19 June 2013
Representatives from NFYFC met with agricultural minister David Heath last week to discuss the latest phase of Defra’s Green Food Project.
Herefordshire FYFC member and Vice-Chairman of the NFYFC Agricultural and Rural Affairs committee, Russell Carrington joined NFYFC’s new Agriculture and Rural Affairs officer Jo Wyles for the meeting at Defra’s headquarters in Westminster.
The Green Food Project was established in 2011 to look at the challenge of increasing food production whilst enhancing the English environment and to bring together farming and food industry, environmental and consumer bodies and Government.
The meeting included updates from the five sub-groups of the Green Food Project, including the Future of Farming review which Young Farmers had an opportunity to contribute to at NFYFC’s Agricultural and Rural Affairs Forum in Blackpool, which was attended by leader of the review David Fursdon.
At the meeting Russell thanked David for this opportunity:
“NFYFC is grateful for the opportunity to input into the Future of Farming review and we look forward to some tangible outcomes that can help young farmers and new entrants get a foothold in the industry.”
The meeting, which was attended by representatives from a number of industry bodies, discussed how the Green Food Project could continue to take action on the future of food production and the environment in England. Check out Russell’s video blog for his round-up of the latest Green Food Project meeting.
Find out more about NFYFC's work on the Future of Farming.
18 June 2013
Young farmers from Norfolk and Essex attended a Brake 2young2die road safety session at television presenter Jimmy’s Farm in Suffolk at the weekend as part of the Drive it Home campaign.
The course was particularly relevant in the county after a recent Road Safety Analysis study, produced in support of the campaign, highlighted that in Suffolk there is an average of 301 young drivers from rural areas who are involved in injury collisions each year.
The course is part of NFYFC’s aim to create a team of Drive it Home champions throughout the Federation’s 46 counties in England and Wales. After the course, members are encouraged to go back to their clubs and champion a road safety event.
The sessions are free thanks to funding from NFU Mutual and the Rural Youth Trust and are aimed at changing attitudes to driving.
Paul Hartley, Norfolk County Chairman, went on the course and said: “It definitely made you think about what you should and shouldn’t be doing when you’re behind the wheel. It reminded you of things such as stopping when you’re tired, and hearing what parents said about losing their children in car crashes made you realise how it's not worth taking risks. You only have one life.”
Television presenter Jimmy Doherty is backing the campaign and invited Eastern Area members to host their session on his farm.
Jimmy Doherty said: "As someone who lives, works and drives in the countryside, I am very supportive of NFYFC's Drive it Home campaign to educate young people on the dangers of rural roads. I would urge young farmers to get involved, learn how to keep safe and teach others to do the same."
This course is one of seven that Brake is running for YFC members and NFYFC has chosen locations in each Area of the national Federation to give all members opportunity to take part. The campaign also includes practical driving sessions with a company called Drive Doctors and places on these courses have also been subsidised by NFU Mutual.
To find out more about the Brake courses, click here.
To find out more about the Drive Doctors practical courses, click here.
11 June 2013
Young farmers from the West and East Midlands learnt life-saving driving skills at the weekend when professional racing drivers joined them behind the wheel on the skid pan and rural roads.
The event at the Prodrive Centre in Kenilworth, was part of Drive it Home campaign and gave members a chance to take their own vehicles out on the track to experience difficult driving conditions.
The course was funded by NFU Mutual and members got to private tuition from professional drivers who advised them on what to do to escape or correct difficulties, including:
• Learning how to react to/control major skids
• Experiencing wet/icy condition simulations
• Receiving expert advice on rural driving
• Learning about key motor maintenance
Young Farmers from counties across the midlands, including: Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Shropshire Leicestershire and Northampton took part.
Tom Evans, 17, from Leamington Hastings YFC only passed his test a month ago but said the skid pan experience was a real surprise.
“The driver explained to me how to control the car and that was really good because if I’d done that on a real road I wouldn’t really know what to do to control the car. I did an 180 degree turn and it’s quite a shock when you first do it as I didn’t know how to react. And that was in a controlled situation with an instructor – not out on my own at night.”
“I did wonder if I’d learn anything but I got good tips on road placement. I learnt how I should be sticking to the outside of bends when going in one direction and the inside for the other. It was pretty useful to stop myself thinking about being in a racing line all the time!
“I had a lot of respect for the racing drivers, you can have a good laugh with them and they were really good instructors. I think I’ll drive home differently.”
For Aimee Mahony, from Market Bosworth YFC, it was a chance to learn how to tackle a skid situation – something she had experienced for real three years earlier.
“I was a bit nervous before I went on the skid pan because it replicated an accident I’d had on ice. In the accident, I slammed my foot on the brake and span off the road. On the course the instructor told me to put my foot on the accelerator and I thought he was crazy! But doing it with someone next to me made me feel safer – and it worked!”
Aimee (right) has to travel on a lot of rural roads for her job as an auditor of free range poultry farms and recommends coming on the course.
“Even if you only learn one or two little things they’re valuable for you to take and put into practice.”
Farmers Weekly came down to cover the event and ITV Central News also filmed members taking part in the activities.
To see more photos from the event, click here.
The next event is in the South West at Dunkeswell Airfield in Honiton. To book a place, contact Christina.email@example.com or call 02476 857227.
07 June 2013
Television presenter and farmer Jimmy Doherty is backing the Drive it Home campaign and has invited YFC members to his Suffolk farm on Sunday 16 June to take part in the YFC Brake 2young2die course.
The course, which is free thanks to funding from NFU Mutual and the Rural Youth Trust, is one of seven special Brake YFC courses that are running throughout the UK at different locations. The first one was at Adam’s Cotswold Farm Park in April.
Jimmy, who is most famous for his Channel 4 show Jimmy’s Farm, kindly offered space on his farm for the course and members will even get to enjoy lunch from the Field Kitchen.
Jimmy said: "As someone who lives, works and drives in the countryside, I am very supportive of NFYFC's Drive it Home campaign to educate young people on the dangers of rural roads. I would urge young farmers to get involved, learn how to keep safe and teach others to do the same."
The course runs from 11am until 4pm and will equip members with all they need to know to run their own 2young2die training courses back in their clubs. NFYFC wants to create a team of Drive it Home champions throughout the Federation’s 46 counties in England and Wales and 25 are set to become champions in Suffolk.
The course is particularly relevant in the county after a recent Road Safety Analysis study, produced in support of The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ Drive it Home campaign, highlighted that in Suffolk there is an average of 301 young drivers from rural areas who are involved in injury collisions each year. The figures show one in 97 young rural drivers in Suffolk are involved in injury collisions each year.
Young rural drivers across England and Wales are nearly twice (44%) as likely to be involved in a collision compared to young urban drivers.
For more information about the Brake courses and to find your nearest one, click here.
For more information and to book your place, contact Christina Evans or call 02476 857227. Only a few spaces are left on the course so book quickly to avoid disappointment.
06 June 2013
The Defra supported competition aims to teach young farmers how to make the most of a cheap and nutritious livestock feed and also involves a free day’s training and lunch at the dairy farm of shropshire farmer Tim Downes on 19th September.
Following the training, teams of two competitors will be given a brief to turn around the fortunes of a struggling dairy farm, completing a 2,000 word report outlining their recommendations.Winners will receive a trophy and a scholarship to a grasslands conference thanks to the BGS.
BGS technical project manager Louise Davison, who has been working with NFYFC to devise the competition said:
“This competition sets out to open young people’s eyes and minds to the potential of grass - particularly when bought-in feed prices are so high. We also want to improve the knowledge of the next generation, and show them that grassland farming can be a profitable and sustainable method of livestock production.”
Russell Carrington, Vice-Chairman of NFYFC’s Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee added:
"It is really great to be working with BGS and Natural England to develop this competition which will be so valuable for young farmers to up-skill in an increasingly important area of production."
To register for a space on the free training day email firstname.lastname@example.org.
05 June 2013
Toby France, from Warwickshire FYFC, Gareth Laking from Lincolnshire FYFC and Nicola Chegwidden from Cornwall FYFC all took part in the seminar, which looked at how to close the gap between rural and urban young people.
The trip was part of NFYFC’s Discovery programme which offers unique travel opportunities for YFC members, including seminars, homestays and working holidays.
Toby says the trip was a great way to meet new people:
“There was a real mix of people . There were 40 of us from 20 countries including Wales, Scotland and Ireland, Finland and Sweden, Poland and Romania, Croatia, Belarus and Azerbaijan!”
The travellers met with representatives from the Council of Europe to discuss how they support youth and social inclusion projects. They also visited local community organisations, from a hostel for homeless people to a project which supports children and teenagers in the poorest inner-city areas.
Toby is also NFYFC’s Personal Development Chairman and believes the seminar will help him in his new role:
Gareth Laking NFYFC's Communications, Events and Marketing Steering Group Chairman who was selected as a trainer for the seminar added:
"It was a great
opportunity to be part of the team and something which I
am hugely thankful to Rural Youth Europe for. I learnt so much
working with several different organisations who are either members of
Rural Youth Europe or the Youth Express Network. I feel that
this experience will help to ensure the success of the Autumn
Seminar which NFYFC are hosting later in the year at Malvern."
If you are a YFC member and interested in applying for the NFYFC Discovery programme, all of the details for the 2014 trips including how to apply will be available from September.
T: 02476 857 200
F: 02476 857 229
Designed by Kevyn Williams