24 April 2013
Thirty Young Farmers from clubs across England and Wales visited Macra Na Feirme (Ireland’s equivalent of YFC) in April to find out more about farming in Ireland.
Ireland’s ARAC Chairman and CEJA representative Eric Driver took the group on a tour that included two farms, a grain merchant and a live mart.
One of the farms on the tour was a partnership between a young farmer and an older farmer. The Fort Granite Farm in Wicklow was a perfect example of someone who had taken advantage of the new entrants’ scheme in Ireland and the young farmer told NFYFC members how he had secured money to go into business with an established farmer.
At a mixed beef farm in Co Carlo, members learnt about single farm payments and how to buy in finished beef, while a trip to the live mart gave them the chance to see a bull sale. They also got to visit grain merchant Connolly’s Red Mills who supply animal feed. They also test the food – including feed for race horses to ensure it doesn’t include any performance enhancing substances.
The CEO of Macra Na Feirme Edmond Connolly met the group on the first evening after they had visited one of Ireland’s oldest pubs, while Irish young farmers showed members the highlights of the Dublin nightlife on the second night.
Stuart Jakeman, South East Area Chairman from Kent YFC, joined the study group and said: “The study trip has been great and thought provoking. It was interesting to compare British enterprises to Irish enterprises. It was interesting to see the problems within Irish agriculture and the problems facing new entrants. It was also good to talk to members from Macra Na Feirme and Irish farmers about farming systems, machinery, business structure and single farm payments.”
Charlotte Harris from Gillingham and Shaftsbury YFC also went on the trip and said: “It was very informative and interesting to see how they farmed in Ireland. I met some great people and made some great friends – all from the same background so now I have contacts around the country.
“I am definitely going to encourage Dorset members to take any opportunity they are given, such as Dublin, as it was definitely a fantastic trip and very worthwhile.”
18 April 2013
The tour was one of a number of visits planned for 2013 as part of the ‘Walk the Wool Chain’ study tours, a joint initiative between the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs and the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB).
The group, which included young sheep farmers, were shown every aspect of the BWMB’s work in grading, trading and promoting wool and also visited a scouring plant.
The first part of their day included a visit to BWMB’s central depot at North of England Wools, Bradford where wool is graded to determine the quality to ensure it’s sold into the correct market, explained BWMB Producer Communications Manager Gareth Jones:
“It’s always a surprise to many farmers when they see the level of skill involved in grading wool and the labour intensive nature of the job. It is an essential part of BWMB’s role as we ensure that wool is sold to the producers’ best advantage’’.
The visitors also saw a wool auction in action, getting to see buyers from across the UK bidding in the BWMB’s electronic auction and seeing how the auction system helps maximise the value of their wool, said Mr Jones.
Sheep farmer and Leighton Buzzard YFC member Henry Hunt said the visit had provided them with a real insight into a previously unknown part of the farming industry:
“We all tend to forget about our wool once it’s left the farm, so it was good to really understand what happens to it once the BWMB have it.
“To a lot of people wool might be just wool, but the skill in which the graders grade the different fleeces showed just how much difference there is in the many types and qualities of wool we produce in the UK and that’s why it’s so important to make sure it’s sold as the right grade.”
Bedford YFC member Charlie Shiner added:
“I would strongly encourage more farmers to take the time to visit Bradford and understand for themselves what happens to wool once they’ve sent it to their depot.”
NFYFC and the BWMB will be organising a further three study tours between September and March, just visit the Walk the Wool Chain page for more information and details of how to book.
You can see more pictures from the trip on the Bedfordshire YFC website.
17 April 2013
National competition finals will take place in cheerleading, ballroom dancing and drama, as well as the annual Senior Member of the Year competition, from the 4th-5th May.
Saturday’s drama competition looks set to be as hotly contested as usual, with last year’s champions Builth Wells YFC from Brecknock once again making it to the finals and hoping to defend their title with their original drama ‘Seven for a Secret’. However, they will face stiff competition from Nesscliffe YFC in Shropshire performing ‘Stags and Hens’ and Brampton YFC in Cumbria who are performing Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Private Peaceful’.
Sunday will see the finals of both the cheerleading and ballroom dancing competitions, where dancers will be waltzing in the footsteps of Ballroom legends, as they take to the dance floor of the world famous Empress Ballroom. Eleven couples will take part in the ballroom dancing, after competing in both County and Area rounds to secure their places in the final. A further ten teams will compete for the cheerleading trophy.
The Senior Member of the Year competition will also be held over the weekend, with private interviews on Saturday morning and stage interviews to take place during the drama competition in the afternoon. The winner will be announced at the Annual General Meeting on Sunday. Seven YFC members, one from each of the Federation’s regions, will compete for this coveted trophy.
YFC members and supporters are welcome to attend the competitions, and tickets for the Drama competition can be purchased from NFYFC, costing £10 for adults and £5 for concessions, just contact Margaret Bennett on 02476 857216.
Visit www.nfyfc.org.uk/annualconvention for all the information on Annual Convention 2013 in Blackpool.
17 April 2013
YFC members came from Hampshire, Cornwall, Berkshire, Hereford, the East Midlands and Sussex, and brought with them a diverse range of training techniques from each county, which they were able to share with the group.
Trainers discussed the strengths and challenges facing each county’s training programmes and the ways to improve these, as well as how to further strengthen National and Area training to best support YFC members.
The Trainers Forum is designed to offer extra support and guidance for anyone who delivers YFC training in their county, and provides a platform for trainers to share best practice and influence the way forward.
NFYFC’s Vice Chairman Claire Worden was one of the members at the Forum and she later tweeted:
“Great NFYFC Trainers Forum held near Swindon. Brill input and knowledge from members with lots of ideas!”
The Trainers Forum is open to anyone who has attended an NFYFC Train the Trainer or Advanced Train the Trainer course, or has been on their own county’s Training Techniques course.
The next event takes place on the 19th May in Huddersfield. Visit www.nfyfc.org.uk/skillsandtraining for more information and to book on a meeting.
16 April 2013
Young Farmers from across the south west attended the first road safety course as part of the NFYFC's Drive it Home campaign at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park in April.
The 2young2die session run by road safety charity Brake and funded by NFU Mutual and the Rural Youth Trust was the first of seven courses to be taught across the Federation’s locations. The course attracted young farmers from Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Dorset, Northamptonshire, Herefordshire, Exeter and Cornwall.
The session gave members practical advice and resources to be able to run road safety sessions in their own clubs. The 14 participants have now become the first set of Drive it Home champions and the Federation hopes to build a network of at least 48 of them across counties throughout England and Wales who can help to spread road safety messages.
Television presenter and Director of the Cotswold Farm Park Adam Henson greeted young farmers on the course. He told everyone it was appropriate that his farm was the launch location due to a recent tragic road incident involving a member of staff.
Adam Henson said:
“I am pleased that we were the launch pad for the first Young Farmers’ national road safety course as a young member of our staff was tragically killed in a car crash just before Christmas on a local rural road. When I was a young farmer years ago at agricultural college, a poignant moment for me was when the Principal came into our lecture theatre and told the 80 of us on the course that 5% of us would be dead by the end of our three years, partly due to car crashes. He was right – three people died on my course.
“When you’re young, life is just so exciting that you can feel like you’re indestructible. It’s such a tragic loss of life when people are so young and have everything ahead of them. So it’s brilliant that the NFYFC is running these courses and I hope that after the session at my Farm the first set of champions can now start spreading the word amongst their friends.”
Members on the course were also treated to lunch and invited to tour the farm park after the session.
Ben Cavill,19, from Falmouth YFC in Cornwall, travelled up to the course and said:
“A member of our club was involved in a car accident this month and has only just come out of a coma. She’s the same age as me and it really hits home when you know who it is. You always discuss the subject as if it’s nothing to do with you. When an accident like this happens you realise something has to be done as it could be anyone. I know members who don’t pay as much attention as they could when driving. I came on the course so I could take the message back to them that it is dangerous.”
Sam Allen, 25, from Bicester Seniors, Oxfordshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, said:
“Everyone in Young Farmers knows someone who has been involved in a collision or been hurt through driving. I think by coming on the course it gives me the opportunity to educate other road users the same age as myself. We learnt that driving when tired can be as bad as drink driving. I can go back to my county now and give a presentation to each club. Even if it only gets through to two people it will be worth it.”
The majority of NFYFC’s 25,000 members live and work in rural communities putting them in a high risk category for incidents on rural roads. Statistics by Road Safety Analysis show that rural young drivers nationally are 37% more likely to have an injury collision than urban young drivers.
The campaign, which was an idea by the NFYFC’s Chairman of Council Milly Wastie, also includes practical driving sessions with a company called Drive Doctors and places on these courses have also been subsidised by NFU Mutual.
Members across England and Wales are encouraged to book on one of the remaining six Brake courses that are free:
Members should contact Christina.firstname.lastname@example.org uk or call 02476 857227 to book a place.
Congratulations to our Drive it Home champions: Kate Lyons (Chew Valley YFC), Lisa Hayward (Shefford YFC), Ben Cavill (Falmouth YFC), Sam Allen (Bicester Seniors YFC), Robert Williams (Hereford and District YFC), Alex Ross (Kington YFC), Rachel Retter and Becky Pratt (Cheriton Tedburn YFC), Claire Worden (Lostwithiel YFC), Nicola Chegwidden (St Columb YFC), Richard Atterton (Gillingham & Shaftesbury YFC), Emma Pascoe (Praze YFC), Georgina Monk (Threemilestone YFC), Victoria Hicks (Tewkesbury YFC).
15 April 2013
The courageous cow will be racing more than 50 other mascots over a furlong and six fences, with a little help from NFYFC’s Competitions Committee Vice-Chairman, David Hamer.
Although up against some stiff competition from the likes of last year’s champion, Eddie the Edgehog, David is certain that SuperMoo will be victorious. So certain, in fact, that he has even produced a video of SuperMoo’s gruelling training regime.
SuperMoo is hoping to raise over £200 for RABI and the road safety charity Brake, who are working with NFYFC to support their rural road safety campaign, Drive It Home.
The Mascot Gold Cup was the brainchild of Yorkshire YFC, who organised the first ever event in 2006. The event has become the world’s largest mascot race, and is now organised by the charity, Sue Ryder. During its history, the Mascot Gold Cup has raised over £100,000 for various charities.
SuperMoo isn’t the only Young Farmer to get involved in the race, Worth Valley YFC member Josh Hudson is also running for Heart Research UK as their mascot, Hartley Heart and Emma Wordsworth from Cawthorne YFC is running as Blaze Bear representing West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
The Mascot Gold Cup takes place on 28th April at Wetherby Racecourse and Conference Centre on their Family Day race meeting. If you would like to sponsor SuperMoo and David, just visit www.justgiving.com/teams/supermoo.
T: 02476 857 200
F: 02476 857 229
Designed by Kevyn Williams