National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

30 August 2010

The Royal County of Berkshire Show is the new venue for the NFYFC tug of war and All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety Championships for the very first time this year on 18-19 September.

Visitors will get to see YFC members from across the country take part in these two exciting championships, and participants have qualified at county and regional level to take their places in the finals at Berkshire.

In the Young Farmers’ Ring on Saturday the NFYFC is hosting the ATV Safety Championship. Twelve teams take their turns competing for the title in this competition which demonstrates the safe use and handling of ATVs and trailers, as well as basic first aid techniques. Teams will have to drive a quad bike around a set course, negotiating obstacles and tricky terrain, before completing a first aid challenge. Points are scored on each of the five tasks set and the winning team will be awarded the Massey Ferguson Perpetual Challenge Trophy.

The ATV Safety Championship supports the Health & Safety Executive’s Make the Promise campaign, which aims to highlight the unnecessary deaths and injuries that happen on farms every day. By learning the skills needed to take part in these championships, YFC members are learning the correct way to ‘stay safe.’

On Sunday, pulling power is the only thing that matters in the men's and women's tug of war championships! Both the competitions have 12 teams entered, with each team consisting of eight pulling members, of which two must be aged between 15 and 18 years old and the other six aged from 18-26. The eight members of the team must also reach a combined weight of no more than 680kgs for men and 580kgs for women.

Each heat is won by the successor of two pulls out of three until the final two teams face each other for the championship.

NFYFC operations manager James Eckley said: “We are delighted to be showcasing two of our competition finals at the Royal County of Berkshire Show. As well as being very enjoyable activities to watch and take part in, they provide an excellent educational resource for YFC members everywhere. We hope visitors will come along and support these exciting competitions.”

There are some attractive discounts on tickets bought in advance, plus fast track entrance into the show. Tickets can be purchased online at or by telephone from the Newbury & District Agricultural Society on 01635 247155.


30 August 2010

Reduced rate tickets are available to YFC members for the Dairy Event and Livestock Show on 7 and 8 September at the NEC, Birmingham.
Take advantage of the offer to come along and support fellow YFC members competing in the NFYFC stockjudging competitions during the two-day event at this new venue.

Closing date for ticket sales is 12noon on Thursday 2 September.

29 August 2010

It is with more than a touch of sadness that I write this report, as it will be my last as president of the NFYFC. As most of you will already know I am standing down at next year’s AGM in Blackpool.

At the NFYFC council meeting in October 2005, the members decided to elect a president who would go out and about meeting the members at grassroots level in their own location, and this is something I have tried my very best to achieve. To date, I have managed to attend YFC events in 48 out of the 50 county federations; which has meant I have been on the most incredible journey of my life, witnessing first hand the amazing talent that exists in YFC at all levels.

The standard of work produced by our very young members never ceases to amaze me. I have to acknowledge the support of the members’ parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and other relatives – without their dedication to YFC the organisation would not be able to function.

I must say a very special thank you to the Welsh federation and their members for the welcome I have always received in Wales. The dedication to and enthusiasm for YFC, together with the patriotism they have for their country, is amazing and has to be witnessed at first hand to be appreciated.

Thanks must also be given to all the families that have provided me with such wonderful hospitality while attending these many YFC functions; and an added bonus has been travelling through the most beautiful countryside of England and Wales.

It has been a pleasure to welcome on board our new CEO Diane Calvert who will help shape the strategic direction of the organisation for the future. Together with the much strengthened staff team at a restructured Stoneleigh, this should now enable the members, their clubs and county staff to receive a much improved service from NFYFC.

I must also acknowledge the help and support I have received from my wife Helen and the rest of my family. Without them, I would not have been able to dedicate so much time to being your president.

Finally, I wish to thank each and every one of you, the grassroots members, for giving me the greatest honour I will ever receive – being NFYFC president – and for the fun and friendship I have enjoyed over the past five years, for without you there would be no YFC.

Visit the Resources for Clubs page to download a copy of this report and a print-quality photograph of Lionel Hill MBE.

12 August 2010

NFYFC agriculture & rural affairs committee chairwoman Milly Wastie reports on her visit to Sweden as head of the English team at the European rally held there this month...

"Just back from the European rally in Sweden where I headed up the English team.

"This year’s European rally was hosted by Swedish 4H at the agricultural college in Halmstad, Halland district. Twenty-two teams from across Europe took part in workshops and excursions to local businesses and farms exploring the rally theme of rural entrepreneurship.

"During the week-long rally, each team was asked to dress up in their national dress and bring local produce to display for other to sample on the international buffet evening. Team members also had the opportunity to go on a homestay for a night with a Swedish family, while team leaders attended the general assembly of Rural Youth Europe.

"The experience of being involved in such a unique opportunity will be remembered by Team England for a lifetime. We recommend that you apply for the 2011 rally, which will be hosted in Slovenia," she said.

Pictured: Lydia Cox (Somerset) Claire Worden (Cornwall) Bob Dronfield (Derbyshire) Milly Wastie (Northamptonshire) Harriet Wilson (Staffordshire)

09 August 2010

Help Defra find ways to simplify farming regulations and help the Government to cut costs by sending your ideas to the Defra Taskforce on Farming Regulation.

The agricultural industry has been asked to give its feedback on this consultation, which is being led by former NFU director general Richard Macdonald.

Better Regulation was one of the subjects discussed at the 2009 NFYFC agriculture & rural affairs forum in Blackpool with representatives from Defra and the Environment Agency and outcomes were shared with industry and policy makers.

If you would like to respond to this request, please duplicate your feedback to the taskforce to NFYFC as well by emailing Sarah Palmer, so that we can capture your concerns in future consultation responses.

Find out more by visiting the Defra website.

06 August 2010

Carl Mills, Farm Animal Business Head of Marketing for Novartis Animal Health UK, Dy Webb, Communications Manager for The National Sheep Association, Alex Mackellar, NFYFC ope
Staffordshire YFC’s Alex Mackellar will be heading to New Zealand in October to study sheep farming methods after winning NFYFC’s Novartis travel scholarship.
Competition for the £1,500 travel bursary launched at this year’s convention in Torquay was fierce, and judges from Novartis, the National Sheep Association and NFYFC were forced to shortlist four entries rather than three.
“I was shocked to win but absolutely over the moon,” says Alex, who works on the family’s sheep and arable farm.
“This is the first scholarship I’ve tried for and it is a fantastic opportunity of a lifetime. We have 600 sheep and I can really gain something from this three-week trip, not just go somewhere different but learn something new that I am going to use in my work.”
Alex will be travelling to different station farms to learn about parasite control and resistance trials and will be writing a report and blogging for the Novartis website as part of the scholarship.
NFYFC CEO Diane Calvert says: “The competition for the scholarship was close fought, all the entrants were of very high calibre and really keen to broaden their experience and knowledge so a huge well done to all of them.
“Alex was outstanding, a worthy winner who demonstrated a real passion for sheep farming and a determination to learn as much as possible from New Zealand. We hope she has a fantastic trip.”
“This scholarship encourages new and much-needed young blood into the sheep industry, while at the same time providing an opportunity for all UK sheep producers to learn more about how they can better control parasites on farm,” added Novartis Animal Health’s James Crawford.
“We felt that Alex has the understanding, drive and determination to pull together all the relevant information during her three-week trip, as well as the passion and communication skills to be able to share it with UK producers and others working in the industry, both during her trip and when she returns,” said scholarship award judge, the National Sheep Association’s Dy Webb.  


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