The Scottish young farmers’ movement faces a 13 per cent cut in income following the revelation that, after nearly 70 years, government support is to come to an end.
The Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs (SAYFC) – the country’s largest rural youth organisation – said that the Scottish Government had withdrawn its financial support of £66,000, made through the Department for Children and Young People.
The association’s chief executive Penny Montgomerie said: “We are disappointed that the Scottish Government has taken this decision to no longer support SAYFC. The association offers a crucial network for many young people in rural Scotland as well as unique personal development opportunities.”
However, she said that the association was currently going from strength to strength, with membership now higher than any time since 1998.
“Looking to the future we are optimistic that, although there are tough financial times ahead, we will continue to focus on ensuring we can develop member services, and have a relevant organisation that youth in rural Scotland want to be part of,” said Montgomerie.
With more than 3,500 members, the association supports individuals of 14 to 30 years of age and provides personal development opportunities through events, competitions, training and travel.
One of the organisation’s aims is to help reduce rural isolation and increase individuals’ confidence and skills.