Foothills club wins national title

Foothills Young Farmers (back from left) Simon Wakefield, Scott Paton, Sam Ensor, Beth Gunn, Alex...
Foothills Young Farmers (back from left) Simon Wakefield, Scott Paton, Sam Ensor, Beth Gunn, Alex Hood, Jeff Cooke, Jimmy Sinclair, (front from left) Liv Thomson and Zoe Clark accept the Best Young Farmers Club award. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Fundraising and staying connected with their rural community has helped Foothills Young Farmers to be named Best Young Farmers Club in the country.

It was announced at the recent New Holland Young Farmers National Awards in Christchurch.

Foothills Young Farmers Club chairman Simon Wakefield said the win, against five other nominated clubs, was a great boost to the club which had really grown in the past five years.

There were now 34 members from a variety of young rural professional roles.

‘‘It's great for the club and a wonderful recognition of what we’ve achieved the past few years, especially in the wake of the floods over the past few months as well,’’ he said.

It was a sentiment echoed by club secretary Liv Thomson, who said members were proud of having a positive presence in their community.

In November last year they held their Movember at the Mount event and raised $10,000 for charity, including $7000 for the NZ Movember Foundation, $1000 for the Ashburton Area St John, $1000 for Westpac Helicopter and $1000 for Mt Somers swimming pool.

Other fundraisers have included roguing beet, carting small bales of hay for a local horse owner and planting 1000 native plants on a high country station.

They have regular get-togethers including taking part in farm industry tours, flood relief volunteer work and take part in competitive events.

Most recently members Jimmy Sinclair and Jeff Cooke did well in regional competitions for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year and clay bird shooting respectively.

Ms Thomson said club members were always looking for ways to learn new skills and to improve as young members of the community.

‘‘It’s a great way to relax outside of work and form great relationships with like-minded people in our area,’’ she said.

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