This year marks a busy year for Young Farmers across the country – but it’s even more special for Marton Young Farmers which is celebrating its 80th Anniversary this year.
One of the oldest clubs in the country, it has survived trials and tribulations that others didn’t, including World War II.
The 80th reunion will coincide with the NZ Agri Food Week in Palmerston North in March.
The two day event will be celebrated with activities, as well as a formal evening featuring memorabilia collected from over the years, the iconic Young Farmers quiz and a debate between alumni and current members.
It will be hosted by 2013 FMG Young Farmer of the Year and Waikato MP, Tim van de Molen.
With hundreds of people having been part of Marton Young Farmers over the decades, we’re expecting a large number of past and present members to come from all over the country.
Reunion Organiser and Club Chair, Samantha Tennent says it’s also a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the businesses, farmers and other Manawatu Young Farmers which have all been pillars of support over 80 years.
“Marton has been an incredibly strong club throughout the decades. It’s withstood many challenges which saw other small clubs fold and has really proved it has grit, resilience and passion for not just farming but also rural communities,” she says.
The first Young Farmers club was the Fielding District formed in 1927.
Marton Young Farmers came almost a decade later, on April 30th 1938, when only men were allowed to be involved with the organisation.
Starting with just 24 Young Farmers, the membership doubled within its first year.
However, during World War II, clubs across the country struggled.
Men were sent into the Armed Forces and R.N.Z.A.F, numbers declined and the number of clubs across the country plummeted from 118, to 72.
Marton Young Farmers took a two year recess in May of 1942 after a meeting drew in jus four members.
At least 40 Marton Young Farmers were on active service and at least five of the members had made the ultimate sacrifice during the war.
After coming out of hibernation in June 1944, the Club had a boost in membership.
Heading into 2020, there are currently 42 members with all of them looking forward to celebrating a rich and iconic history.
“It’s incredible just to think how many people have been involved with Marton Young Farmers over the years, it’s such a tight knight community here."
"If you add up members, supporters, businesses, farmers, event organisers and vendors and everything else, there would just be thousands and thousands of people who have played a part in getting us to where we are today,” Club Chair Sam Tennent says.
“The reunion is for everyone, not just past and present members, so we’re really looking forward to seeing who comes out of the woodwork, reminiscing and telling some great stories.”
The event is currently being sponsored by Farmlands and Iplex and Samantha says they’d love for more sponsors and local businesses to get involved.
Tickets can be bought here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/marton-young-farmers-80th-reunion-evening-event-tickets-83123248875
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