Marcus Tucker, of Talaton, with Marcus Tucker Contracting; Alex Wass, of Exeter, with Alex Wass Groundworks; Samantha Keightley, of Honiton, with Butterflies Beauty Studio, Emily York and Mercedes Pemberton-Finch, of Exeter, with Flowers . . . and many, many more, scattered throughout the county.
What a terrific record and what an example to other young people to get up and get going.