Youth Development Programme workshop comes to Devon

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17 July 2017

The Devon YDP Workshop took place on Sunday 9th July 2017 in beautiful sunshine at North Alfordon Farm, nestled in the rolling hills of Devon just outside of Okehampton by kind permission of the Luxton family. One of those present at the workshop was Kerris Richards, aged 13. She has kindly given us her account of the day on the farm:

“It was lovely to meet up with friends and see some new faces. This is the fourth year I have participated in the YDP workshops and I always learn something new, gain extra experience and skills.

As always, we were greeted by Gayle Bersey with our name badges and an opportunity to meet all the other 15 participants and learn a bit about them.

We were separated into our groups and all given tuition in a different aspect of preparing an animal for showing. My first section was how to dress an animal for showing using different techniques and brushes for the right effect, as well as using black soap and foam. Lin Pidsley explained the process thoroughly and answered our questions. She then showed us how to use a blower correctly to enhance the coat.

Clipping was the next activity I took part in with Nigel Jenkinson who was really enthusiastic and helpful. I had to clip the belly of the animal and do the blending of the shoulder and neck together.

Moving on, we got to learn halter techniques with Richard Ashenden, including how to tie a halter correctly and how to change a halter. On a hot day it was nice to do the next activity of washing the animal.  We were then shown by Richard the correct techniques from head to tail.

Finally, I took part in the stock judging of four Aberdeen-Angus bulls. There was a clear first placed winner and a clear last, but the two in the middle made us all think about how to place them. After giving our reasons to Clive Groves, he explained some of the things that we missed and what we could expand on which was really helpful.

At lunch time, we had a chance to cool off. We were very lucky to sample some delicious Aberdeen-Angus beef burgers for lunch from the Luxton family’s own “Farmer Luxtons” farm shop, and we thanked them all for catering for such a large number. What better promotion for the breed than sampling the results of all the hard work that goes into rearing beef cattle.

Ringcraft concluded the day and it was nice to put all the things we had been taught in practice into action in front of our four trainers, with questions answered by them throughout.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day and I always look forward to going to these workshops immensely. I highly recommend the workshops and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to attend. Also, a big thank you to the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society for arranging the YDP Programme. It teaches us life skills of communication, friendship and developing our knowledge of cattle. Also, a huge thank you to the Luxton family for hosting the event and to all the trainers who gave up their time to help us, and lastly to Gayle for organising the whole day.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the next one!!”

We would like to give an extended thank you to Kerris and all other participants who contributed to what was another excellent YDP workshop. Also, a big thank you to the trainers, without them the workshop wouldn’t have been such a success. Stay tuned for more updates from the upcoming workshops. Here's a selection of photos from a great day:

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