Young farmers' success at regional shows

Pupils from Future Schools Trust, Maidstone, are gearing up to be the farmers of tomorrow.

Young farmers from New Line Learning Academy, in Boughton Lane, notched up a string of successes at the Ashford Cattle Show, where Jessica Austin (14) pipped 15 other competitors to gain 1st place in cattle handling. 

Archie, the Aberdeen Angus steer, gained first in his class with Jessica showing him.

All the school’s four sheep were awarded an attendance rosette in the young handlers class.

In the craft section, Alice Edmonds (15) won first place for her papier-mâché sheep, Chloe Godden (12) took second place with her papier-mâché chicken, Matilda Parkes (13) a third place with her  papier-mâché turkey and Danielle Sumner (16) fourth place, with her papier-mâché pig.  

Prior to the Ashford Cattle Show, the young farmers attended the South Eastern Primestock Winter Fayre, where they entered the sheep handling class and Taylor Weston (15) from Cornwallis Academy, also run by FST, achieved 2nd place.

Two of the Academy’s Southdown sheep were also entered into a ‘wool on the hoof’ class, where they gained a 3rd prize for the quality of their ewe lambs’ fleece.

Earlier in 2017, two of NLL’s young farmers – Alice Edmonds and Jamie Hedger (17) - qualified to take part in the prestige Smithfield Winter Festival.

They borrowed lambs from two top sheep breeders and Alice achieved a 4th with the Blue Texel, while Jamie achieved a 2nd with a Beltex in his age class. He then went on to become Reserve Champion of the Young Handlers Class. 

Farm manager Lorraine Dent said: “Competitions like this are great for improving our pupils’ experience and confidence. We regularly enter competitions throughout the South of England and all our young farmers who take part have a great time, learn a lot and make new friends from other clubs around the country.”