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Young Farmers Index

Farming In Caithness Index

Scottish Association Of Young Farmers



22 November 08
Bower Young Farmers Win Brains Of The North To Head For National Finals
A team from Bower Young Farmers have taken the top award in this years Caithness District Young Farmers Brains of the North elimination. They came out on top after the pub style quiz and head to head final. Running them a close second were a team representing Forss Young Farmers. The Bower team will now represent Caithness at the North Region qualifier in December looking to win a place in the National Finals next February. The results were as follows:-
1st Place - Bower - Karen Oliphant, Lesley Oliphant, James Barnetson, Ranald Angus
2nd place - Forss - Alan MacKay, Michael Cragg, Ashley Mackay, Iona Bamber
3rd Place -Halkirk - Duncan Pottinger, Andrew Gunn, Isobel Swanson, Sarah Jardine

8 March 07
Bower Young Farmers AGM Report

Bower Young Farmers held their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 6th March in Bower Community Centre.

19 February 07
Bower Boys Retain Caithness Young Farmers District Quiz Trophy
A team from Bower YFC won this year's Caithness Young Farmers District Junior Quiz. Held in the Ross Institute, Halkirk, the format was pub quiz with teams of three. The quizmaster for the evening was Mr Robert Bell, who did an excellent job and also compiled the questions. The winning team was William Barnetson, Ranald Angus and Jamie Mackay. Following the Bower boys were a team from Watten consisting of Kiri Shallcorss, Mark Brims & Gavin Hendry. Halkirk A were third, Mark MacDonald, Alan Macleod and Hamish Coghill.

16 February 07
National Competitions Weekend comes to Caithness
The Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs is this year holding its February Competitions Weekend in Thurso. It is estimated that between 450 - 500 Young farmers from the length and breadth of Scotland will converge on the town to take part in five National Competitions. The Competitions being held are Member of the Year, Ten Pin Bowling, 5 aside football, National Quiz and Senior Speechmaking.

Leading Caithness clubs into competition will be this year’s Caithness District Member of the Year, Bryan Sinclair. He will represent Caithness in the National Final to be held in the Royal Hotel on Saturday 24th February. Bryan lives on the family farm at Lochside, Calder and is a Process Engineer with ABSL Power Solutions in Thurso. He has been a member of Halkirk YFC for 10 years. He is currently the Halkirk YFC Chairman and Caithness District YF treasurer, as well as a member of the North Region Committee. His hobbies include Seven aside football, fly fishing, a small flock of Texel sheep and Tug of War. Among the opposition for Bryan will be members from Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire, Perthshire and Ayrshire with a total line up of 12 competitors. The competition takes the format of a written entry form submitted prior to the weekend followed by an interview with a panel of three judges on the afternoon of 24th February. The winner will be announced at the dance on the Saturday evening in the Royal Hotel. The Member of the Year competition is aimed at recognising the achievement of members and their contributions towards the running and activity of their clubs, districts or regions.

Also being held on the Saturday will be the Ten Pin Bowling. The recent winners of the Caithness elimination, Halkirk A, will be joined by the runners-up Forss A. Making up the Halkirk team will be Carol-ann Budge, Bryan Sinclair, John Coghill, Willie Budge, Ellen falconer and James Riddell. The Forss team will be Kevin Ross, Colin MacDonald, Mark Mackay, Graeme Mackay, Caroline MacDonald & Michael Cragg. However there will be stiff competition with 30 other teams also taking part.

Halkirk YFC Speechmaking team, l/r David Brewster,
Gail Sinclair & Bryan Sinclair who qualified from the North Region Eliminations

Competitions to be held on the Sunday are Senior Speechmaking, Quiz and Football. The Speechmaking and Quiz will be held in the All Star Factory ad is most generously sponsored by Robert Wiseman’s Dairies. The format for this year is Chairman, Speaker and Vote of Thanks with the Speaker being given only 20 minutes to prepare a speech from a selection of topics. Topics chosen at the North Region elimination included “”Men are more vain than Women”, “Religious Education should be banned in schools” and “Human Rights are sacrificed when you break the law”. Caithness will be represented in the finals by a team from Halkirk YFC. The team is Bryan Sinclair (Chairman), Gail Sinclair (Speaker) and David Brewster (Mover of the Vote of Thanks). There will be a full compliment of teams from all regions making a total of 10 teams vying for the Royal Highland & Agricultural Challenge Cup.

Also on Sunday will see a team from Bower YFC trying to keep the 5 aside football trophy in Caithness. This competition was won by Halkirk last year in Oban and as the immediate past winners cannot compete Bower will bid to emulate their neighbours. The Bower squad for the completion to be held at Naver is William Barnetson, Daniel Sewell, John Oliphant, Michael Sutherland, Chris Sandison, John Macaulay, John Mowat & Jamie Mackay. However the lads will face fierce competition with 5 teams from the West and 5 teams from the East Region taking part along with another 5 from the North Region.

Itinerary for Weekend
Friday 23 February 07

9.00 pm Royal Hotel, Thurso (DISCO)
Saturday 24 February 07
11 am Ten Pin Bowling
4.00 pm Member of the Year
9.00 pm Member of the Year Dance (smart dress – no jeans) (BAND)
Sunday 25 February 07
10.30 am Senior Speechmaking
11.00 am Five-a-side Football
mid afternoon Quiz

For further information contact:

Caithness District
Chairman - Bryan Sinclair, 21 Castle Street, Thurso Tel: 01847 892749
Mobile: 07786317061
Email - sinclair_bryan@hotmail.com
Secretary - Isobel Swanson, Hillhead, Dunnet Thurso
Mobile: 07841754961
Email - swanson_isobel@hotmail.com

Halkirk Club
Chairman - Carolyn Coghill, shepherds Cottage, Stemster, Halkirk.
Tel: 01955 661253
Email - CarolynCoghill1@hotmail.com

Secretary - Isobel Swanson, Hillhead, Dunnet Thurso.
Tel: 07841754961
Email - swanson_isobel@hotmail.com

Bower Club
Chairman - James Barnetson, Lynegar Farm, Watten.
Mobile: 07717783622
Secretary - John MacAulay, Wick, Mobile: 07760281843

Forss Club
Chairman - Colin MacDonald, Schoolhouse, Forss. 01847 861254
Secretary - Sarah Campbell, Mid-Calder, Thurso 07749978481

Watten Club
Chairman - Calvin Wilson, Backlass, Watten Tel: 01955 621699
Secretary - Kathleen Campbell, 2 West Watten, Watten
Tel: 01955 621311
Mobile: 07909791100

18 October 06
Bower Boys Win Cattle Dressing For Fourth Time

A team from Bower YFC chalked up their 4th win on the trot at the annual Caithness Young Farmers District Cattle Dressing competition. The Bower team, James Barnetson and Stuart Mackay now go forward to represent Caithness at the Regional eliminations to be held in Dingwall Mart on Saturday 21st October. Taking second place was the Bower C team of John Macaulay and Karen Oliphant with the Junior winners, Ranald Angus & Carrie Mcadie of Bower B taking third place overall. The Judge for the competition held on Saturday 14th October was Mr Andrew Campbell, West Murkle whilst the stock was donated by Mr Colin Mackay, Westburn. Once again Aberdeen & Northern Marts kindly provided the venue at Quoybrae, Watten.

29 August 06
Halkirk Young Farmers Club Continue 60th Anniversary Celebrations
Halkirk YFC continued their 60th Anniversary celebrations on Saturday 26th August with an Open Stock Judging, Barbeque and Dance. The Stock judging was held at Gerston Farm by kind permission of the Gunn Family. The official judge for the evening was Tommy Sinclair, Reaster. Taking the Open title was Colin Mackay of Westburn, Murkle with Tom Munro, Braal Terrace, Halkirk a close second. In third place was George Cormack, Wester, Dunnet. An added category was for best exchangee as the Halkirk club were hosting 15 members from Carluke over the weekend. The results of the other classes were as follows:-
Ladies - 1st Catherine Murray, 2nd Liz Budge, 3rd Lorna Macgregor
YF Senior - 1st Alan Gow, 2nd equal James Barnetson & David Brewster
YF Junior - 1st John Anderson, 2nd Alasdair Budge, 3rd Alasdair Findlay
Past Halkirk Member - 1st Tom Munro, 2nd Bruce Swanson, 3rd Johnnie Campbell
Carluke Exchangee - 1st Mike Hamilton, 2nd Ian Struthers, 3rd Graham Barr
Youngest Competitor - Cameron Jordan, aged 5

The Barbeque and dance followed the Stock judging in the Ross Institute where around 150 people danced the night away to Radioactive. The final part of the celebrations will be a Dinner Dance to be held in the Weigh Inn, Thurso on Friday 27th October. Tickets can now be reserved with Kenneth Sutherland on 01847 821209

10 August 06
Change of Venue for Halkirk YF's 60th Celebrations

The second event to take place during Halkirk Young Farmers' 60th Anniversary year will now take place at the Ross Institute in Halkirk. A Barbeque and Open Stock judging followed by a dance was planned for Stainland Farm, Thurso but plans had to be shelved for that venue after an application for an Entertainment licence was turned down. The organiser's Plan B now sees the event take place from 6.30pm at the Ross Institute, Halkirk on the event's original date of Saturday 26th August. The Barbeque and Dance will take place at the Ross Institute with the Stock judging held at Gerston Farm. Tickets priced at £10 are currently being sold and with numbers restricted it is advisable to book tickets as soon as possible. They can be obtained from Kenneth Sutherland on 07740781329 or Willie Budge on 01847 891593. Alternatively you can book by email at williebudge@halkirkyfc.co.uk

7 June 06
A Break From Tradition For Halkirk YFC
With an Open Stock Judging being held as part of the 60th Anniversary celebrations, Halkirk YFC broke with tradition and held a Mock Auction and Slave Auction on Wednesday 31st May. The event was held in Thurso Auction Market. The Mock Auction comprised 42 items ranging from a box of washing powder, fencing materials and bag of lambs milk to a Texel Tup and details of agricultural property. Competitors had to value each item. Points were awarded depending how close they were while zero points were awarded outwith certain price ranges.

A number of items were supplied by Allan's of Gillock, Charles Angus, R B Flett and W & A Geddes, while the livestock came from Messrs Campbell, Todholes. The official adjudicator was Iain Thomson while auctioneer was Phillip Coghill.

The winner of the Mock Auction was Dorothy Binnie, Barrock Street, Thurso who scooped both the Open and Ladies titles. The Young Farmers' winner was Alan Macleod, Olgrinbeg, Scotscalder.

The Slave Auction saw 16 Slaves sell to a top price of £60 for Alan Gow to average £30.31, down £12.28 on last year.

The full results list was as follows:-
OPEN - 1st Dorothy Binnie, 2nd Robert Budge, 3rd Alan Macleod
LADIES - 1st Dorothy Binnie, 2nd Kathleen Campbell, 3rd Susan Cowan
YOUNG FARMERS - 1st Alan Macleod, 2nd Alan Gow, 3rd Kathleen Campbell
Guess the weight of "Sweetie" the Rabbit - Danny Budge

7 June 06
Halkirk's 60th Anniversary year gets off to a great start
Halkirk YFC began their 60th Anniversary celebrations with a Quiz and Social evening in the Ross Institute, Halkirk. With a total of 17 teams taking part the night was a great success. Question masters for the evening, Mr James Campbell and Mr John Bremner kept the evening moving along smoothly as Halkirk's very own "Ant and Dec". The eventual winners of the quiz were "He's behind you", comprising Karen Oliphant, Mrs Anne Oliphant and Neil Henderson. Runners-up spot was taken by the "Wooden Tops", Alan Hewitson, Dorothy Binnie, Jessie Allan and Robert Budge.

Teas were served during the Quiz interval whilst the social evening kicked off with music by John Dunbar and a dancing demonstration. Attentions now turn to the Open Stock judging, Barbeque and Dance to be held on Saturday 26th August at Stainland Farm, Thurso. Tickets can be ordered now from Ellen on 01847 890180.

7 June 06
Halkirk retain team trophy as Barnetson is top Individual
Caithness District Young Farmers held their Summer Stock judging competition on 20th May 2006. Dairy Cattle were judged at Messrs Ronaldson, Westerseat, with Sheep at Mr & Mrs Bruce Swanson, East Murkle and Beef Cattle at Messrs Gunn, Carsgoe. The official judges for the day were Mr Morris Ronaldson, Westerseat and Mr Don Budge, Brae-Edge.

Halkirk retained the Spillers Cup for best team with Bryan Sinclair, Alan Gow and John Anderson, while top individual was James Barnetson from Bower. James scooped the Wester Shield with an impressive score of 332 out of 350. Runners-up in the team event were the Bower team, James Barnetson, Neil Brims and John Oliphant. In third place were Halkirk B, comprising Dave Brewster, Angela Sutherland and Angus Mowat. Best in the ladies section was Karen Oliphant, while the Campbell sisters, Christine and Kathleen were 2nd and 3rd. The 2nd individual was Bryan Sinclair while Karen Oliphant and Alan Gow were third equal. Top junior member was Alan Gow, followed by John Anderson and Angus Mowat.

In a busy weekend for Caithness Young Farmers, a team from Forss took part in the National Finals of the Agri-Skills Competition. A spirited effort saw the boy's finish runners-up in the National competition for the second year in a row. The team was Kevin Ross, John Swanson and Graeme Mackay.

7 June 06
Forss boys make it two in a row
A team from Forss YFC have won the Caithness District Agri Skills Competition for the second year in a row. The event was held at West Greenland Farm by kind permission of the Mackay Family who also presented a new trophy for the competition. Five teams took part in events such as Fence repair, Hydraulic hose connection, Knapsack calibration, Sheep pen erection and dismantling and a Safety quiz. The winning team are pictured receiving the new trophy for the event from Mr Andrew Mackay, they are l/r John Swanson, Kevin Ross (Team Captain) and Graeme Mackay. Bower teams were 2nd equal, the A team were James Barnetson, Helen Ryrie and Michael Sutherland, with B team consisting of William Barnetson, Neil Brims and John MacAulay.
The Forss team will now represent Caithness at the National Finals to be held on Sunday 21st May 2006 at Balliefurth Farm, Granton on Spey.
A Sprayer course and Sheep Shearing courses are planned for May and early June, anyone wishing more information should contact Linda on 01847 841261.

27 April 06
Halkirk YFC gear up for 60th Anniversary Year
Halkirk Young Farmers Club are holding three events throughout 2006 to celebrate their 60 years in existence. The first event is an anniversary Quiz to be held on Friday 19th May at 7.30pm in the Ross Institute, Halkirk. Teams will comprise 4 people and Question Master for the evening will be Mr. James Campbell with Adjudicator, Mr. John Bremner. Question topics include Music,Sport, Agriculture and Questions on Halkirk YFC. Music and teas will follow the Quiz. Anyone interested in entering a team should contact Ellen on 01847 890180.

The second event will be a Barbeque and Open Stockjuding followed by a dance at Stainland Farm on Saturday 26th August. Tickets will be available soon for the Barbeque and Dance, priced £10. Tickets for the Dance only will be £5.

The 60th Year celebrations will come to a close with an Anniversary Ball to be held on Friday 27th October in the New Weigh Inn, Thurso. Music will be provided by Whisky.

Orders will also be taken at the Quiz for 60th keepsakes. Items available will be Coasters, Paperweights, Ties and Scarves.

The search is now on for Halkirk YF pictures and general items of interest from yesteryear. Past Members wishing to submit items can contact 60th Anniversary secretary Ellen Falconer on 01847 890180.  Alternatively you can obtain contact details and further information from the Club Website, www.halkirkyfc.co.uk  or email williebudge@halkirkyfc.co.uk

28 November 05
Young Farmers Speech Making Competition
The Scottish Association of Young Farmers' North Region held their 2006 Junior Speechmaking Elimination and Regional Quiz Finals on Sunday the 27th of November at the Thurso Town Hall, Caithness. The format for the Junior Speechmaking Elimination was Chairman, Opposer and Proposer with teams from the East Aberdeenshire District to Orkney District. The top honours, for the second year running, went to Harray YFC from Orkney District represented by Graham Tullock, Charles Copland, and Garry Hamilton. In second place was East Mainland YFC, also from Orkney District, with Peter Moss and sisters Laura and Kathryn Banks. Bower YFC from Caithness District took third place with Helen Ryrie, Laura Sandison, and Mey Erridge.

20 November 05
On the 5th of November in Perth Auction Mart, Bower YF had a team competing in both the national cattle dressing competition and the national sheep dressing competition. Brothers, James and Will Barnetson from Lynegar took part in the national sheep dressing but were unlucky not to be placed.  James Barnetson and Stuart Mackay took part in the cattle dressing. They secured their place in the national competition by coming first at both the district and north region eliminations and did extremely well to be placed 3rd as there was some very stiff competition. Karen Oliphant, chairperson of the the club, said "On behalf of Bower YF I would like to say how proud we are of the team. To come 3rd out of the whole of Scotland is an amazing achievement, very well done."

13 October 05
Halkirk A Team Win Caithness Young Farmers Sheep Dressing Competition
The Halkirk boys clipped to victory to win this years Caithness District Young Farmers' Sheep Dressing competition. Halkirk A which consisted of Bryan Sinclair and Kenneth Sutherland will now go forward to the National Finals to be held in Perth on 5th November. Joining them will be a team from Bower Yoiung Farmers, brothers James and William Barnetson who were runners-up. In third palce was another team from Halkirk, Alan Macleod and Alistair Budge. The event was held by kind permission of Aberdeen & Northern Marts, at Quoybrae. The sheep were provided by Mr Ian Campbell, Todholes with the official judge, Bill Manson from Skaill.

14 July 05
Halkirk Tug O' War Team Are Scottish Champions 2005
A team from Halkirk Tug of War came home triumphant from the Scottish Tug Of War Championships on Sunday 10th July. The Amateur competition is held annually at the Stirling Games. The Halkirk boys took top honours in the 680kg weight category. Amateur pulling is different from the more traditional Highland Games pulling which is seen in the North of Scotland. The main differences are the footwear which is permitted and the technique used. It could be likened to the differences between Rugby Union and Rugby League.

10 June 05
It's Muddy Marvellous for Halkirk YF Girls TOW team
Months of training paid off for the Halkirk Young Farmers Girls' Tug of War team on Saturday 4th June. For the third year in a row the girls won the North Regional Elimination at Cornhill and will now represent the North at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh on 25th June. In extremely muddy conditions which caused the Cornhill games to be postponed the girls beat Kinneff, Strichen and Keith to win the competition. In the Gents competition, Halkirk A will also join them at the Highland Show after they finished 3rd to ensure qualification. The Gents team comprised Andrew Morris, Mark MacDonald, Bruce Swanson Jnr, Bryan Sinclair, Graeme Gunn and John Murray with Michael MacGregor the coach. A high standard of 11 teams made for a tough afternoon.

10 June 04
Record Slave Price as Mart Man takes Open Stock Judging Title
Halkirk Young Farmers held their Annual Open Stockjudging and Slave Auction on Wednesday 25th May in Thurso Auction Market by kind permission of Thurso & UA.  The night was again a great success with 22 slaves being sold to a top bid of £100 for Michelle Sutherland, a record price. The average for the 22 was £42.59.  Entrants in the Stock Judging competition had their abilities were tested ongst other animals on Alpacas.

The winner in the Open Stock judging was Colin Mackay, Westburn, Murkle, head yardsman with Thurso & UA, who hit a top score of 293 out of a possible 300. Runner - up in the Open was Ladies and Young farmer winner, Selina Campbell, Mid-Calder. The Junior winner was Alan Macleod, Olgrinbeg, Scotscalder.

The full results list was as follows:-
OPEN - 1st Colin Mackay, 2nd Selina Campbell, 3rd Alan Rutherford
LADIES - 1st Selina Campbell, 2nd Christine Campbell, 3rd Catherine Murray
YOUNG FARMERS - 1st Selina Campbell, 2nd Alan Rutherford, 3rd Alan Macleod
JUNIORS - 1st Alan Macleod, 2nd James Barnetson, 3rd Christine Campbell
Guess the weight of the duck - Mr John Macadie, Leuirary Mains

3 June 05
Fresh from winning the Caithness District elimination of the Agri-Skills Competition, a team from Forss Young Farmers Club represented Caithness at the National Finals in Perth on Sunday. The events included Welding, Bale Stacking and Vehicle handling as well as a First Aid/Health and Safety Quiz. Winners were Ayrshire District with Forss a close second. The team are pictured after winning the Caithness event which was held at Quarryside Farm, by kind permission of Messrs George Swanson.
Pictured l/r are Andrew Swanson, Judge, Greame Mackay, Buldoo, George Williamson, Judge, John Swanson, Clatequoy and Kevin Ross, Golval. Runners-up in the Caithness elimination were a team from Halkirk, Alan Gow, Shaun Macleod and Jamie Henderson.

2 June 05
Caithness Young Farmers Sheep Shearing Competition 2005
Trip Down Under Pays Off For Sinclair
A six month sheep shearing stint in New Zealand paid off for Andrew Sinclair at the Caithness District Young Farmers Sheep shearing competition. The event was held on Wednesday 1st June at Clatequoy Farm. Andrew lifted the individual title clipping his three hoggs in 8 minutes, 37 seconds. He plans to shear sheep in Caithness during the summer before heading back to New Zealand in the autumn for a further six months. Runner - up in the individual event was Kevin Ross, Golval. Kevin is a freelance agricultural worker and is hoping to get in more clipping practice during the summer. In third place was Neil Brims of Brabsterdorran Mains. An apprentice with Johnston Controls, Neil only took up shearing last year. In the team event, honours went to the Forss team of Kevin Ross and John Swanson with runners-up the Bower team of Andrew and Neil. Judges for the evening were Alistair Alexander, Nipster and Andrew Campbell, West Watten. Anyone interested in a sheep shearing course should contact Linda Levack on 01847 841 261 as courses are being run soon, free of charge.

19 April 05
farmingscotland.com young farmer Caithness Final
Caithness competitors competed in chilly conditions in Thurso Mart recently in the second farmingscotland.com North Area District Final. They were tested on general farming knowledge, technical and practical skills, management and budgeting and a lighted hearted domestic section.  Catherine Murray did a sterling job organising four classes of stock and the Agri sports events. She lined up sheep, cattle from David Miller, Geise and haulage by Fred Bremner. Angus McCall, Culmaily, Golspie, placed the stock judging. Liam Swanson (29), Bylbster, Watten, scored top with 16.5 points out of a possible 20, claiming a fleece from MacLaren Tractors for his efforts. Stuart MacKay (17), Drumhead, Bower, came second, securing a torch from Highland Tractors.

Dr Rob Walters from Cardiff quizzed the competitors on the procedures of a simulated PTO accident. John Oliphant (20), who is a farmer’s son from West Lyth Farm, Lyth, but works as a Mechanical Engineer at Dounreay, topped the medical register with, the highest score to date of 15 points. He took home a New Holland fleece from Farm Services, Dingwall. John also snipped top points in the shearing gear practical.Liam Swanson was on a roll. In the Agri sports, he scored 9 out of 10 in both the fencing and load securing events from judges Angus McCall and Joanna McCallum respectively. His mark of 27 points in Matthew Currie’s Technical Paper out shone any of the contenders at the Highland final in Dingwall. He also took out Evelyn McCall’s Culinary Quiz cleaning up the 25kg bag of washing powder from WA Geddes.

When scores were tallied the names in the frames for the Caithness Contest, qualifying for the North Regional Final, were Liam Swanson and John Oliphant. Third placed and reserve was Stuart MacKay. Liam and John will go on to face farmers from Orkney, Caithness and Argyll in the North Regional Final in July.


7 July 04
Busy Two Weeks For Caithness Young Farmers
Caithness Young Farmers have had an eventful two weeks, starting with the County Clipping held at Quarryside, Castletown by kind permission of Andrew & George Swanson. Judges for the day were Alec Oliphant and Bruce Swanson. The Sir David Robertson, Bower Challenge Cup for the best team went to Halkirk, Bryan Sinclair & David MacCarthy. The Robert Coghill Trophy for best shearer went to Bryan Sinclair, Halkirk.

Later that week Caithness played host to International Exchangees from Canada, Finland and Northern Ireland. The three girls stayed with four host families during their eight night stay, they joined in with everyday activities including sheep shearing and Tug of War training as well as the renowned young farmers socialising. They also enjoyed a number of excursions to local places of interest including a day trip to Orkney, which was kindly sponsored by Caithness Livestock Breeders.

The week ended with the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston, Edinburgh where Caithness were very much involved in all fields. Shona Brown of Watten was placed second in the Photography competition. The Junior Stockjudging Team of David and Calvin Wilson, Watten and Alan Gow, Halkirk were third doing especially well in terrible weather conditions. The Halkirk girls Tug of War team of Catherine Murray, Carolyn Coghill, Caroline Campbell, Gail Sinclair, Heather Campbell, Ellen Falconer and coach Jonnie Campbell fought hard to obtain third place. The combined efforts from the four local clubs in preparing the District Notice Board was rewarded with third place.


15 June 04
Double Success for Halkirk
 Halkirk Young Farmers' Tug of War teams enjoyed a double success at the Royal Highland Show eliminations at Cornhill Games on Saturday 5th June. The boys and girls teams both won their respective competitions and now go forward to represent the North Region at the Royal Highland show on Saturday 26th June, at Ingliston.

The boy's team were Roddy Gray, Andrew Morris, David McCarthy, Graeme Gunn, Bruce Swanson and John Murray with Coach Michael MacGregor.  The ladies team consisted of Ellen Falconer, Heather Campbell, Gail Sinclair, Caroline Campbell, Carolyn Coghill and Catherine Murray with Coach Johnnie Campbell.

The boys team will be joined at the Highland Show by 2nd placed Kinneff and 3rd placed Lower Banff.  Also representing Caithness were Forss Young Farmers who came a credible 4th in what was a strong competition.  The ladies team will be joined at the Highland by 2nd placed New Deer and 3rd placed Keith.

Stock Judging
Caithness District Young Farmers held their Summer Stockjudging
Competition on Saturday 15th May.  Six classes of stock were kindly provided by Mr K Campbell, Winless, Mr D Nicolson, Sibster and Mr D Miller, Blybster and judged by Mr G Cormack and Mr M Ronaldson.
The ladies dominated in all sections with the Individual event being
won by Shona Brown, Watten, second Claire McBean, Halkirk and third John Anderson, Halkirk.  The Ladies section was also won by Shona Brown, with Claire McBean second, while Angela Sutherland Halkirk took third place.
In the Junior section Claire McBean was first, John Anderson, second and David Wilson, Watten third.  The Associate section  was won by Catherine Murray, Halkirk, Liam Swanson, Watten was second and William Budge,
Halkirk third.  The team event was a clean sweep for Halkirk, their C team of Claire McBean, Fiona Swanson and Andrew Mowat took first place, the B Team of Darryn Sutherland, John Anderson and Angus Mowat took second place and the A team of Kenneth Sutherland, Alan Gow and Catherine Murray took third place.
13 May 04
Kenneth Sutherland Takes Top Award
Halkirk Young Farmers Club held their Summer Stockjudging at the following venues–
Messrs Manson , Skaill, Messrs Ronaldson, Westerseat and Messrs Gunn, Carsgoe.  Official Judges over the two evenings were Mr Johnnie Campbell,  Mr Charles Angus and Mr Don Miller.
3 March 04
National Success for Halkirk Young Farmers

Halkirk Young Farmers Club represented Caithness in Orkney at the weekend, competing at the National Competitions Weekend. Young Farmers from throughout Scotland attended the event in Kirkwall which hosted the National finals of the Country Cooks, Ten Pin Bowling, Member of the Year, Senior Speechmaking and National Quiz.
In the Country Cooks competition Catherine Murray and Jacquelene Budge came 2nd in the Associate Section with their Italian cuisine. Halkirk also came 3rd in the Ten Pin Bowling competition, the team members were Willie Budge, Bryan Sinclair, Roddy Gray, Alan Gow, Darryn Sutherland and Sarah Coghill.
18 February 04
Young Farmers clubs throughout the County competed in their annual District Ten Pin Bowling competition.  The Forss team Leslie Ross, Gary Elder, Graeme Mackay & David Shearer) came 1st place winning the Comm Cup.  2nd place went to Halkirk A (Willie Budge, Alan Gow, Roddy Gray & Alan Rutherford) with Watten A (Liam Swanson, Calvin Wilson, Christine Campbell & Dianne Allan) coming 3rd.  The Forss and Halkirk teams now go forward to the National final being held at the National Competitions Weekend in Kirkwall, Orkney at the end of February.
The District Junior Quiz was also held last week with questions provided by George Cormack and Graham Mackay.  Six teams competed in the competition which ended with Watten A (Dianne Allan, Craig Steven & David Wilson) and Watten B (Christine Campbell, Alexander Oag & Andrew Banks) going head to head in the final.  Watten A emerged as the winners, taking home the Ulbster Trophy.
Caithness District Young Farmers also held their Singer Sewing competition, this years theme was "A new baby" which included a cross stitch sampler, bib, decorated photoframe, sewn toy and a floral arrangement.  A congratulations card and baby blanket were the items in the junior class.  Mrs Jean Stitt was the official judge for the evening.  The results were as follows:  Team: 1st and winners of the Singer Sewing Machine Trophy - Bower A; 2nd - Halkirk; 3rd - Watten.  Junior: 1st and winner of the Girls Handicrafts Tray - Angela Sutherland, Halkirk; 2nd - Syce Erridge, Bower; 3rd - Kirsty Mackay, Halkirk.  Best Exhibit and winner of the Sydling Cup - Karen Oliphant, Bower for her cross stitch sampler.

9 December 03
Young Farmers Battle It Out In Brains Quiz

Ten Young Farmers teams battled it out at their district elimination for the Harbro Brains of the North Quiz held recently. After a close competition, Halkirk A (Stephen Sutherland, Roy Watson, Douglas Gunn & James Morrison) and Watten A (Liam Swanson, David Wilson, Dianne Allan & Jennifer Easton) went head to head in the final. Halkirk emerged as the winning team, taking home the Skinnet Trophy and they now go forward to the Regional final to held at the North Regional Conference in Newtonmore at the end of January.
9 December 03
Winter Stock Judging Results
Caithness District Young Farmers also held their Winter Stockjudging at Quoybrae by kind permission of Aberdeen & Northern Marts. Mr Charlie Angus, Oldfield and Mr William Oag, Brims Mains were the official judges for the evening with 25 competitors judging the 4 classes. The results were as follows: Associate: 1st - Stephen Sutherland, Halkirk; 2nd - Catherine Murray, Halkirk. Ladies: 1st - Fiona Swanson, Halkirk; 2nd - Kirsty Mackay, Halkirk; 3rd - Elaine Sinclair, Watten. Junior: 1st equal and winners of the Sandy MacGregor Memorial Trophy - Fiona Swanson, Halkirk & John Anderson, Halkirk; 3rd - James Barnetson, Bower. Individual: 1st equal and winners of the Hamiltons Auction Mart Trophy - Fiona Swanson, Halkirk & John Anderson, Halkirk; 3rd - Michael Sandison, Bower. Team: 1st and winners of the Sibster Trophy - Bower A (Donald Swanson, Michael Sandison, James Barnetson); 2nd - Halkirk C (Roddy Gray, Darryn Sutherland, John Anderson); 3rd - Halkirk B (Angus Mowat, Bruce Swanson, Jamie Henderson).
21 October 03
Cattle & Sheep Dressing Competitions

Caithness District Young Farmers recently held their cattle and sheep dressing competitions at Caithness Livestock Centre, Quoybrae by kind permission of Aberdeen & Northern Marts.
Five teams took part in the cattle dressing, which saw James Barnetson and Stuart Mackay (Bower) take home the Stainland Shield for winning the senior competition. In the junior class, Jamie Henderson and Angus Mowat (Halkirk A) came 1st, John Anderson and Alasdair Findlay (Halkirk B) 2nd, and Darryn Sutherland and Alan Gow (Halkirk C) 3rd. Mr Ronnie Mackay, Clyth Mains and Mr Ian Campbell, Todholes were the official judges. The top 3 winning teams now go forward to the North Area final in Dingwall on 25 October 2003.
The sheep dressing competiton was judged by Mr Calum Angus, West Mey and Mr Ian Campbell, Todholes. Halkirk A (Kenneth Sutherland and Alan Gow) were placed 1st and winners of the Mackay Shield, Halkirk B (John Anderson and Darryn Sutherland) 2nd and Halkirk C (Angus Mowat and Angela Sutherland) 3rd.
25 July 03
From The County Show
The Kennedy Cup Competition at the Caithness County Show saw 5 teams from Caithness Young Farmers compete for the trophy. The boys judged 2 classes of stock at Reaster by kind permission of the Mr Tommy Sinclair with Mr Billy Campbell official judge. Halkirk A came 1st, Halkirk B 2nd, Bower 3rd.
The girls displayed their items in the show tent, this years theme was Summer Holiday which included a decorated cocktail glass, non-alcoholic cocktail, sewn beach bag and a floral arrangement. Mrs Rudhall, judge placed Bower 1st, Halkirk A 2nd, Watten A 3rd.
Overall for both boys and girls, Halkirk A came out tops winning the Kennedy Cup, with Bower 2nd and Halkirk B 3rd.
19 May 03
Stock Judging
Caithness District Young Farmers held their Summer Stock Judging, judging dairy classes at Westerseat by kind permission of Mr Morris Ronaldson followed by beef and sheep classes at Reiss Lodge by kind permission of Mr Harry Gunn.  Mr Ian Gunn, Whitefield and Mr David Campbell, Bullechach were judges for the evening with 24 competitors judging the 4 classes.  The results were as follows:
Associate: 1st - Catherine Murray, Halkirk; 2nd - Liam Swanson, Watten; 3rd - Stephen Sutherland, Halkirk.  Ladies: 1st - Selena Campbell, Forss; 2nd - Fiona Swanson, Halkirk; 3rd - Kirsty Mackay, Halkirk.  Junior: 1st - Fiona Swanson, Halkirk; 2nd - Kirsty Mackay, Halkirk; 3rd - Alexander Oag, Watten.  Individual: 1st - Michael Sandison, Bower; 2nd - Willie Budge, Halkirk; 3rd - Selena Campbell, Forss.  Team: 1st - Halkirk A (Kenneth Sutherland, Stephen Sutherland, Willie Budge); 2nd - Watten (Liam Swanson, Alan Henderson, Alexander Oag); 3rd - Forss (John Swanson, Selena Campbell, Kevin Ross).