National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

02 May 2013


Poul Christensen CBE, Chair of Natural England, is the new President of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs after television presenter Matt Baker stepped down from the post he has held for two years.

Members voted in Poul Christensen, who served as President Elect in 2012, to be the Federation’s new President at the NFYFC’s Annual General Meeting in Blackpool on the 5th May. Matt Baker attended the meeting to officially hand over the Presidency and to make presentations to award winners including the Senior Member of the Year.

Matt was first elected into the position of President at the AGM in 2011 and has supported the Federation at events including the 80th Gala Dinner in December where he offered a first dance as an auction prize. As a presenter on Countryfile he also visited Warwickshire YFC to report on one of its rallies and has been a keen supporter of Young Farmers.

Matt said: “I have had a wonderful couple of years as NFYFC’s President. It has been an honour and a joy to be part of such an exciting organisation. The level of enthusiasm, creativity and commitment that our young farmers show will always continue to impress me.

“I will always be a strong supporter of the work that NFYFC does with young people who live and work in rural communities and will continue to support NFYFC every step of the way even though I am no longer President. I wish Poul Christensen the very best in his new position and look forward to seeing how the organisation and its members progress.”

Poul was an NFYFC member 58 years ago in Sussex and his four children have also been involved in the organisation in Oxfordshire. He is a Director of a successful family dairy farming business at Kingston Hill Farm, in Oxfordshire and he has a long track record of integrating conservation with the demands of modern farming.

Throughout his career Poul has taken a prominent role leading the farming sector through changing and challenging times. He has held significant industry roles, including being joint founder of the Tenant Farmers’ Association providing a voice for tenant farmers.

As President of the NFYFC Poul hopes to support members to realise their ambitions in the agricultural industry.

Poul Christensen said:
“I believe the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs is the pre-eminent youth organisation in the UK, and to be President of it is an honour and a privilege. It is an extremely important organization for a lot of young people across England and Wales in terms of developing their life skills and self-confidence.
“I have a lot of contacts in the industry and I hope to raise the profile of Young Farmers to encourage new members to join and to help more people understand what Young Farmers can offer the individual and also the country. A lot of people who have come through Young Farmers have gone on to be leaders in our industry.”

NFYFC’s National Chairman of Council Milly Wastie said:

“We are very excited to welcome Poul Christensen CBE as the new President of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs. Poul’s agricultural credentials and understanding of our organisation will really help us to develop a voice for young farmers in the industry. I am really looking forward to working with Poul during my year as Chairman.

“Matt Baker has been such a fantastic ambassador for NFYFC over the last two years and young farmers have been proud to have him as our President. Our thanks go to Matt and his family for all the support and time they have given to the organisation and we hope that he will continue to support Young Farmers. We have told him he is always welcome at any of our events!”

Nearly 5,000 Young Farmers attended the Annual Convention 2013 in Blackpool, which included the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Forum and national competition finals in Drama, Ballroom Dancing and Cheerleading. Awards were also given for Senior Member of the Year and the Sidney Fawcett Trophy for best speaker at the AGM. 



01 May 2013

Young Farmers will be given the chance to contribute to an industry review on the future of farming during the NFYFC’s Annual Convention in Blackpool over the May bank holiday weekend.

Hundreds of young farmers are expected to attend the Agriculture and Rural Affairs (ARAC) Forum 2013, which is supported by Defra and provides a unique platform for young farmers to discuss topical agricultural issues, at 10.30am on Saturday 4 May in the Spanish Hall of the Winter Gardens, Blackpool.

David Fursdon, the leader of the industry-wide review into the Future of Farming, will be a panellist at the Forum and is eager to hear from young farmers about the state of the sector.

David Fursdon, leader of the Future of Farming review, said:

“In carrying out this review about new entrants and their impact on the future of the farming industry, it is vital to hear first hand from young farmers about their hopes, opportunities and frustrations in this regard. There is no better place to hear this clearly and unadulterated than at Blackpool at the NFYFC Convention.”

Other panellists will include the President of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) Joris Baecke who will discuss what European young farmers are doing to secure their future, as well as a presentation from Lantra’s Madge Moore.

These industry experts will hold three discussion groups:

Young Farmers....nils points?

CEJA President Joris Baecke – Find out what European young farmers are thinking and doing about their future.

What help’s on offer for young farmers?

Lantra’s Madge Moore – How can you help yourself?

Your Country Needs You!

David Fursdon – Feed into the Future of Farming review and share your concerns and requests for your farming and rural future.

Chris Bateman, NFYFC’s Agricultural and Rural Affairs Chairman said:

“2013 is shaping up to be a turning point for young people in British agriculture, and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Forum 2013 will provide a unique opportunity for every YFC member to influence the future of farming.

“This is a chance to discuss, face-to-face, what members want from the industry with some of the leading figures in both European and British Agriculture.”

Following on from the Forum, there will be a locally sourced buffet lunch, which has been kindly sponsored by Massey Ferguson.

The Forum is one of a number of events taking place as part of NFYFC’s Annual Convention 2013, where more than 4,000 young farmers will be gathering from 3-5 May in Blackpool. Other events include NFYFC’s national competition finals, trophy presentations and the Annual General Meeting on Sunday 5 May where members will discuss the future of the Federation.

Find out more about Annual Convention 2013 here.


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