12 March 2013
Around 3,000 Young Farmers attended the events, which were held in Skegness, Weymouth and Kent, with the weekend providing a fantastic chance to meet other members from different counties.
The competitions programme is at the heart of YFC and members compete in county, area and regional rounds before reaching the National finals. This weekend saw members competing in a variety of competitions, such as public speaking, rugby and netball, drama, cheerleading and ballroom dancing.
There are also a few light-hearted competitions thrown into the mix - Weston and Banwell YFC took first place in the Sandcastle building competition on Weymouth beach! [pictured]
All of the National competition finalists will be announced once the final Area weekend has taken place next weekend.
Learn more about NFYFC competitions
11 March 2013
Herefordshire YFC member Becca Watkins visited the Houses of Parliament this month to speak with Farming Minister David Heath after winning an online competition.
Becca, who has also been a member of the NFYFC Youth Forum, won the unique chance to meet the Minister of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, simply by tweeting him.
Young people were invited to take part in Defra’s online #meetfm competition, where they were asked to share their thoughts on the key barriers to their farming future. Becca, who is studying Biology at Oxford University, was chosen as one of the five winners after tweeting:
"Key barrier is poor communication; future farmers must be innovative with science and engage with a more discerning public"
And this was an issue Becca was keen to raise with the Minister;
“I want to stress the importance of strong communication links, both between scientific research and everyday farming practices, as well as between farmers and consumers, making them better educated and more discerning.”
Becca is no stranger to speaking out about agriculture, after representing NFYFC at this year’s Young Advocates for Agriculture National Debating Competition, and during the meeting she raised the need for a ‘re-branding’ of the agricultural industry.
After the meeting Becca said;
“It was a really brilliant opportunity and I think everyone felt lucky to be able to speak to David Heath, especially when he was so keen to hear our views. We really worked through ideas instead of just presenting them.”
She then tweeted; ‘fantastic meeting David Heath and very impressed by awareness of need for change and enthusiasm for views of #nextgen”
11 March 2013
Young people representing YFC clubs from all over Wales gave audiences a spectacular showcase of YFC talent during the Wales YFC Entertainment Feast weekend which hosted both the English and Welsh Drama competition held at The Grand, Swansea.
15 clubs representing 11 different county federations throughout Wales took part in the weekend, eight in the Welsh competition and seven in the English competition and each one eager to clinch trophies for their trophy cabinet. The event gave members the opportunity to perform on a professional stage with up to date facilities with assistance from experienced stage managers.
Judge Sandra Wynne awarded Builth Wells YFC, Brecknock and their original drama entitled ‘Seven for a Secret’ the R H Watkins Trophy and a FUW Welsh Royal Crystal Trophy for the best English Drama staged. Gethin Bickerton from Dyffryn Tanat, Montgomery was awarded the best actor title in the English section and Nia Wilson from Cantal YFC, Radnor took the best actress title. The Paul Elkington Productions trophy for best technical achievement was also awarded to Builth Wells YFC.
After being awarded the trophy David Price, who wrote and directed ‘Seven for a Secret’, said
“Wales YFC should be justly proud of the amazing array of talent on show at Swansea Grand Theatre. The energy and enthusiasm of these young people is infectious, and they are a credit to their clubs. The opportunity to perform at such a fantastic venue is a wonderful experience for these youngsters, and winning is the icing on the cake.”
“We express our huge thanks to all those who continue to support the club, and we very much look forward to having the honour of representing Wales at the National Finals at Blackpool Opera House in May.”
David Hedley Williams was tasked with the difficult job of judging the Welsh section where the Buddug James Jones Memorial Trophy and a FUW Welsh Royal Crystal Trophy was awarded to Dyffryn Banw YFC, Montgomery for their Drama entitled ‘Y Fainc’. The best actor award was awarded to Aled Jones, Dyffryn Cothi, Carmarthenshire and the best actress was Alis Huws from Dyffryn Banw, Montgomery. In the Welsh section the Paul Elkington Productions trophy was awarded to Brecknock Federation.
The best actor and actresses in the Welsh and English section were awarded with a Welsh Royal Crystal Trophy kindly donated by FUW.
The new Time to Shine competition was won by Llandovery YFC, Carmarthenshire with their rendition of the Les Miserable song ‘Bring Him Home’. Also taking place at the Entertainment Feast was the Ballroom Dancing competition where Montgomery YFC were awarded first place and Glamorgan second. Both clubs will now go on to represent Wales YFC at the NFYFC Ballroom Dancing competition at the prestigious Blackpool Opera House.
Builth Wells YFC will also take to the stage in Blackpool with their winning Drama at the NFYFC Performing Arts Final to be held during the Annual Convention in Blackpool at the beginning of May.
06 March 2013
A Herefordshire member recently represented young farmers at a government working group that is looking into the sustainability of food consumption in Britain.
Russell Carrington, Hereford YFC, attended the meeting in London along with representatives from other industry bodies. The session focused on consumer behaviour and the move towards healthier and more sustainable diets and how these can contribute to economic growth. Russell put forward suggestions from other YFC members on challenges with current consumption trends and good examples of initiatives supporting better diets.
Comments from YFC members included the need for consumer trends to increase support for farmers producing good quality produce whilst enabling them to make a profit and enhance the environment. Concerns were raised about the nutritional value of some foods decreasing, and the knock-on effect this may have on human health.
The Great British Beef week and the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association were both cited by members as examples that are encouraging better communication between producer and consumer, and a means of healthier eating.
The Sustainable Consumption working group was initiated by the Green Food Project, which was launched in 2011 following a government white paper recommending a radical review of the UK’s food industry in light of climate change and depleting resources. The project, involving a number of industry partners including YFC, set out a number of areas to be explored in more detail to identify actions for facilitating a move towards a more sustainable future.
Russell said: “It was a busy meeting with lots of input from many organisations but I chipped in where I could to give the perspective of a young farmer needing supportive and understanding consumers. This was well received and the group appreciated some input from us – we should keep this up if we can because it is helping to secure our future.”
For more information on the Green Food Project and NFYFC’s involvement visit http://www.nfyfc.org.uk/greenfoodproject
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