ON his way to represent the county at the annual NFU conference, new chairman of Northumberland Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) Edward Dungait, spoke about the ways in which he’s been shaped by being a member – and the importance of continuing the organisation.

“It’s a sense of community,” Edward, who is a member of a member of the Tritlington YFC said. “But on top of that it helps develop life skills. For me this was learning to communicate with people better, and combat some of my shyness. Life on the farm can be quite isolating – and so its important for younger people, to have a social hub.”

On Lough House Farm near Morpeth, 26-year-old Edward grew up on the family’s arable farm, and always knew he wanted to join the family business John Dungait & Sons.

In 2010 he was awarded a £1,000 bursary by Northumberland County Show which helped to fund young people’s studies in agriculture, and allowed Edward to attend the prestigious Harper Adams University College in Shropshire to study agriculture and crop management.

Since graduating Edward has helped run the family farm, now known as Ian Dungait & Son, alongside his responsibilities as YFC county chairman.

“I’m proud to not only play a part in helping to keep Young Farmers’ thriving for future generations, but also to represent the county – and the great work we do.

“Last year, between the county’s ten clubs we raised £20,000 for charity and we’re already off to a great start this year organising events, which vice-secretary Gina Tailford has had a huge hand in.

“Having a variety of interests is important because people don’t often join Young Farmers’ to practise all-things farming related. It is supposed to offer something different, and help people out of their comfort zones.”

Last month, Edward swapped the tractor for the theatre when he trod the boards as everyone’s favourite moustached detective Poirot at this year’s Northumberland Young Farmers’ Entertainments Competition.

His performance was such a show stopper he was awarded the ‘Oscar’ for the best male performance of the night.

He said: “We wanted to give the audience a laugh, whilst having fun ourselves, which is what Young Farmers’ is all about.”