A YOUNG farmer from Herefordshire has been awarded the prestigious title of National Junior Member of the Year (under-18), seeing off competition from members around the country.

Lucy Hall, 18, a member of Dilwyn Young Farmers Club, is currently awaiting her A level results before embarking on an exciting gap year.

It's a year which will start on August 1, as Lucy has been selected to represent the National Federation of Young Farmer’s Clubs as an ambassador in Nanyuki, Kenya, on a volunteering trip through the NFYFC International Travel Programme.

"It is a brilliant way to visit new countries, experience other cultures, learn things to take back to my community and make lots of new friends. After this two-week trip, I am moving onto work on giraffe and lion conservation, based in Soysambu," says Lucy.

Together with 10 other YFC members, Lucy will spend the first week of her four week stay based in a children's day care centre, focusing on promoting fitness and health. She will then spend a week on a farm to learn about sustainability programmes, crop rotation, pest control and livestock management."

Lucy, whose ambition is to become a vet, will then travel to Soysambu with Projects Abroad to research Rothschild giraffes, make behavioural observations on lions using camera traps and conduct community outreach projects including tree planting and controlling invasive weeds.

"I will be meeting a large variety of people including Kenyan locals and experts, international researchers and my fellow YFC members from around the UK, which is a great opportunity to develop social and communicative skills."

The trip to Kenya marks the start of an exciting gap year, after which Lucy hopes to secure a place at Harper Keele to study veterinary medicine, but she reveals that her long-term ambition is to follow her parents, Tony and Julia Hall, into farming. Tony and Julia are tenant farmers in Dilwyn, meaning that Lucy will be looking to buy her own farm in due course. "I think, if you think you're will be farming the family farm you grew up on you can get stuck."

With plans for the year including travel to Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada to see how farming operates "and how other countries produce sustainably", and lambing work secured for the spring, there seems to be little danger of Lucy getting stuck.

To help fund her upcoming trip, Lucy has organised a bingo night at Dilwyn Cedar Hall on Wednesday, July 19.