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Abby crowned Scotland’s top young farmer

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By Fiona Reid
Farming
Abby crowned Scotland’s top young farmer

A YOUNG woman from the region has been named as the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (SAYFC) national member of the year.

The prestigious accolade has gone to Abby Forsyth, 25, who grew up on Mid Bishopton Farm in Whithorn but now lives at Newbie Mains in Annan with fiance Niall and his family.

She was described as a ‘very deserving winner’, by the judges who were impressed with her contributions and achievements at all level of the organisation.

A delighted Abby said of the award: “It was an absolute honor and a privilege to be crowned National Member of the Year, and it will certainly be a memory to cherish forever.”

Busy Abby juggles her job as a civil servant with roles on Dumfries and Galloway District of Young Farmers, Stewartry YFC, the West Regional committee and the international travel committee.

In addition, she is the vice chair of the SAYFC’s national development and wellbeing committee and was crowned the West Ms Young Farmer.

She said: “I’ve been a member of Stewartry YFC for 12 years now. I joined back in 2012, as soon as I turned 14.

“I have loved every minute of my young farmers experience so far, and I am so grateful for the opportunities it has given me.

“There really is something for everyone – from stock-judging to handicrafts, and concerts to speechmaking.”

She says she would not “be the person I am today without the association”, adding: “My public speaking ability has improved significantly with speechmaking competitions – allowing me to feel more confident when delivering presentations, commentating at some local shows, and when being interviewed.

“I have also been extremely fortunate in the fact that I have travelled through SAYFC, and witnessed places that I would never get to see otherwise. I attended the Women in Food and Agriculture Conference in Frankfurt in June 2022, and most recently, I was selected to travel to Canada as part of the Agri and Rural Affairs Study Tour in July 2023. “Both trips were extremely interesting, and opened my eyes to the world of agriculture even further, highlighting the challenges faced and how they compare to the UK.”

Promoting the association and its benefits further, she said: “If anyone is thinking of joining young farmers, then please, just do it! There are so many activities and events on offer, and if nothing else, you will make friends for life. I cannot recommend it enough.”

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