A 22-year-old funeral director has been elected chairman of Norfolk's Young Farmers - and now he hopes to encourage more diverse careers within the county's clubs.

Ben Johnson works for his mother's family business, Watton-based Eirlys Johnson Funeral Services.

He said this job was "all I have ever wanted to do", but he also retains his childhood love of farming as his father Nick was previously a self-employed farm worker, and both his parents were Young Farmers Club (YFC) members.

He joined Swaffham YFC in 2017 and, after taking on the key county role, he aims to prove that Norfolk Young Farmers is not just for farmers.

"I want to get more members into YFC and show that we have every career here, and we can support that with training," he said. 

"We want to support all careers, at the same time remembering the core purpose of the club, to support young farmers.

"It is also a great way of getting to know people and making lifelong friends, not just in Norfolk, but across the whole country."

Mr Johnson's tenure as chairman will coincide with the Norfolk federation's 80th anniversary next year, which will be celebrated in May with the Oak Ball at the Norfolk Showground, raising money for the YFC Skills Initiative Fund, which is open to all members.

He also aims to reopen more of Norfolk YFC's junior Countrysider clubs, many of which closed during the Covid lockdown.

"Countrysiders will be the future of Young Farmers, so I want to invest time in the Countrysiders, because without them we are putting a limit on the potential of what our future could be," he said.

He said his own career path had equipped him with skills which would help with the administration of Norfolk YFC, which has 10 senior clubs across the county.

"It [funeral directing] is all I have ever wanted to do," he said. "I have known it my whole life. 

"I love helping people. We are helping people at the most dfficult time in their lives, and we cannot do our job unless we care. You can train for every aspect of the job, but you cannot train somebody to care. 

"In my job, everything has got to be done exactly right and done to a high standard. That transfers to Young Farmers. If you are going to do something, you want to do the best possible."