07 May 2013
Hundreds of Young Farmers from across England and Wales made their way to Blackpool for the national finals of NFYFC’s Ballroom Dancing, Cheerleading, Drama and Senior Member of the Year competitions.
The drama competition is always hotly contested and this year was no different. Supporters packed the Opera Theatre in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool to cheer on the three finalists, Builth Wells YFC from Brecknock, Nesscliffe YFC from Shropshire and Brampton YFC from Cumbria.
After three fantastic, and very different, performances it was Builth Wells YFC who took the trophy for the third year running with their original play ‘Seven for a Secret’ about the impact of the Second World War on a rural Welsh community. The judges from the Guild of Dramatic Adjudicators praised the club for their clever direction and lovely duets and harmonies. Nesscliffe YFC came in second place with their lively performance of ‘Stags and Hens’ and Brampton YFC came third with ‘Private Peaceful’.
The Best Actor award went to James Dean from Brampton YFC for his moving performance as ‘Tommo’ and Mairwen Davies from Builth Wells YFC won the Best Actress award as Mary. Mariwen said:
“It’s fantastic and a real shock. We’re just so pleased to come back to national finals and compete again on the national stage. We have been extremely lucky to get through to the national finals three years in a row.”
Former NFYFC President, TV presenter Matt Baker, kicked-off Sunday’s Ballroom Dancing and Cheerleading competitions which took place in the world famous Empress Ballroom in Blackpool. With a total of 21 teams taking part in both competitions, the atmosphere was electric and all of the teams gave fantastic performances.
In the ballroom dancing it was the team from Bakewell YFC in Derbyshire who took the trophy with a slick performance which was highly praised by judges Carol May and Olive Hornby. Runners up were Trefeglwys YFC from Montgomery and in third place Withleigh YFC in Devon, who had over half of their members taking part in the competition.
Wales YFC dominated the cheerleading competition, with Clunderwen YFC from Pembrokeshire taking the crown and Trefeglwys YFC repeating their ballroom success and coming in second. The judges from the UK Cheerleading associated awarded third place to Bakewell YFC. Emily Rigby was in the Clunderwen team:
"We have had a fantastic experience at the AGM in Blackpool. The competition was very fierce and the size of the audience was nerve racking. It means such a lot to us to have won the national title ?it has made the numerous late nights of training and the long journey from Pembrokeshire worth it. We are a group of 13-24 year olds, all local to our club of Clunderwen YFC and we have had a tremendous amount of support which we would like to thank everyone for. The celebrations will continue for a very long time in true young farmer style!"
This weekend also saw the finals of the NFYFC Senior Member of the Year competition with seven finalist, one from each region of the Federation, taking part. The final stage of the competition included both private and stage interviews, and the judges were looking for members who had a good knowledge of and commitment to Young Farmers.
The competition was eventually won by Paul Glanvill from Whimple and Broadclyst YFC in Devon, who had arrived in Blackpool earlier in the week after cycling the 320 miles with five other members to raise money for Parkinson’s UK and for the fund to build a new Devon YFC building.
Paul said: “It’s a great honour to win. I wasn’t expecting it. I was very nervous. The on stage interviews seemed to go well but I knew I was up against stiff competition so I couldn’t say what was going to happen.”
07 May 2013
Worcestershire YFC are on target to raise £10,000 for Cancer Research and the Worcestershire branch of Samaritans after 17 members cycled 200 miles from Blackpole to Blackpool in fewer than four days.
On arrival in Blackpool on Friday Helen Harcombe, Worcestershire’s County Chairman and one of the cyclists said:
“I’m in a lot of pain right now but I feel really excited to be in Blackpool. Riding through the beautiful Shropshire countryside and staying with some great hosts from YFCs along the way were definite highlights of the trip. The team spirit was fantastic.”
You can still donate to 'Blackpole to Blackpool' by visiting the team's just giving page.
Five members of Devon YFC also used pedal power to cycle 320 miles from Exeter to Blackpool to raise money for Parkinson’s UK and for a new Devon YFC building.
It was a 95 mile jaunt in one day for members from Cumbria YFC (pictured) who raised £2,000 for Cancer Research and Eden Valley Hospice. The club left at 6am on Friday morning and YFC member Mark Hurst reckons the highlight of the trip was when County Chairman Keith Forster fell off his bike!
It was a different mode of transport for Cornwall YFC who took to the water to make a very unusual trip to Blackpool.
Their mission was to canoe 120 miles of the Thames in five days to raise money for a Merlin Centre in Cornwall for people with MS.
Starting on the Sunday before Convention, the 26 members canoed from Eynsham, Oxfordshire and finished on Thursday in Teddington, travelling about 20 miles a day in 12 canadian canoes.
Every year the County Chairman picks a challenge for the ‘wotnot’ – a traditional fundraising event to mark the start of YFC AGM.
County Chairman Ed Humber chose to hit the water in canoes. He said: “Cornwall have embraced the WotNot for years. It’s the most amazing week of your life to raise money for charity, you get very little sleep but you have a laugh with your friends. Every day you’re committed to 10 hours of hard slog for a charitable cause.”
The team had three hours sleep every night but Ed still encouraged other clubs to do a WotNot next year. “I would stress that any County should do a WotNot because it is amazing. The bonding you get between the members is brilliant.”
You can donate to Cornwall YFC’ s WotNot by texting WNOT13, followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070.
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
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.
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