National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

25 February 2013


A recent study by NFYFC reveals the need for a service to match young farmers with farming opportunities.

The report highlights that there is currently no central marketplace for either young farmers to advertise their skills and their business ambitions or for existing farmers and landowners to promote opportunities.

Industry bodies were strongly in favour of the creation of a matching service to encourage new entrants into the sector, the report found. The NFYFC is now calling on key industry membership organisations to play their part in making the farming opportunity matching service happen.

The feasibility study, which was funded by Defra, and carried out by Dr Steve Webster, interviewed members of Young Farmers’ Clubs, farming organisations, farmers and members of allied industries.

The report is very timely as it links in with the industry led Future of Farming Review to look at the challenges and opportunities for young people working in the agricultural industry.

New opportunities for farming depend on an innovative approach from industry, trade organisations, farmers and landowners as well as business development advisors. The matching of regional, technical and business support to a central system was also seen as critical to the success of the Matching Service.

One of the key questions that arose from the study was whether the culture of farming could be changed to adopt such a scheme.

Ahead of a presentation at the NFU Conference on 28 February about NFYFC’s commitment to future farming, Chris Bateman NFYFC’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) Chairman said:

“At a time when the Government is carrying out a Review into the future of farming, it is clear that a Farming Opportunity Matching Service needs to be considered.

“Young people who want to break into the industry currently have very limited ways of finding out about the opportunities available – and likewise farmers and landowners have nowhere to find keen young farmers. We must do all we can to encourage new entrants into the sector and this service would help to do that.”

Author of the study Dr Steve Webster said:

“It is impressive that the NFYFC has instigated this study into a Matching Service. Preliminary findings show that the industry would welcome such a scheme. It now needs the support of key industry bodies to help deliver it.

“Whilst it is easier to envisage a farming opportunity matching service operating in some agricultural sectors than in others, there are numerous cross-over between the different agricultural sectors that present opportunities for young farmers. Hence all farming sectors should be included within a single Matching service.”
Further study is now needed to scope the existing training, support and mentoring on a regional level and to work with partners to establish the foundations of the service itself.”

Find out more about the work NFYFC is doing in support of future farmers at

25 February 2013


Young Farmers in the South West are set to face two gruelling challenges in the hope of raising thousands of pounds for local Air Ambulance organisations.

Members from Somerset FYFC and Wiltshire FYFC are planning to reach the YFC South West Area weekend in Weymouth in style, and possibly with a few sore legs.

Friends Abbie Myers, from Polden Hills YFC, and Katie Nicholls from Wedmore YFC in Somerset, will be running the 50 miles from Street to Weymouth in two and a half days – that’s nearly two marathons back to back! Their route will take them to Sherbourne and Dorchester, before reaching Weymouth on 8th March.

The duo will be raising money for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and Parkinson’s UK, Abbie explains;

“Both charities are close to our hearts. The Air Ambulance has helped a number of friends and totally relies on public funding to keep going and Parkinsons Disease has affected a member of Katie’s family.”

If you would like to sponsor Katie and Abbie, you can visit

Meanwhile, in Wiltshire, 26 Malmesbury YFC members will be harnessing the power of the pedal to propel themselves the 120 miles from Malmesbury to Weymouth, through the Wiltshire and Dorset countryside.

But to make things a little more difficult, they plan to pull a nearly life-sized model cow, use an array of old and new bicycles, including a Penny Farthing, and even do part of the route in fancy dress!

The bike ride is part of the Club’s 80th anniversary celebrations, and they want to raise £500 for Wiltshire Air Ambulance and The British Heart Foundation.

YFC member Jeff Simpkins said;

“We have received a lot of local support but any support from other YFC members would be much appreciated – we are hoping for a hearty welcome from fellow Young Farmers in Weymouth!”

If you would like to sponsor the team, visit

[Pictured: Malmesbury YFC members in training]

25 February 2013


The YFC competition season is well and truly here, with clubs across the country training hard to become the next Public Speaking champion or Member of the Year.

With county, area and regional rounds, there are plenty of chances for even the smallest clubs to show off their skills in a variety of competitions, from ballroom dancing to public speaking.

The regional and national finals are a fantastic opportunity to see the cream of the YFC crop displaying their talents, and never fail to impress. Tickets are available for the regional and national finals of this year’s YFC drama competition from the NFYFC office, contact Margaret Bennett on or 02476 857216.

•    Northern Area Drama Final – Sunday 24th March, 2pm, The Majestic Theatre, Retford. Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

•    Southern Area Drama Final – Sunday 7th April, 2pm, The Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham.    Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

•    NFYFC Drama Final – Saturday 4th May, Blackpool. Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

As well as the drama finals, NFYFC’s Annual Convention in Blackpool will also be the location for the cheerleading and ballroom dancing competition finals. If last year’s dance competition finals were anything to go by, the atmosphere is set to be electric. Both of these competitions will take place on Sunday 5th May. 

For all the details on national competition finals taking place at Annual Convention and Competitions Day on 6th July, check out our competitions calendar.

15 February 2013


Young Farmers, road safety experts and rural road users joined forces last night for an online discussion on rural road safety and NFYFC’s Drive It Home campaign.

The discussion was held on Twitter forum, AgrichatUK, and was led by the Agrichat team, as well as NFYFC Chairwoman, Milly Wastie.

Despite the date, there were plenty of people getting involved with the forum, including one of the stars of Channel 4 show First Time Farmer, Ally Hunter Blair who tweeted his thanks to Milly and AgrichatUK for hosting an 'interesting and busy discussion'.

The forum sparked debate on issues such as the hazards of driving on rural roads and ways to improve road safety. Suggestions varied from including rural roads in driving tests to television advertising campaigns on rural road driving.

How to change young rural driver attitudes was also another hot topic, with inexperience and over-confidence being identified as key problems.
@neilquinlan tweeted that ‘as someone who crashed after passing my test, humanising stories and videos is definitely key.’@JamieKerslake88 suggested speaking about the dangers of rural roads at agricultural and country shows and Milly Wastie tweeted simply, ‘rural roads not racetracks, flowers at the roadside says it all.

The Drive It Home campaign was highlighted as a way for YFC members to help tackle attitudes, through club nights and events in the local area as well as attending practical driving courses or becoming Drive It Home champions for the local area.

Fireman, Stephen Tindall, suggested Clubs contact their local fire stations for demonstrations and @agricamy tweeted that the Drive It Home campaign was “a fantastic initiative that needs everyone’s involvement to ensure it is as far reaching as possible.”

Farmers Weekly magazine tweeted that “NFYFC does many fantastic things. The #driveithomeyfc campaign is one of the best though.”

Click here to read the full #AgrichatUK discussions from last night.

To find out more about the Drive It Home campaign and how you can get involved visit our webpage or follow the campaign on Facebook and twitter using the #driveithomeyfc.

13 February 2013


YFC members can now grab themselves a fancy dress bargain at the brand new 'Where's Wally' Online Costume Shop created especially for Annual Convention 2013.

The online shop, which offers exclusive packages to YFC members, includes everything you need for the perfect Where's Wally outfit, including comedy glasses, stripey tops and his trademark bobble hat. 

Gareth Laking is NFYFC’s Communications, Events and Marketing Chairman;

"YFC members voted overwhelmingly in our online poll for Where's Wally to be the fancy dress theme for this year's Convention, and so we decided to make sure members could get their outfits at a great price!"

The shop is run by clothing company UpStream, who will also be selling the outfits and accessories over the Convention weekend. 

Click here to start shopping

You can get involved with the convention buzz in our Countdown to Convention - keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for our cheeky teasers, using #yfccountdown.

13 February 2013


Young Farmers’ Clubs members were given the unique chance to talk to top politicians and rural policy makers on Monday, with a visit to Westminster.

Members from across the country battled through snowy conditions to the capital to visit the Houses of Parliament, speak with the Rt Hon Sir Jim Paice MP and visit the NFU Parliamentary office in Westminster.

High on the list of concerns was the future of school farms and their importance to young people as well as YFC school clubs.  Subjects of discussion varied from CAP Reform and the future of the EU to renewable energy and promotion of the industry.  The opportunities and impacts of current and future environmental schemes and livestock issues were discussed with plenty of opportunity for the younger NFYFC Youth Forum members to have their say.

Charlotte Johnston, from Cawthorne YFC in Yorkshire, went on the visit;

“The best bit about the trip for me was that it allowed me to have an active discussion on key issues with other like-minded young farmers and with Sir Jim Paice. It made me want to become more involved in NFYFC’s agricultural events as the experience they offer really benefits members and allows them to network with industry and pick up useful tips along the way.”

Young farmers were encouraged to be advocates of their industry and NFYFC by speaking to the public, MEPs and MPs about farming and the countryside.

The NFU’s senior Parliamentary adviser Matt Ware also gave a thorough overview of the organisation’s lobbying activity and members were encouraged to make contact with parish, county and district councilors as well as their MPs. 

Charlotte added;

“It was really useful to pick up a few tips on how to lobby local MPs and to promote agriculture to the wider public from the team at NFU.”

To find out more about NFYFC's agricultural work, visit our Agriculture and Rural Affairs pages.



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