Youth

A-Z challenge - My memories of life on the farm in the nineteen fifties and sixties

Rural Youth Clubs

As early as 1949 there were plans afoot to introduce a program in South Australia that would emulate the young farmers' organisation in the UK. By December of 1951, a supervisor had been appointed by the Department of Agriculture to oversee the formation and promotion of Rural Youth Clubs. The early aim of these clubs was ‘to interest young people in both the city and the country in the agricultural way of life’ 1

The first senior and junior clubs were established at Clare in the mid-north of South Australia in 1952.  Fifty-five young farmers attended the first Rural Youth week at Roseworthy College in August of that year. Clubs were established at Kapunda and Freeling and by October of 1953 there were 30 clubs in the state. 2  The clubs were for both male and female, city and country. Statewide competitions and exchanges between the clubs were introduced. Rural Youth organisations soon became important contributors to both their local and state agricultural shows.

Maurice Horgan
An active member of the Tarlee Rural Youth at
the roadside sign just south of
Tarlee, South Australia c 1967
My older siblings became heavily involved in the local Rural Youth club. There were informative talks to attend, debates for participation, dances and balls, visits to farms and field days, opportunities for leadership, other areas of the state to see, as well as interstate trips and the chance to host other youth. I have a wonderful picture of my brother ready for a Rural Youth "mock debutante" fancy dress ball but it is not for publication here.

Tarlee Rural Youth club had a strong debating team and in 1962 were the runners-up in the Statewide final narrowly defeated by the Victor Harbour Club. 3

The Rural Youth movement provided companionship, education, skill development and friendship opportunities for many in the years from 1952 up to and beyond the time my reflections about life on the farm finish in 1967.



1. 1951 'Rural Youth Supervisor Appointed', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 7 December, p. 3. , viewed 26 Apr 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45790766

2. 1953 'RURAL YOUTHS', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 21 October, p. 17. , viewed 26 Apr 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48928232

3. 1962 'RURAL YOUTH DEBATE', Victor Harbour Times (SA : 1932 - 1986), 21 September, p. 1. , viewed 29 Apr 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article186743849

3 comments:

  1. Hi Carmel - certainly the Young Farmers of the Year association here is of much value - particularly in these difficult times. Interesting to read about your Tarlee Rural Youth club ... must have been so helpful for families ... cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/y-is-for-y-artists.html

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  2. These community clubs and organisations like Scouts and Guides were so valuable. They're all but lost now, aren't they. It's "boring" to spend time outside school doing anything remotely educational ... unless it's online.
    Pity.

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  3. I need to write about the 4-H youth group that we belonged to. My mom was a leader for many years and deeply involved in our projects. Thanks for reminding me of that time. PS. I noticed you are a librarian and genealogist. Me too, so glad to meet you. I enjoy your Australian topics, having lived for 3 years in Alice Springs.

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