Over 100 Young Farmers’ Speak Up at Public Speaking Final

6 November 2019

Over 100 Young Farmers’ Speak Up at Public Speaking Final

Young Farmers of Ulster (YFCU) members recently participated in the Public Speaking Competition Finals 2019 which was held on Tuesday 5 November at Magherafelt High School.  The popular competition has been kindly sponsored for a number of years by NFU Mutual Charitable Trust.

The competition sought to find the best prepared and impromptu public speakers among the YFCU members in Northern Ireland.

In the prepared section, competitors delivered a pre-prepared speech chosen from a specified list of topics. These included: 

·         Where will I be in 10 years’ time?

·         My favourite place to go.

·         The environment and what it means to me.

·         When my mum/dad/grandparents were in Young Farmers.

·         My favourite hobby.

·         I spy with my little eye…

·         When I was in trouble what did I do?

·         Why farmers are price takers not price makers.

·         Why Young Farmers is not just for Young Farmers.

·         Life after Brexit.

In the impromptu competition, members were given an unseen topic and a limited amount of time to structure their speeches and deliver them to the judges.

The judges listened intently to over 100 speeches, and these were assessed according to platform manner, voice production and on the content and marshalling of facts. The judges were thoroughly impressed by a range of varied and entertaining speeches and had a difficult task due to the high standard presented.

Guest speaker on the evening was chef and broadcaster, Paula McIntyre. Paula has been a long-standing judge for the YFCU Home Management competition and was able to impart her public speaking wisdom and the importance of strong communication with YFCU members

YFCU President Zita McNaugher announced the winners, with NFU Mutual’s David Cairns on hand to present the prizes.

Zita commented, “The Public Speaking Competition is a core competition for members. It’s a building block for a lot of our competitions such as Group Debating and Stock Judging. It’s amazing to see how confidently members can deliver a message concisely and in an interesting manner. Some of the topic interpretations have been very original. The standard on display tonight has been extremely high and everyone who has earned a place in the final should be very proud.”

Commenting on the competition, David Cairns, NFU Mutual Sales Manager representing NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, said, “The YFCU Public Speaking Competition is just one of the many ways that the Trust support Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster.  Participating in the competition is a fantastic way of building confidence amongst young people and allows us as a Trust to help support the personal development of young people across Northern Ireland”.

The YFCU would like to thank the sponsor NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, David Cairns, guest speaker Paula McIntyre, the chairs, judges and trainers who helped throughout the competition, Magherafelt High School for their assistance during the final and finally the YFCU members who took part.

The top three members in each class were placed as follows:


12-14 Prepared

3rd – James Patton, Ballywalter

2nd- Philip Crawford, Seskinore

1st – James Gregg, Glarryford


14-16 Prepared

3rd – Allister Crawford, Seskinore

2nd – Victoria Currie, Kilraughts

1st – Samara Radcliff, Annaclone and Magherally


16-18 Prepared

3rd – Helen Chapman, Hillhall

2nd – James Currie, Kilraughts

1st – Eva Lowry, Glarryford

16-18 Impromptu

3rd – Zoe Weir, Annaclone and Magherally

2nd – Kirsty Turner, Cappagh

1st – Marianna Neill, Bleary


18-21 Prepared

3rd – Thomas McNeill, Kilraughts

2nd – Alex Cleland, Spa

1st – Jayne Calvin, Dungiven

18-21 Impromptu

3rd - Abbi Grills, Collone

2nd – Ellen King, Glarryford

1st – Alex Cleland, Spa

21-25 Prepared

3rd – Lynsay Hawkes, Seskinore

2nd – Stephanoe McIlroy, Gleno valley

1st – Hannah Kilpatrick, Kilraughts

21-25 Impromptu

3rd – Shannon Vance, Trillick

2nd – Ellen Woods, Annaclone and Magherally

1st – Lynsay Hawkes, Seskinore

25-30 Prepared & Impromptu

3rd – Robert Sloan, Kilrea

2nd – Judith McKinley, Trillick

1st – Andrew Patton, Newtownards