Looking out through the window of the Corner Clecs office, the leaves have now gradually changed to the autumnal colours and although we are now in November, surprisingly the leaves are holding on to the trees. Aside from nature’s signs that winter is upon us, there are also other events such as the Winter Fair imminent as a reminder that the end of another year is fast approaching.
The YFC is also busy at this time of year with each county in turn holding its county eisteddfod. It was lovely to hear that one of our staff won one of the main competitions at this year's Carmarthenshire YFC Eisteddfod held at St Peter's Hall, Carmarthen in mid-October. Ceri Davies, our Policy Officer, won the Chair for her poem under the topic 'Voice'. Cornel Clecs had the opportunity to question Ceri about her success:
What did it feel like to win?
The biggest feeling was pride! After being so close to winning on a number of occasions, I was happy that I had finally won. I've also been runner-up, and third and fourth in the competition during the last five years. Members of my local club, Dyffryn Cothi YFC, have won the chair competition four out of the last five years, so I was also happy that I had continued the winning streak for the club.
What is the topic of your winning work?
The topic this year was 'Voice', and my English poem was about a young person's mental health with a troubled state of mind. The last lines say "Only once acquainted with the drowning depths I see, the voice I heard all along was me". I think this is a very important issue for us as an agricultural industry, with increasing numbers of farmers suffering with mental health problems.
What or who influences/inspires your creative work?
Local nature certainly influences my creative work, with the weather and the landscape of Wales always mentioned in my poems.
How important is the YFC to the future of agriculture in Wales?
In my opinion the Young Farmers’ movement in Wales is extremely important. The friends, contacts with other clubs and skills you gain from taking part are tremendous. Personally, I have benefited from skills such as public speaking and communicating in Welsh that are now relevant to my daily work. I would encourage anyone from 10 to 26 years old to join a local club, there are so many benefits of doing so.
It is interesting to see that Ceri pursued a young person's mental health in her winning poem. This reinforces the relevance of the subject to the agricultural industry. The Union is at the forefront of raising awareness of mental health problems in rural communities and continuing the conversation about the wider mental health issues in rural areas.
Congratulations to Ceri on her success and by the time you read this, Ceri will have left us to continue with the next step in her career, and we wish her all the best in her future career and creative writing.