Ribble Valley duo 'honoured' to be unveiled as new leaders of Lancashire Young Farmer's Club

Mick is the new county chairmanMick is the new county chairman
Mick is the new county chairman
Following the AGM of the Lancashire Federation of Young Farmer's Club, the reins of the organisation have been handed over to Mick Handley, from Slaidburn and Hazel Stansfield, from Clitheroe.

Mick (25), was elected county chairman and 23-year-old Hazel vice chairman, while county president is John Neary, from Chipping.

Mick believes it’s a great honour to be the Lancashire Chairman of such an outstanding organisation. Being brought up on a farm has shaped his love for the industry from a young age. After leaving Bowland High School, he went onto agricultural college in Yorkshire, which gave him the foundations to apply for a job shepherding on a large estate in Northumberland .Two years later he went to New Zealand for six months working on farms before returning to his family farm to work with sheep and Belted Galloway Cattle .

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He joined Young Farmers at the age of ten and believes over the years his confidence has improved along with his ability to speak in public. Being a member of young farmers allowed him to meet a group of like-minded people who have become good friends. He’s held many positions over the years within young farmers including Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, Regional Chairman, Competitions Chairman and Secretary.

Hazel, from Clitheroe, has been elected vice county chairmanHazel, from Clitheroe, has been elected vice county chairman
Hazel, from Clitheroe, has been elected vice county chairman

The role of Lancashire County Chairman in normal circumstances would give Mick the opportunity to visit all the clubs around the county, encouraging and supporting them with things like running of competitions, social and fundraising events- for which young farmers are well known for in their communities. Clubs are still meeting, but now in a virtual manner, where rural internet will allow. Having only virtual meetings has not managed to stop the success of a Lancashire team coming third at a recent national stock judging competition!

Meanwhile, vice chairman Hazel, cannot wait to follow in the footsteps of Mick and one day become county chairman. Hazel had a late start when it comes to Young Farmers having only joined at the age of 17, however, had a farming background through her dad trimming cows’ feet for a living and granddad being a butcher. Having travelled to Nepal last year as part of a YFC travel trip, Hazel knows first hand what Young Farmers has to offer, there really is something for everyone. Like Mick, Hazel is also an ex-Bowland High School pupil and currently works as an insurance sales advisor for the NFU Mutual in Clitheroe. Hazel’s main task as county chairman is supporting Mick and hopefully having a smooth and successful running of the federation and hopes the federation has another successful year.

Lancashire Young Farmers is now in its 80th year. Young Farmers is a national youth organisation led by young people, for 10-26 year olds offering an opportunity to develop skills, work with their local communities, travel abroad, take part in a varied competitions program and enjoy a dynamic social life. With weekly meetings along with public speaking competitions see members develop massively throughout their YFC career. It is open to anyone- not just farmers. There are seventeen clubs around the county. Anyone interested in joining Lancashire Young Farmers Club, is asked to get in touch via the local club on 01200 426335.