National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

A parent’s view of YFC

What’s it like to be a parent of a YFC member? Mum Nicola Derrick says it’s just one big extended family in this piece she wants to share for National Young Farmers’ Week 2019.

A lot of people think that Young Farmers’ Clubs are just about farmers’ kids going out and having a bit too much of a good time, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

We live on the outskirts of Weymouth and nowhere near a farm – although my grandparents were farmers so I guess it’s in the blood. Our son started an apprenticeship to be an agricultural engineer when he was 16 years old and as most of his colleagues were older he needed somewhere to mix with people his own age. After encouraging him to join our local club, Puddletown YFC, he hasn’t looked back. He now has a close bunch of friends who are like family.

Despite the title, it’s not just for kids that live on farms, and what’s amazing is the age range of the members. I find it incredible that the 10 to 26 years olds all hang out together. The older members organise the activities each week for everyone. There are no parents bossing kids about – the members organise everything for each other. And when I say everything that is no small task. 

Each group has a committee formed of YFC members and they are part of the County committee, Area and some are involved nationally. I went along to the County’s Annual General Meeting and was amazed how all those young people took it seriously – they would put some board meetings to shame.

The clubs organise events and activities that can involve anything from visiting a farm or a biomass centre to booking speakers, cooking, crafting, sports and film nights. There are also the training opportunities for YFC members too that teach them skills for life – such as learning about e-safety or gaining stockjudging skills. They can even learn how to train others too and get a recognised training qualification.   


There are loads of competitions that YFC members can get involved in, with opportunities to compete at club, county, Area and national levels. Puddletown YFC competed at the national cookery finals at the Malvern Autumn Show this year – where celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli was a guest judge!

One of the other impressive aspects of YFC is their charitable fundraising. Many clubs host events throughout the year such as quizzes and ploughing matches that involve their local communities too. I watched Dorset YFC members organise a show for the public to demonstrate what they do and it involved competitions throughout the day. The parents gave them a hand so everyone could join in the competitions – but in the main, these young people arranged the event in just six months around their jobs and study.

Through the national Federation, members also get the chance to travel and volunteer in locations around the world. They get to meet like-minded people and explore other rural communities – and when they return they give a presentation about their adventure to inspire others in their club. Such a fantastic opportunity for our children.

Every year, each club in our County hosts a harvest supper night where they decorate the venue and compete to cook the best supper and put on entertainment for their families. Why do they do this? To say thank you to all the parents and wider families for their support throughout the year. This is what YFC is all about and we’re proud to be part of it.  


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