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Richard Beattie accepts new role as President of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster

Born and bred in Dunloy, County Antrim, twenty nine year old Richard Beattie has accepted the role of President of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, following their recent AGM on Saturday 20th April 2024 at the Silverbirch Hotel in Omagh, County Tyrone.


Richard grew up in a rural community, having lived on his family dairy farm with his parents and two younger brothers. His love for farming and agriculture from a young age led him to studying a degree in agriculture at Harper Adams, where he got to meet new people from across Northern Ireland and the UK. He was involved in the Harper Ireland Committee and won the RABDF 2017 UK Dairy ‘Student of the Year’ award and the ‘Alltech Farm Animal Production Science’ award throughout his time there. Richard then went on to study a postgraduate course in ‘Ruminant Nutrition’ and has since worked as a Technical Sales Specialist at Chestnutt Animal Feeds, County Antrim. Whilst his work and YFCU commitments keep him very busy, Richard also enjoys helping out on the family farm and has a love for travelling where skiing is his favourite holiday. Richard’s involvement in the YFCU is also shared with his fiancé Lynsay who is involved with Seskinore YFC and is employed as a Communications Officer for the Ulster Farmers’ Union. The pair are set to tie the knot this September.


Richard spoke about his love for the YFCU, saying that it all started with his “parents and grandparents being involved in the Young Farmers’, so I have been involved with the organisation from a young age”. He added that joining Finvoy YFC in 2007 was one of the greatest decisions he made and he has been a faithful member ever since.


Richard acted as Deputy President of YFCU last year, working alongside Stuart Mills (Past President). He has stepped up into the official Presidential role as of the AGM on Saturday 20th April 2024 and is feeling very excited about his position within the YFCU. Richard commented “for my term as President of the YFCU, I want to offer further support and guidance to office bearers and bring extra resources to our members”. He continued by saying, “I want to give clubs as much financial support as I can and develop the success of our new Cultivating Young Leaders programme, these are two things I look forward to working on”.


Richard told of his delight of becoming the President of the YFCU, describing it as an “honour to be appointed”. When asked what advice he would give to a younger member who would aspire to be in his position one day, he responded with “I would tell them to make the most of their time as a Young Farmer and to take on leadership roles within their club and county where possible. I believe that we should avail of every opportunity that the YFCU throws our way, as we can only do it once”.


The YFCU is the largest rural youth organisation in Northern Ireland with over 3500 members spread out across all six counties in Northern Ireland. Richard is keen to get more involved with the individual clubs and members, encouraging them to take part in as many events and competitions as possible. “I would like to offer my support so that members feel confident in stepping up into leadership roles within their clubs and counties”, he explained as he reflected on his time throughout the YFCU.


Looking to the future, Richard has already put plans in place for his time as President. He told of his plans for the 95th anniversary saying, “2025 will be a very special year for the YFCU as we celebrate our 95th anniversary. The YFCU has always been the social centre of the rural scene, and it is amazing to see the achievements that young people are making through their time at Young Farmers’. They are learning new skills, working in teams and most of all, having fun. This is going to be celebrated at our 95th anniversary in January 2025 and I am very excited for that. We are all striving to be better farmers, better country men/women and better citizens through what we do at Young Farmers’.”


Richard Beattie officially took up the role of President on Saturday 20th April 2024. He will work closely with Deputy President Kristina Fleming and Vice Presidents Matthew Livingstone, Rachel Smith, Joyce Allen and Natalie Burrows, to promote the YFCU and recruit new members.

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