‘Coming together as Future Farmers reminds us we’re not alone’

In this blog post, Elizabeth Hudson, Mixed Farmer and Manager of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire explains why the network is holding its inaugural Harvest Dinner Dance, and introduces the next Future Farmers training opportunity.

It can be hard to remain upbeat when it’s not the glass that’s half full, it’s the rain gauge.

We’re dealing with increasingly volatile weather that makes it harder to farm, and that inevitably creates some anxiety for even the most resilient of us.

Farming communities in this county are all dealing with similar issues and coming together as Future Farmers, reminds us that we are not alone.

We’ve had a couple of cracking headline events this year with well over 200 in attendance, but the message has been loud and clear – people want a good night out, no PowerPoints, no name badges, no obligations!

You spoke, we listened! We are having a Harvest Dinner Dance on 18th November at Pavilions of Harrogate.

The event is gaining momentum, with almost 200 people already booked on.

Everybody’s welcome (aged 18+)

Back in my own YFC days, balls or ‘do’s’ were a regular occurrence. Escrick YFC’s Advent Ball was legendary, but dinner dances came thick and fast.

The beer was cheap, and the hangovers were short-lived. Oh, how times have changed. It’s time to dust off the frock or DJ and pray that it still fits.

Our event is open to everyone, of all ages, in the farming community. Bookings have come from those ranging from their 20s to 70s.

The event is organised by Future Farmers and the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, but you don’t have to be member to join us.

Tables of ten are available, however we are happily matching up smaller groups – but we do draw the line at matchmaking!

A fun evening awaits

The evening starts at 6.30pm with a welcome drink, followed by a three-course meal, with wine.

Before hitting the dance floor, we will enjoy a charity auction, with prizes ranging from a year’s supply of potatoes to a posh afternoon tea, and a shooting lesson.

We have all angles (and Christmas gifts) covered; you can even bid on a Christmas tree!

All monies raised will be shared between the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) and Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Farming-focused mental health training

By the end of this year, Future Farmers will have trained over 30 farmers with accredited Mental Health Training in partnership with RABI.

Having the confidence to start conversations about mental health with family, friends, colleagues, customers or clients is a skill that more of us need.

This training is tailored to farming people because the devastating statistics speak for themselves.

Very few people cruise through life without facing challenges; most of us are on a journey that has rocky patches.

We’ve all had conversations with someone who doesn’t appear to be themselves and perhaps we say nothing for fear of saying the wrong thing and making the situation worse.

We hope this training will help all those in our farming community to feel more confident talking to each other about how they are feeling and will help ensure that farming people who need further support can access it more easily.

Our next Mental Health Training Day is 4th December at Selby Auction Mart – with pie and peas to sustain us.

No one quite does ‘work hard, play hard’ like a Future Farmer. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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