Following the cancellation of this year’s Devon County Show, the Devon Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (DFYFC) held its own online alternative.

Michelle Batting, Devon YFC’s competitions chairman, explained: “We wanted to recreate the fantastic show of YFC’s talent that the show provides online, with various classes for members to enter and partake in as we usually would.

"This gave members something to keep them occupied during lockdown and enabled us to keep some small sense of normality in these strange times.”

Held across three days, the online event showcased members' talents, from club videos promoting British agriculture, to individual entries such as cake decorating, needlework and floristry.

Across 19 different classes, all 243 entries in the show were whittled down to just one entry, with Katie Grist from Cheriton & Tedburn YFC being awarded ‘Best in Show’ with her woodwork.

Somerset County Gazette:

Best in Show and Winning Woodwork entry by Katie Grist (Cheriton & Tedburn YFC)

Sophie Pratt from Withleigh YFC, who was awarded the Senior Award for most points overall, described her experience of the online show: “Rally season is one of the highlights of the young farmers year for me so the announcement of DFYFC’s Online Show was met with great enthusiasm.

"The initiative was a fantastic way to adapt and will be one for the history books. Watching the entries and results come in virtually was a very exciting and engaging way to view everybody’s creations!”

Somerset County Gazette:

Winning Showstopper Cake by Ellen Layzell (Honiton YFC)

As well as showcasing their members' talents from home, the show also included some demonstration videos.

John Malseed from Chagford YFC provided a sheep shearing demonstration, explaining what the judges look for during their prestigious shearing competition.

Also, Fran Mobbs from Newton St Cyres YFC, gave a demonstration in butter making, a competition that would have previously taken place in the YFC tent during the show.

Somerset County Gazette:

Winning Table Arrangement by Sophie Pratt (Withleigh YFC)

The show also hosted an online agri-debate webinar supported by NFU Mutual. Chaired by David Fursdon, Lord Lieutenant of Devon and Devon YFC president, the debate asked “Driving production or the environment; what takes priority for farming?” Panellists included Devon YFC’s agri-chairman Helen Bellew, organic farmer and former Devon YFC county chairman, Liz Priest and farm manager at Clinton Devon Estates, Sam Briant-Evans.

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John Varley, director of Clinton Devon Estates, a key supporter of the Devon YFC feature at the show, expressed his support for the online alternative.

He said: “Devon YFC represents the next generation of farmers, at probably one of the most exciting and transitional times for agriculture for many decades.

"To top it all, we now have a global pandemic, which has meant the Devon County Show cannot go ahead. But the resilience of Devon Young Farmers has come to the fore, carrying on with an online show.”

To catch up on the show you can check out Devon YFC’s Facebook and Instagram pages, or read the full list of results on Devon YFC’s website