Due to these extraordinary times the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) has turned to online platforms such as Zoom and Facebook to continue their event calendar. The use of these online platforms has meant that members are able to participate and communicate in meetings and events.
Michael Reid, YFCU CEO, commented on the importance of moving to online platforms; ‘’at the core of all we (YFCU) have done for 90 years is competition and personal development. In these difficult times, it is essential we continue to compete. I have been amazed by the enthusiasm of the staff and members to embrace a range of virtual tools to communicate initially and now compete. We have a programme planned up to early July but would love to hear from you with any ideas or different media for us to consider.’’ Michael went on to say, “being busy is key to our mental well-being so we will use Zoom, Teams, Facebook Live and YouTube over the next few months for a mixture of fun, training and competition to keep members busy.” The Ulster Young Farmer 25-30 Final, one of the YFCU’s most prestigious competitions, was their first virtual competition, which saw four finalists present their findings to a panel of three judges using the online platform of Zoom.
Judge, Peter Alexander, stated; “Although somewhat strange carrying out a competition virtually the Ulster young farmer worked very well! Members were able to share their screens and present their presentations to the judges. Some members had to remember that we couldn’t see them pointing at the screen with their finger and had to use the mouse instead. However, it all ran smoothly and was great to be able to complete the competition.”
This medium has turned out to be very successful and will in no doubt change how some competitions, meetings and events are conducted in the future as it not only cuts down travelling between sites it also allows competitions to be accessed by a larger amount of members.