National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

13 December 2012

Three successful Discovery applicants will be going on a special trip to Canada in 2013 to celebrate 100 years of 4-H, Canada’s longest running youth organisation.

The lucky members were among 32 people who were selected for a Discovery trip in 2013 after interviews at NFU Mutual’s headquarters in Stratford on Saturday.

Donna Tavernor is an associate member of Eccleshall YFC in Staffordshire FYFC and was chosen as a team leader for the Canada adventure with Caroline Trude from Devon FYFC and Rebecca Watkins from Herefordshire FYFC. The trip has been sponsored by Bayer and Canada 4-H and also involves 120 other young farmers from across the world who will visit the country.

Donna, who works for the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) as Regional Adviser Midlands, has been a successful Discovery applicant on three other occasions, including trips to Kenya, Austria and Budapest, and recommends the experience to others.

“Discovery is brilliant and changes your life. It has given me the confidence to do things I wouldn’t have otherwise done – such as becoming County Chairman. It opened my eyes to new horizons. Once you have been on your first Discovery trip, you’ll get the bug. I have never been to Canada but I’m really looking forward to it.”

The Discovery programme, which is supported by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, C Alma Baker Trust, Australian Bicentennial Trust & YFA (Young Farmers’ Ambassadors) offers a range of worldwide locations for members to visit for minimal expense. Trips include a mixture of homestays, team travel and work exchanges.

One of the trips to New Zealand is sponsored by the C Alma Baker Trust and gives four members a free opportunity to work over in the country for three months. Annabelle Heath, who is 20 years old, was one of the successful applicants and will travel to the North Island to work on Limestone Downs farm in July.

Annabelle, Shropshire FYFC, said the process of applying was made very simple with the support of her Club and County – the County Chairman even drove her to Stratford for the interview.

“I chose New Zealand because it offered the best opportunity and it was free! I enjoy working and this trip seemed more involved and you get to learn a lot more about working on the farm,” said Annabelle who works at Sheila Crow’s Point-to-Point Racing in Shrewsbury and lives on her family’s farm in Newport. “I am now reading up about the country and my location and I have got to learn how to milk before I go! I am visiting my grandparents’ farm every weekend to learn how to do it!”

It was a trip closer to home for Kerry Procter from Grayrigg YFC in Cumbria after her application was accepted for the European Rally to Southern Ireland. Kerry will travel with four others as their team leader in August 2013 and will meet up with other European delegates once over there.

Kerry aims to plan her adventure with the other four YFC members at Annual Convention 2013.

“We have to wear traditional dress so we’ll need to come up with an idea for that,” said Kerry. “There’s an international buffet too and we have to take food with us that represents our country. I will be taking some Kendal mint cake as I live in Kendal.”

Tom Worthington from Upton-on-Severn, Worcestershire, opted for a trip to Germany after a friend recommended his Discovery experience to the country.

Tom has previously been host to an overseas young farmer from Tasmania when he was Chairman of Uttoxeter Club and decided he would like to try the experience for himself.

“I think Discovery is a brilliant programme,” said Tom. “I remember when I first joined Young Farmers and I didn’t think I would be able to go on Discovery. Now I want to promote the opportunity to other members. I will be staying on a dairy farm in Germany and it will be interesting to see the different farming methods. It will be a good break away but I’m not sure what my father is going to say – it’s in the middle of hay making!”

There are still places available for an Adventure Week in England from 15 to 19 July 2013 for members aged between 16 and 18 years old, and also two places for the leaders. To apply and for more information see the Discovery pages of the website

Click here to see all the winners


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