National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 May 2013


Ticket sales for Annual Convention 2013 were the best in five years with more than 5,000 people attending NFYFC’s showcase event of the year.

Numbers for the event grew by more than 500 on last year’s figures as both pre-event sales and tickets bought over the weekend were higher.

The Convention has always been a highlight in the young farmers’ calendar – numbers used to top around 7,000 back in the 1980s when membership figures stood at more than 60,000.

This year’s event also received backing from a range of industry bodies both in terms of sponsorship and time given at meetings and competitions.

  • Massey Ferguson sponsored the Chairman’s Reception in the Winter Gardens, where more than 300 guests were invited to share a drink with the Chairman
  • Massey Ferguson also sponsored a locally sourced lunch that was served after the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) Forum
  • Defra supported the ARAC Forum 2013
  • Wiseman Muller Dairies sponsored the Drama competition Final.
  • Local bars Walkabout, Revolution, and Che Bar sponsored wristbands, posters and programmes respectively.

Feedback from sponsors was very positive and many of them enjoyed participating in the activities. Massey Ferguson attended Annual Convention for the first time and the team were impressed with the overall event and the enthusiasm of young farmers.

“We were delighted to support this key NFYFC event. It was a great pleasure to be involved  throughout the two days and be able to talk in detail with members,” said Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Brand Development Manager. “Massey Ferguson is strongly focused on the new generation of farmers who are embracing new opportunities, new ideas and transforming forever the way farming is both carried out and perceived.  The vibrancy, passion and clear thinking of delegates were inspirational. We look forward to continuing to work in close partnership with the new and the next generation of farmers.”

The registration area at Convention was also a chance for members to take part in activities while queuing for wristbands. NFU Mutual, who support the Drive it Home campaign, brought two driving simulators and talked to members about the upcoming driving courses. While Outbound invited members to stay upright on their inflatable snow board experience! 

NFYFC’s National Chairman of Council Milly Wastie said: “I am so pleased we had record numbers at Convention – and for the support we have received from sponsors and organisations who helped to make it such a success.

“Our organisation is all about fun, learning and achievement and I think we delivered on all three counts. Annual Convention is a chance for us to really show what we’re about through our competitions, ARAC Forum and Annual General Meeting – as well as being an opportunity for us to unite with thousands of members across England and Wales to celebrate together.”

16 May 2013


Thirteen Young Farmers appeared on BBC One’s primetime show The One Show last night to help promote how young farmers have been coping with this year’s bad weather.

The YFC members, who travelled from as far afield as Cumbria and Norfolk were live in the studio with presenters Matt Baker and Alex Jones, as well as celebrity guests including Angela Rippon and comedian Alexei Sayle.

Matt, who is the former President of NFYFC, interviewed three YFC members about their own personal experiences of this year’s challenging weather conditions;  Helen Reeve, from Harleston YFC in Norfolk, Helen Brown from Carlisle YFC in Cumbria and Trevor Jones from Vigo YFC in Kent.

Trevor said:

“It was really good to be on the show. It was a bit nerve wracking at first and very odd to have a camera shoved in your face!”

Marie Prebble from Canterbury YFC in Kent added:

“It was a great opportunity to represent the new entrants into the industry and talk about their experiences over the past year.”

The One Show has regular viewing figures of over five million, and with 13 YFC shirts on show, it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the organisation and its members.

Charlotte Bosher from Princes Risborough YFC in Buckinghamshire later tweeted:

“Thank you NFYFC really enjoyed myself and lovely to meet some new people. Proud to be a Young farmer.”

08 May 2013


Television presenter Matt Baker handed over the presidency of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs this weekend at the organisation’s 81st Annual General Meeting.

Hundreds of Young Farmers from across England and Wales attended the meeting at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool to see Matt lead his last AGM as NFYFC President and hand over the reins to Poul Christensen CBE. You can watch a video below of Matt interviewing Poul on the NFYFC Show!


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.”

Matt was tasked with conducting this year’s meeting, which is a chance for all members of NFYFC to have their say on the issues that affect the organisation.

One such issue was the proposed 5% increase in the National Levy, the amount that each member pays to NFYFC. After some passionate speeches by members both for and against the increase, the motion was eventually defeated with 77 votes for and 115 against.

There was also a proposal that the membership fees for Associate Members should be increased from £5 to £10, but once again members used their voting power to defeat the motion with 84 votes for and 101 against. 

Honours were awarded to a number of dedicated NFYFC supporters, with the election of two new Deputy NFYFC Presidents, Diane Coles and Linda Savage, and the re-election of Christopher Hunt, David Herbert, Alethea Snelling, Richard Camp and Gwynne Davies. Rod Tuck from Norfolk and Delme Harries from Pembrokeshire were also elected as NFYFC Life Vice Presidents.

Delme is a driving force in Wales YFC, and has held several positions including County Chairman of Pembrokeshire, Chairman of Wales YFC and was the first ever Welshman to be elected Chairman of Rural Youth Europe. His dedication to Welsh Young Farmers has earned him the nick name ‘The King of Wales’.

Rod Tuck has been involved with YFC for 50 years, from his days in Old Buckingham and then Diss YFC. He has been Eastern Area President since 1976 and sat on the NFYFC Board of Management for five years, where he was the voice of the Eastern Area.

The 81st NFYFC Annual General meeting finished with the presentation of various trophies for fundraising, competitions and travel, as well as the Sidney Fawcett trophy which was awarded to Caroline Baker for making the greatest contribution to this year’s AGM. The Prince of Wales Trophy, which is awarded to the County who raised the most money per member for charity was awarded this year to Oxfordshire FYFC who raised nearly £24,000.


Annual General Meeting 2013 Trophy Winners

  • NFU Trophy (Championship County Federation in NFYFC competitions finals 2011/2012) – Cumbria FYFC
  • Tug Wilson Trophy (reserve championship county federation in NFYFC competition finals 2011/2012) – Derbyshire FYFC
  • Worshipful Company of Farmers Trophy (champion small county whose membership figures are amongst the lowest 50% of counties, NFYFC competitions finals 2011/2012) – Bedfordshire FYFC
  • Merrick Burrell Tankard (county federation with the largest % increase in membership over the past three years) – Hertfordshire FYFC
  • Prince of Wales Perpetual Charity Challenge Trophy (county federation raising most money per member for a charitable cause) – Oxfordshire FYFC
  • Lionel J Hill MBE Charity Club Cup (club that has raised the greatest amount of funds per members, for charitable purposes over a 12-month period)- Faringon YFC from Oxfordshire (club raised over £18,712)
  • The RABI Cup (YFC that has given the most support to RABI) – jointly awarded to Acle YFC and North Walsham YFC from Norfolk
  • The Sidney Fawcett Trophy – (member making the greatest contribution to the democratic proceedings of the AGM) – Caroline Baker, County Durham FYFC
  • Top Trainer of the Year – Karen Hodges, Worcestershire FYFC
  • Young Farmers Ambassador (the best power point produced by a participant of the Discovery Programme) - Ed Lovelock, Buckinghamshire FYFC

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.”

The full results from all of the National Finals can be downloaded here and photographs from the competitions can be viewed on the NFYFC Facebook page.

07 May 2013


Annual Convention 2013 got off to a charitable start with Young Farmers raising thousands of pounds for good causes by making challenging journeys up to Blackpool.

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. 


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