National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

31 May 2013

NFYFC is calling for more support from government and local communities for rural young drivers after a new study revealed they are almost twice as likely to be involved in a collision than young urban drivers.

The study produced by Road Safety Analysis (RSA), in support of the NFYFC’s and NFU Mutual’s road safety campaign Drive it Home, is based on data collated from the Department for Transport. It showed that young people who live and learn to drive in rural locations are at a higher risk behind the wheel: young rural drivers are 44% more likely to be involved in an injury-causing collision.

As one of the largest rural youth organisations in the UK, the majority of NFYFC’s members live and work in rural communities and the findings of the report have provided a series of recommendations, which include the introduction of rural roads in the driving test and more transport options for rural communities. 

Analysis of DVLA data shows that young rural people are 89% more likely to have a full driving licence than urban youngsters and that they are more likely to get their licences at an earlier age. This could be due to the lack of transport links in rural areas and the need for young people to be able to get to college, work or to socialise. 

Between 2007 and 2011, 8,227 young rural drivers were involved in collisions where someone was either killed or seriously injured. The study found that many of the influencing factors for a collision involving a young driver are proportionally higher for those living in rural areas owing to the makeup of the road network and their own inexperience.  In particular, young rural drivers are two-thirds (68%) more likely to be involved in a collision on a road with a 60mph limit.  

The RSA study also found that their inexperience meant that they are 28% more likely to be involved in a single vehicle collision than young urban drivers – this figure increases to 45% when compared to rural adult drivers.

The study highlighted there are also a number of factors that appear to be unique to young rural drivers. They are 28% more likely to claim loss of control as a contributory factor and 16% more likely to have a collision on a wet road surface.  It seems young rural drivers are also more likely to risk drink driving, as the study showed they are nearly two-thirds (60%) more likely to provide a positive breath test at the time of the collision.

The report’s recommendations include: 

  • Graduated driving licences – introducing restrictions for new drivers 
  • Rural driving tests – demonstrating competency on rural roads could reduce risks for new and young drivers
  • Rural communities to provide more transport options for young residents – community based transport schemes to take young people to events in the evenings or during poor weather
  • Telematic based insurance products – black boxes fitted to cars to monitor speed
  • Alcolocks – alcohol testers which act as vehicle immobilisers.

Milly Wastie, NFYFC’s National Chairman of Council, said: “This research shows that rural young drivers face distinct challenges on our country roads and a lack of education and support is costing lives. For example, 52% of rural young drivers are more likely to be involved in a collision on a bend than urban young drivers and 63% are more likely to be involved in a collision in the dark. 

“We are working with NFU Mutual to ensure our Drive it Home campaign tackles these issues by offering our 25,000 members practical driver training courses. But more needs to be done to spread the safety messages wider. The NFYFC would like to see the introduction of rural roads within the driving test and for more rural communities to provide wider transport options for young people in their local area. We must work together to tackle road safety and to save lives.”

Dan Campsall from RSA said: “The recommendations of this report may not be wholeheartedly welcomed by all, but the research provides clear evidence that our rural young people are experiencing real inequality from the effect of road traffic crashes. These events devastate close-knit communities and destroy the promising futures of too many young lives. This research, which represents the most detailed study to-date of risks to young drivers who live in rural communities, is a challenge to national and local government, to communities and families alike to build the infrastructure, legislative frameworks and support structures which will serve to protect these young people.”

Tim Price of NFU Mutual said: “This research is broadly in line with our own experience as the UK’s leading rural insurer. Deaths and serious injuries are taking a dreadful toll on the lives of young people and we are working with Young Farmers’ Clubs and other organisations to try and reduce accidents and save lives.”

The study has revealed the top 10 riskiest counties for young rural drivers to highlight where interventions might be prioritised. NFYFC will be working closely with its clubs in these locations.

  1. North and North East Lincolnshire 
  2. South Glamorgan 
  3. Lincolnshire 
  4. Surrey 
  5. East Sussex 
  6. Dyfed 
  7. Isle of Wight 
  8. Cheshire 
  9. Hereford 
  10. West Sussex

NFYFC will be hosting its first practical driving course on Saturday 8 June at the Prodrive Centre in Warwickshire where young farmers will receive rural road lessons and sessions on a wet grip activity that simulates ice, snow and mud conditions.

The full report can be accessed by clicking here

The summary can be seen by clicking here 

30 May 2013

New driver Natalie Stevens from Launceston YFC in Cornwall is celebrating not only a new found freedom on the roads but also winning £100 of Amazon vouchers for completing the Drive it Home survey.

The 22 year old passed her test 11 months ago and decided to complete the Drive it Home road safety survey online after seeing the link on Facebook. It was a fruitful decision as Natalie was drawn as this month’s voucher winner out of all the survey respondents in May. NFU Mutual, supporter of the Drive it Home campaign, has generously offered the £100 prize for one lucky respondent to the survey every month.

Natalie said she loves being able to get around in her Vauxhall Polo, especially as she lives in a rural location, but is wary of other road users.

“The roads near my home can be very tight with lots of bends and I’ve found other motorists to be quite aggressive! It can be scary when you’re out on your own and I have got lost a few times too. Young drivers can be reckless on the roads and I think the Drive it Home campaign is a good idea.”

Natalie said the survey didn’t take long to complete and encourages others to take part. “It only took me about 10 minutes to fill in and I wanted to do it to support our YFC campaign so we can get some good research together. It’s even better that I won the £100 – and I think I’ll spend it on something for the car or a new handbag!"

If you would like to take part in the survey and be entered into June’s prize draw to win £100 of Amazon vouchers, thanks to NFU Mutual, then click on the link to complete the survey.

There are two surveys – a non driver survey for people aged between 14 and 26 and a driver survey for members aged between 17 and 26. Please note all answers are anonymous.

29 May 2013


NFYFC members are concerned that major decisions affecting young farmers are being made at a European level and want to ensure voices are heard from England and Wales. 

Chris Manley, Devon YFC, and Russell Carrington, Hereford YFC, have just returned from a trip to Brussels to debate the issues affecting young farmers with their European counterparts.

The gathering was arranged by the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA), which NFYFC is now a full member of thanks to sponsorship from Mole Valley Farmers.

Ongoing membership and participation of CEJA is vital if young farmers in England and Wales are to have a say in their future, said Russell.

“It was a real shock to me and Chris how much is going on at a European level that affects the next generation of young farmers. If we’re not careful decisions will be made without our consultation. It’s important for us to be at these meetings and have our say.”

The meeting in Brussels was only a week after the President of CEJA Joris Baecke, attended the ARAC Forum 2013 at Annual Convention to talk about the organisation and how it can help Young Farmers.

Russell said: “At the meeting we were asked to approach our own Governments to raise our concerns and we contributed to debates about support payments for young farmers starting agricultural businesses.

“It’s important that we find out more what our members think about these issues so we can take their views back to the next CEJA meeting. We want to get out and talk to more members about CEJA and make them aware of how important our membership is.

“We are also looking for other members from England and Wales who might be interested in representing NFYFC at meetings and seminars around Europe.  There is lots to do and these meetings can also be very rewarding on a personal level.”

Click here to watch the CEJA press conference which Chris and Russell attended.

29 May 2013


In honour of 80 years of NFYFC, YFCs across England and Wales are invited to contribute to a time capsule that will include items from our anniversary year for members to dig up in 45 years time. 

The NFYFC Youth Forum is planning to bury a time capsule at the site of the very first Young Farmer’s Club in Hemyock in Devon and we want every Club to make sure they are represented by giving you the chance to add something to the capsule.

So far more than 13 clubs have submitted items for the capsule, including magazines, a 2013 copy of Ten26 and a current price list of essential items such as milk, eggs and butter as well as an introductory letter to explain the project to the YFC members of 2058 who will excavate the capsule.

As well as contributions from NFYFC Chairman Milly Wastie, the following Clubs have also submitted items:

Cheriton and Tedburn (Devon)
Silsden with Skipton (Yorkshire)
Oundle (Northampton)
Staffordshire YFC (All Clubs and county)
Dartmouth (Devon)
Northumberland (All clubs)
Whimple & Broadclyst (Devon)
Farrington Gurney (Somerset)
Shipston on Stour (Warwickshire)
Craswall (Herefordshire)
Wigton (Cumbria)
Eden Valley (Cumbria)
Maendy (Glamorgan)

There is still time for your club to take part, as the deadline has been extended until Friday 6 September. Each club is allowed one A4 double sided piece of paper to put in the capsule.

Jodie Green, NFYFC’s Youthwork officer, said:

“The Youth Forum wanted to create a time capsule to leave a legacy for future members of YFC, so they can open it up and see what being a Young Farmer was like in 2013. The Forum members want the capsule to be dug up in 45 years time, on the 125th anniversary of NFYFC.”

Your Club can post their Time Capsule entry to NFYFC marked ‘Time Capsule’ or email them to before Friday 6 September. Postal Address: NFYFC, YFC Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, CV8 2LG

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.”


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