National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

04 December 2012

Former National Chairman, Presidents, members and friends all gathered in Birmingham at the weekend to celebrate 80 years of The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs.

The black tie event included a special auction with prizes donated by supporters of NFYFC and along with a raffle raised a massive £5,000 on the night.

One of the most sought after ‘lots’ was to win the first dance with NFYFC President Matt Baker. Jan Dickinson who is mum to Fred, Jack and Milly - all members of St Albans YFC -  was declared the winner after bidding £310. The pair danced to the song (I’ve had) The Time of my Life from the film Dirty Dancing. Jan said:

“I’m still grinning about the experience; I can’t believe I did it. Matt is lovely and a fantastic President and role model for young farmers. He’s also a great dancer and has some very good moves - I used to love watching him on Strictly Come Dancing. I loved his backflip but my children are already fed up of hearing about it!”

Other auction lots included a bottle of whisky signed by Prime Minister David Cameron, a weekend for four at the Hilton Hotel Warwick, including dinner and a day at Warwick Races; a tour of the JCB factory; VIP tickets to SIMA 2013 in Paris and a tour of the Massey Ferguson Beauvais factory; and a VIP visit to the Jackson factory in Minnesota, USA, home of the Challenger tracked tractor.

Around 300 past and present members – including Mark Spencer MP, partners and supporters gathered for the party, and popular cover band The Present entertained the crowd.

The occasion was very much a showcase of young farming talent, with Joy Cornock from Pembrokeshire County Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs) playing the harp as guests arrived and florist Lizzie Coar from Lancashire Federation of YFCs supplying the floral decorations.  Look out for a story about Lizzie’s floristry business in the next issue or Ten26!

The Federation was officially first formed in 1932, with a head office in London before moving to Stoneleigh in Warwickshire in 1968. Among its former presidents of the last 80 years, have been Princess Anne, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.  Read more about the Federation’s history.

Matt Baker, who has been the organisation’s President since 2011, attended with his wife Nicola, and raised a toast to the Federation’s future.  He said:

“I am always amazed and inspired by the achievements of everyone involved at NFYFC and I feel so honoured to be its President – particularly during this special year.

“It’s impressive to reflect on the last 80 years but in some ways the present crop is even more exciting. NFYFC is doing a fantastic job of preparing young farmers to lead the industry into the next 80 years.”

Milly Wastie, NFYFC’s 81st National Chairman, said:

“Young Farmers is not just about the competitions, the opportunities to travel and the social events – it’s also about the platform it gives young people to speak out about the issues that affect young farmers and those living in rural communities.

“I will forever be indebted to Young Farmers for the confidence it has given me and the opportunities it has created in my work and personal life.”

Check out Matt's backflip in the first dance!

Auction prizes

  • Bottle of whisky signed by Rt Hon David Cameron, MP Prime Minister, donated by Mark Spencer MP
  • Two club badges for racing at Cheltenham on 15 December, donated by Cheltenham Racecourse
  • Tour of JCB factory (including lunch), donated by JCB
  • Two/three night break at holiday cottage (Pearl Lake Lesiure Park – Herefordshire), donated by Glenn Jones
  • First dance at Gala Dinner with Matt Baker, donated by Matt Baker
  • A VIP visit (incl flights, accommodation and transfer) for one person to the Jackson factory, home of the legendary Challenger tracked tractor (Minnesota, USA), donated by Challenger
  • Hot air balloon ride over the Yorkshire Wolds for two people, donated by Duncan Lambert
  • Two annual badges for Exeter Racecourse, donated by Exeter Racecourse
  • Welbeck Abbey Brewery Experience, donated by Ms Claire Monk, Welbeck Abbey Brewery
  • Weekend for four at the Hilton Hotel (Warwick), including dinner and day at Warwick Races, donated by Hilton Warwick and Warwick Racecourse
  • Two exclusive VIP tickets (including flights, accommodation and transfer) to SIMA 20-12 (Paris) followed by a tour of the Massey Ferguson Beauvais factory, donated by Massey Ferguson
  • Admission for four to Salisbury Racecourse’s principle Bilbury Enclosure, donated by Salisbury Racecourse
  • Three bottles of wine, donated by Poul Christensen CBE


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