26 July 2010
Persistence and determination to hone their knowledge certainly paid off for winners of this year’s prestigious National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs Farm Business Development competition.
Carlisle YFC’s winning team of accountant Michael Nelson and agricultural graduate Stephen Powley were presented with their award at the weekend’s CLA Game Fair in Warwickshire.
The winning duo not only took away their first prize of a scholarship to next year’s Oxford Farming Conference, but also the confidence and professional skills and knowledge to set up their own agricultural enterprise having upped their business acumen by entering the competition for three years in a row.
Michael and Stephen credited their success to drawing heavily on the feedback from the panel of judges in the competition in each successive attempt and using guidance offered by judges from Savills and the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) to refine their business submissions and interview knowledge.
This year the team also underwent NFYFC’s tenancy training, which is delivered in partnership with Savills and TFA and which was developed to support the competition and the AgriSkills strategy’s aims for a professional farming industry.
Michael said: “We are delighted to have won. The NFYFC competition really prepares you for the reality of tendering for a farm tenancy; the extremely high standard of research and business knowledge required for a successful proposal; as well as what a landlord and land agent are going to be looking for from your business plan.
“Winning made us realise we do have the skills needed to run a successful enterprise and that we work well as a team. We have come away confident to take on a farm tenancy, and we are definitely going to go into business together as a result.”
NFYFC’s Farm Business Development competition is designed to give tomorrow’s tenants a dry run in applying for a farm tenancy which includes viewing a case study farm, submitting a detailed business plan and facing a rigorous interview panel. This year’s panel was made up of judges from Lloyds TSB, Savills and the TFA, as well as last year’s competition winners Jack Hopkins and Nicola Hamer.
NFYFC’s agriculture and rural affairs officer Sarah Palmer said: “The competition is realistic and testing so that would-be tenants are well-practised when it comes to a real application. Young farmers know they face considerable competition from established farmers and need to be at the top of their game to be successful. NFYFC is pleased to be working with industry partners and Defra to deliver comprehensive training and a realistic competition to help secure future farming opportunities.”
Sponsor and judge George Dunn, the TFA’s chief executive, said: “The market in agricultural tenancies is fiercely competitive. Those who already have a farming base and are looking to expand will inevitably have a head start on new entrants. New entrants therefore need to be sharper, keener and better prepared than the competition. There is no better way to get ready for the challenge than to take part in this competition and the associated NFYFC tenancy training days. It has been pleasing to see the year-on-year improvement in the standard of competition entry.”
Head of Savills UK Professional Services Clive Beer commented: “Savills is delighted to be involved in the competition by providing a case study farm and helping competitors understand the landlord and agent’s perspective. The NFYFC competition and training is a well-rounded and necessary exercise for would-be tenants. Working with NFYFC and the TFA we can advise on the pitfalls and necessary skills to help today’s young farmers be the successful tenants of the future.”
Pictured left, Pembrokeshire's Peter Richards and Andrew Rees (2nd place) and East Riding YFC's Luke Jenneson and David Davenport (3rd) were presented with NFYFC awards by TFA chairman Greg Bliss.
19 July 2010
Why not come along to this year's CLA Game Fair on Saturday 24 July
and support your fellow YFC members.
Winners of NFYFC's prestigious Farm Business Development Competition
will be receiving the results and awards from judges at 3pm in the Game
Fair Theatre followed by Have Your Say, a platform for 18-25-year-olds
to air their passions on countryside and sports issues. NFYFC will be
represented by agriculture and rural affairs committee vice chairwoman
Those of you who missed the NFYFC Exploring the Campaign for the
Environment (CFE) day can take part in the CFE Trail and find out how to
participate in the initiative at stand (J789,) where local
co-ordinators, farmer chairmen from county groups and representatives
from the campaign partnership will be on hand to answer questions.
NFYFC's agriculture and rural affairs committee chairwoman Katherine
Sealy will be taking part in the debate on the subject: Thiriving or
theme park - the countryside in 2060?
The event is on at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire, and you can find out
more about what's on at www.gamefair.co.uk
19 July 2010
A delegation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFC) members met Defra Agriculture Minister James Paice earlier this month to discuss concerns and issues facing new entrants and young people living and working in rural areas.
While it was acknowledged that young farmers embraced the opportunities to gain additional skills and training which was demonstrated through YFC activities and allegiance to Government and industry initiatives, there was a request for Government to help accommodate expectation.
Genuine young new entrants are not competing with established farmers on a level playing field and look to future CAP reform and rural policy as a means of redressing the imbalance.
Chairwoman of the NFYFC Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Katherine Sealy said: “We appreciate our opportunity to speak with the minister, who has continued his practice of regular dialogue with YFC members now he is in office. It is a relationship we value.
“The YFC delegation represented the hopes and enthusiasm of current and future young farmers who want to be part of a vibrant and successful industry, but also want support to acknowledge the reality we are faced with both living and working in a rural environment.”
14 July 2010
Young farmers are being priced out of living in the countryside due
to a chronic shortage of affordable homes.
House prices in rural England have more than doubled during the past
decade to average £256,698, while the average salary for people working
in the countryside has risen to just £21,000.
The National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs, the National Housing
Federation, and the National Farmers Union are warning that people in
rural areas have little hope of being able to afford a property where
they live and this poses a threat to traditional rural life.
A poll for the National Housing Federation found that 65% of people
living in rural areas thought local families and young people were being
priced out by the high cost of property.
A further 63% thought there was a shortage of affordable homes for
local people in their village, with 70% saying they would support plans
to build a small number of affordable properties for local people in
More than a third of people in rural communities thought village
shops, post offices and pubs had declined during the past five years,
while a third thought second home owners had a negative impact on
community life. One in five people also thought the number of second
homes in their community had increased during the past five years.
The number of people on waiting lists for affordable housing in
England has soared to 750,000, and nearly 100,000 new affordable homes
need to be built in rural areas over the next decade to meet demand.
The groups are calling on local housing authorities to draw up action
plans to address the housing needs of people in their communities to
ensure villages remain sustainable.
NFYFC’s Agriculture and
Rural Affairs Committee chairwoman Katherine Sealy said: “With average
house prices now over £250,000, young people like me can’t afford to
live in villages.
"Without young, dynamic and enthusiastic staff and customers, local
shops and services will be forced to close and we must not just sit and
watch as communities suffer as a result.
"The affordable housing issue has to be addressed to ensure the
future sustainability of rural areas and jobs.”
NFYFC's ARAC Forum called for rural housing to top the government
agenda at the organisation's annual convention in Torquay in April.
07 July 2010
The NFYFC tug of war competitions will be among the attractions at this year’s Royal County of Berkshire Show.
The finals will take place in the main arena on the second day of the two-day show on 18-19 September.
This is a new venue for the competition and a host of other attractions are on offer during the weekend.
The White Helmets Motorcycle Display Team will be putting on amazing display which includes 21 soldiers from the Royal Corps of Signals in a pyramid formation on top of six motorbikes. They also jump through hoops of fire, over cars and perform death-defying crossover rides.
The Band and Bugles of the Rifles will be entertaining the audience with their inspiring military music. They are the only military regiment who march ‘at the double’ past the Queen, at an extraordinarily fast 140 paces a minute. The Buglers are operational soldiers, some of whom have recently returned from Afghanistan.
There’s plenty more to enjoy – including the Wicker Man, countryside area, Food Fare marquee, horticultural area and 600 shops.
Tickets are now on sale and you can save up to 20 per cent off the normal ticket price by buying in advance at www.rcbs-online.co.uk/ordertickets.php or telephone the box office on 01635 247155.
The 2010 Show will be heralded as ‘the year of the pig’ and there’s a new championship class, alongside the extensive annual line-up of cattle, sheep, poultry, goats and camelids classes.
07 July 2010
NFYFC is taking the awards ceremony for one of its most prestigious competitions to the CLA Game Fair in Warwickshire for the first time later this month.
The competition is specifically designed to give tomorrow’s tenants a dry run in applying for a farm tenancy, and includes viewing a case study farm, submitting a detailed business plan and facing a rigorous interview panel.
It supports the aims of the AgriSkills strategy by encouraging professionalism and ongoing professional development.
Freshly equipped with NFYFC’s recently developed tenancy training sessions under their belt, the competitors will make this a well-fought competition for the top prize of scholarships to next year’s Oxford Farming Conference.
Judges from Lloyds TSB, Savills and the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) will announce the winners of a tendering process for a case study farm in Shropshire at the Game Fair Theatre at 3pm on Saturday 24 July.
Sponsor and judge George Dunn, the TFA’s chief executive, said: “The market in agricultural tenancies is fiercely competitive. Those who already have a farming base and are looking to expand will inevitably have a head start on new entrants. New entrants therefore need to be sharper, keener and better prepared than the competition.
“There is no better way to get ready for the challenge than to take part in the Farm Business Development Competition and the associated training days arranged by NFYFC. I am really looking forward to reading the proposals from the competitors this year and meeting them at interview. I am well aware that the process can be quite daunting but it has been pleasing to see the year-on-year improvement in the standard of competition entry. Everyone wants to win but even those who don’t will have improved significantly their chances of winning a tender in real life having gone through this simulation.”
Head of Savills UK Professional Services Clive Beer commented: “Savills is delighted to be involved in the competition by providing a case study farm and helping members to understand the landlord’s and agent’s perspective.
“The NFYFC Farm Business Development competition and training is a well-rounded and necessary exercise for would-be tenants. Working with NFYFC and the TFA, we can advise on the pitfalls and necessary skills to help today’s young farmers be the successful tenants of the future.”
NFYFC’s agriculture and rural affairs officer Sarah Palmer said: “The competition is realistic and testing so that would-be tenants are well-practised when it comes to the real application. Young farmers know they have considerable competition from established farmers and need to be at the top of their game to be successful. Visiting the CLA Game Fair will give competitors a further opportunity to acquire skills and ideas for their careers as future tenant farmers.
“NFYFC is pleased to be working with industry partners and Defra to deliver comprehensive training and a realistic competition to help secure future farming opportunities.”