2022 Youth Development Programme final report

2022 Youth Development Programme final report


Our YDP Finalists have gone from strength-to-strength in 2022, even though they have been unable to compete for 2 years, it appears that they came to Westerton Farm, Cowie, Stirlingshire, this Final weekend, with more determination, skill and commitment to win!

On Friday 30th September 34 finalists aged between 8-24 years arrived, along with their parents, to Airth Castle Hotel for the evening gathering.  They came from all corners of the UK and Ireland, travelling by road, air and sea.  Once presented with their blue shirts, society ties and YDP black hoodies, they were ready and equipped for the competition to begin the following morning, Saturday 1st October, hosted by Mr & Mrs Dick and their daughter Steph, who is also our Scotland area coordinator for YDP.

Divided into their age groups the young people embarked upon the full programme for the day.  Including, a panel interview for the Seniors and a presentation of “Why are there so many different types of Aberdeen Angus cattle” for the intermediate competitors. Kindly judged by Angus Stovold, Eustace Burke and Duncan Morrison.   Plus, the following;

Ring Craft and changing halters                  Judged by Carol Rettie

Clipping                                                             Judged by Andrew Hughes

Dressing and Grooming                                 Judged by Shane Murphy

Stock Judging                                                   Judged by Dallas Allan

In between the competitive elements were workshops including;

Know your cows                                            Charlie McClaren

Fertility and Breeding                                 Gavin Tait, AB Europe

Halter Making                                               Dougie Macbeth.


Our panel judges were very impressed with the strength of ability, knowledge and maturity of our senior and intermediates, prompting our President to endeavor to secure further opportunities for them in their future development.  Congratulations to our 1st and 2nd placed panel Seniors, John Smyth and Catherine Smyth, who have been invited to attend the British Cattle Breeders Conference in January 2023.

The young people selected for the final, had attended a YDP workshop in their area during 2022, where they were assessed by our experienced trainers on the day, in the set disciplines.  All the time the young folk are having fun, making friends, and learning skills from industry experts.  To then be invited to attend the final was an amazing achievement and all of us area coordinators are extremely, proud and impressed by their remarkable positive attitude and friendly rivalry throughout the weekend.

“The enthusiasm and skills of all competitors over the weekend was unbelievable, considering, for most of them it was their first time to do the YDP.  Going into 2023 it can only go from strength to strength” Niall Lynch – YDP Coordinator Ireland.


Following the long day of competition; a formal presentation dinner was held at Airth Castle Hotel, after dinner our President, Angus Stovold delighted us with an amusing speech and then followed the days results and presentation of awards.

Congratulations to our overall 1st and 2nd placed seniors, Nicola Howie and Seonaid McClaren, who have been invited by the President and YDP Chairman to attend the next Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society council meeting in October, in Perth, to introduce and promote the establishment of the new Youth Council.

It was an immensely satisfying and proud moment for the YDP Team, Steph Dick (Scotland), Niall Lynch (Ireland) and myself Tina Russell (England & Wales), along with our Chairman Will Chrystal, to witness all the development of friendships, confidence and comradery between the 34 young folk, as a result of their experience over the 48 hrs prior.

  “It was a great weekend with many new friends made.  Our son Kieran had a great time and learned lots to assist him in the coming years.” Ger Ryan

The scale of this event is immense and cannot be achieved with out the good will and generosity of fellow Angus breeders and friends.  We thank all of our skilled judges and workshop leaders, for giving up their time and sharing their knowledge. Special thanks must be paid to Carol and Richard Rettie, along with William and Seonaid Mclaren for providing equipment and livestock for the day’s events and of course to The Dick family for all the preparations in advance and for letting us take over their family farm for the day.

” What a final!” ”Best one I’ve ever been to!” ‘Well organised from start to finish, this is our sons first time and he’s loved every minute, thank you”. 

These are only a few comments I’ve received over the past few days, it fills me with pride that the team has pulled this amazing weekend together, so a huge pat on the back from me. 

I had the opportunity to sit in on panel and again, it amazes me when the young people have that level of enthusiasm and shear guts to stand in front of the panel and say their piece. So very well done to you all. 

Speaking to judges after the event, they all spoke very highly of all the competitors, and they were delighted to be a part of the weekend and offering their services for anything to do with the YDP in the future. Without the judges, host farms of workshops during the year, the people who offered Angus cattle to workshops and finals, and everyone that helped in between I would like to thank you on behalf of the YDP. 

Because you have all helped in the learning, providing your experience and creating the experience for the competitors. Thank you.” Will Chrystal – Chair of YDP.


Looking forward your YDP Coordinators are now planning their dates and venues for 2023 workshops, to find our next finalists in the autumn 2023, which will be held in England.


Tina Russell
National YDP Coordinator

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