National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

17 October 2012

Young Farmers will soon be able to perfect their stock judging skills with help from a new Meat for the Market training DVD, funded by Defra for the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC).

The useful tool will mean Young Farmers can get to grips with the basics of stock judging to develop their skills at home, on the farm and for YFC competitions.

The 20-minute film, produced by EBLEX, explains which parts of the animals are most important and how to judge them both alive and as carcasses. It also explains how to give reasons during judging, using both live and carcase examples.

The DVD is available to members on the NFYFC website and EBLEX has funded the production of copies of the DVD for NFYFC to distribute to counties for members who cannot access the online resource.

Good stock judging skills are increasingly important in livestock farming because of the constant pressure to match animals to market demands.

The DVD is just part of a range of materials and training that NFYFC and EBLEX are working on together. The two organisations have also produced a Guide to Stock Judging, which is available in print and on the NFYFC website, and they are currently running free Meat for the Market training, with a beef event taking place on 18 October in Chesterfield.

Helen Reeve, Agriculture Chairman, said:

“The Agriculture committee works with industry to ensure that our farming and competing members have up-to-date knowledge for the market they are producing or training for.  Our competitions and training provide a good route for knowledge transfer and this is validated by backing from Defra.  The working relationship with EBLEX is valued and of great benefit for YFC members and future farmers.” 

Katie Brian, Project Manager, EBLEX said:

“EBLEX has given our time to help produce this for the next generation of farmers because it is a core area, and selecting stock to meet market demand is very important. We felt it was important to produce some hard copies of the DVD for those members who have limited or no access to the internet. We hope the clubs and counties find it a useful learning tool for both current and new members over the coming years.”

Watch the videos online

17 October 2012

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) is asking its members to back a new campaign by the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) that is calling for more support for young farmers entering the agricultural industry.

The CEJA campaign, called 'Future…Food…Farmers' launched on World Food Day in the form of a pledge that young farmers, stakeholders in the food and forestry sector, consumers, politicians, sectorial associations and the general public have been asked to sign. 

The campaign highlights the generational crisis in the industry, where over a third of European farmers are over 65. It urges decision-makers in the Common Agricultural Policy reforms to prioritise support for young farmers to ensure farming has a future.

To sign the pledge, visit the campaign website. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter and on Facebook.

NFYFC became a full member of CEJA this year, thanks to sponsorship from farmer-owned Mole Valley Farmers.

16 October 2012

Three new awards were launched at the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) annual Competitions Day this weekend at Stafford County Showground thanks to new trophies donated by two Young Farmers supporters.

Dairy Farmer and former President of Cumbria and the Northern Area of YFCs Frank Chester and NFYFC Life Vice President Chris Lloyd have both previously judged the Public Speaking 16 and under competition and felt individuals deserved to be recognised as well as the overall team.

The three new trophies were presented, for the first time in the Federation’s 80 years, to Hattie Noble from Yorkshire YFC for Best Speaker, Elin Harvard from Brecknock YFC for Best Chairman and Will Long from Devon for Best Vote of Thanks in the Junior Public Speaking competition.  

Chris Lloyd, NFYFC Life Vice President, said:

“I was very pleased to be able to join Frank Chester to present these new awards. To be a part of a winning team at the NFYFC final is very special; for me, the awards that I have for public speaking are amongst my most treasured possessions. We hope that these awards will be just as treasured as they recognise the competitors that are the best in England and Wales at what they do.”
More than 300 Young Farmers, aged between 10 and 26, from across England and Wales battled it out to be crowned the best in the country in 10 competitions ranging from Fence Erecting to Debating on Saturday 13 October. More than 20,000 members have taken part in the NFYFC competitions programme this year and 304 won a place to compete at the national finals.

The longest fought competition was Senior Debating, with heated discussions not finishing until after 6pm. It was victory for Shropshire YFC though who scored the highest marks and one of their team Charles Bourne also won the individual prize of Best Speaker.

NFYFC President Elect Poul Christensen presented the trophies to the winners and said:  

“It was a fantastic day and I am so impressed with the amount of talent we have in our Young Farmers. Members compete at a club and county level to reach the national finals and they have all shown such enthusiasm and dedication. These young people are having so much fun but yet they are also learning skills for life.”

The full list of competitions and winners are:

Event Winner
Graffiti finals Elisa Narbett, Pembrokshire YFC
A2 Fashion Board final Jamie Awdry for Wiltshire YFC
Young Minds Poster Competition final Brecknock YFC
Cube Exhibit final Cumbria A
Fence Erecting final Ceredigion YFC
Junior Reading final Carmathenshire YFC
Junior Member of the Year Evie Hoggard, Nottinghamshire YFC
Junior Public Speaking final Devon YFC
Best Speaker Hattie Noble, Yorkshire YFC
Best Chairman Elin Harvard, Brecknock YFC
Best Vote of Thanks Will Long, Devon YFC
Brainstrust final Pembrokeshire YFC
Senior Debating final Shropshire YFC
Best Speaker Charles Bourne, Shropshire YFC

08 October 2012

Since the dawn of YFC, thousands of Young Farmers have travelled the world discovering the trip of a lifetime on the NFYFC Discovery programme. 

Now, Discovery is getting a re-vamp and NFYFC are encouraging all of their members to get involved and help to shape the future of Young Farmer travel.

A short online survey has been compiled in conjunction with the Young Farmers Ambassadors, the alumni of Young Farmers who have travelled as part of the Discovery programme.

So if you want to make sure YFC members have the very best opportunities to see the world and experience new cultures, just take a few minutes to fill in the survey. 

You can also be entered into a prize draw to WIN a £20 Amazon voucher!


Complete the survey

08 October 2012

I was recently invited along to Number 10 to join a 'Farming Lunch' with the Prime Minister and other prominent figures within the industry. It turned out to be a great opportunity for me as a representative of NFYFC to discuss with the Prime Minister, and others that can make a difference, some of the issues that are really important to our movement.

I raised concerns regarding a lack of support for young farmers in areas from affordable housing to the problems of ‘red tape’ for new businesses. We also discussed the need for better connections, such as improved technical communication in the form of broadband and mobile phone reception. Talking to Owen Paterson, the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, he seemed responsive to a wide range of views and suggestions which makes me hopeful for good communications in the future.

Once again we've had a challenging year in all aspects of farming, Despite everything I'm constantly impressed with the resilience and attitude of our members, your positivity is vital for the industry and getting through these difficult times.

It was great to visit Warwickshire Young Farmers this year and show our Countryfile audience a little more about what you do. I was over the moon that our film crew were so enthusiastic about the suggestion to film some of you and even more thrilled by the response the programme received. Thank you to everyone who made us so welcome.

The London 2012 Games were a massive success for this country and Young Farmers really made the most of the Olympic spirit with all the adventures and activities you got up to. I was proud that we got to showcase British produce in such a prominent way thanks to your efforts.

Thank you to the national office, the county staff and all of the members who make the NFYFC such a magnificent organisation. I am proud to be your President.

I'm looking forward to celebrating our 80th year officially in December, although I don't think it was quite what my wife had in mind when I said I was taking her out for her birthday!

Matt Baker

01 October 2012

There were winners galore at this weekend’s Malvern Autumn Show, with the national finals of the NFYFC Tug of War, Cookery and Floral Arts competitions.

Saturday morning kicked off with the much anticipated Men’s Tug of War competition, which saw eight teams from across the country competing for the coveted trophy. The atmosphere was electric as supporters lined the main arena at the Three Counties Showground.

Throughout the morning, ten teams were whittled down to four for a tense semi-final. In the end it was the Yorkshire YFC team of David Wade, Jack Davey, Edi Herd, Ian Close, Lewis Whitham, Jim Mason, Matty Close and Thomas Walker who took the title, beating Staffordshire YFC in the finals. Runners-up were Somerset YFC in third and Pembrokeshire YFC in fourth.

Meanwhile, things were hotting up in the NFYFC kitchen. Situated in the Severn Hall, the crowds of show-goers looked on as 30 teams of three were given one hour to cook four dishes along the theme of the Olympics.  Dishes were then judged by Nick Bryan, Ben Axford and Andrea Halford on taste, choice of menu, cookery skills and appearance. And it was the team from Radnor YFC, Lucy Stonebridge, Laura Powell and Shaun Fairclough, who came away with first prize, wowing the judges with their imaginative presentation and perfectly cooked food. Lancashire YFC also impressed, taking second place, with Herefordshire YFC in third.

Back in the arena, the Ladies’ Tug of War was just as exciting as the men’s competition with ten teams taking part. It became a battle of nations in the semi-finals, with Derbyshire and Cumbria representing England versus the Welsh counties of Pembrokeshire and Montgomeryshire. However the home side came out on top, with the Derbyshire YFC team of Nat Hooper, Charlotte Atkinson, Anne Wildgoose, Vicki Sheldon, Helen Wildgoose, Holly Thomas, Lizzy Mason, Dawn Wainwright and Helen Battye taking the trophy. They were closely followed by Montgomeryshire, with Cumbria in third and Pembrokshire in fourth.

Sunday heralded another busy day of competing with one of YFCs defining competitions; Floral Arts. Requiring painstaking precision and skill, as well as long hours of practice, this is always a hotly fought competition and the ultimate accolade for the winner. Senior competitors were asked to compose an exhibit depicting ‘A Moment from History’ whilst intermediate competitors were given the title of ‘Great Britain’ and juniors were asked to produce a basket to present to an Olympian. 

As always the standard was incredibly high as competitors impressed the judges with intricate and innovative designs. But in the senior competition it was Oonagh O’Neill from Bedfordshire YFC who really stood out with her beautiful red and orange display depicting the moment the young soviet athlete Olga Korbut stunned crowds at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Oonagh’s display just pipped Lancashire YFC’s Victoria Seed to the post and she was followed in third by Herefordshire’s Owen Probert.

In the intermediate section it was Northumberland YFC’s Gemma Common who took the title, with a cleverly assembled display including gorgeous red roses and Great British produce. She was followed by Lucy Bright from Shropshire YFC in second and Fay Thomas from Herefordshire YFC in third.

In the junior section, Eleanor White from Leicestershire YFC impressed with her pretty and patriotic flower basket winning her first prize. Bethanie Jones-Davies from Brecknock took second prize, whilst Robyn Bowker from Cumbria YFC took the third spot.

Congratulations to all the competitors at this weekend’s finals and a huge thank you to the judges and stewards who gave their time to make the weekend a great success!

Check out the pictures from the weekend on our Facebook page!

Download the full results


Designed by Kevyn Williams