Although one of the country’s smallest YFC branches, what the Kilrea team lacks in numbers is more than adequately compensated by its members’ enthusiasm – a point reinforced last year after being awarded the accolade of Club of the Year 2020 by Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU).
David Linton, Barenbrug’s commercial agricultural manager, based in Northern Ireland, said the decision to offer sponsorship was driven by both commercial and personal factors.
“January 2022 will mark five years of association between Kilrea and Barenbrug, but my own involvement with the club goes back many more years to when I was a member myself.
“The Young Farmers’ Club movement provides a terrific experience and valuable social network for young people across the country, regardless of whether or not they come from a farming background.
“Nevertheless, it does play a vital role in nurturing the next generation of farmers and others who’ll find their careers in the rural economy. That’s why we, as Barenbrug – one of the UK’s biggest breeders and growers of grass seed – are keen to support them and help them continue this essential function.”
David’s three children were also club members and David himself served as Club President between 2014 and 2017. He remains a Vice President today, supporting the club in activities such as singing and drama.
Kilrea YFC, is one of 60 YFCU branches in Northern Ireland. Together they boast more than 2,500 members. YFCU is open to anyone between 12 and 30 years old, the only requirement being that they should have an interest in rural life.
Barenbrug UK breeds and grows grass seed for everyone from Northern Ireland dairy farmers to Premier League football clubs, producing around 4,500 tonnes of seed each year.
Barenbrug UK’s David Linton (centre), commercial agricultural manager, with members of Kilrea YFC. Barenbrug continues as the club’s main sponsor, alongside secondary sponsors Hutchinson Engineering and Kilrea Livestock Mart.