National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

09 July 2013


Members are supporting a new review into the future of farming that highlights the barriers faced by people starting careers in British farming.

The review was published by experts in farming, business and education that were brought together by Farming Minister David Heath in January. It sets out what actions they think are needed to attract new talent to careers in agriculture.

NFYFC members gave input into the review during the ARAC Forum at Annual Convention when Chair of the Future of Farming Review Group, David Fursdon, attended the session [pictured].

National Chairman of Council Milly Wastie said: “As one of the largest rural youth organisations in the UK, our members were asked for input into this Review and we are pleased to see that some of the issues we highlighted have been acknowledged. We have a big challenge ahead around generation renewal and the Review’s recommendations offer hope to thousands of young people seeking a successful future career in agriculture.”

The Future of Farming review was established to look at what can be done to make farming a more attractive career choice and to improve access for talented, entrepreneurial people.

The review’s recommendations include:
•    better promotion of the breadth of employment opportunities in farming;
•    more advice for farmers on succession and retirement planning;
•    better provision of affordable housing in rural areas for farmers;
•    promoting farming as a highly skilled professional career; and
•    the industry taking greater responsibility for training including business skills for new entrants.

Announcing the publication, review chairman David Fursdon said:  “We have gathered views from all areas of the agricultural sector and from across the country and thank those organisations for sharing their wealth of knowledge and expertise.

“We are calling for the farming industry to take more responsibility for its own future and for the Government to support them in doing so.”

Milly Wastie attended the launch event in Hertfordshire with members Luke Abblitt, Duncan Howie and Jon Eayrs. The four put questions to a panel of farming experts including David Fursdon and Farming Minister David Heath and were interviewed for a range of publications and for radio and television stations [see Jon pictured right being interviewed by BBC Look East].

Farming Minister David Heath said: “There is a wealth of career options in farming and it is vital that we are able to attract the brightest and best to fill these roles. To do this we need to break down some of the misconceptions and practical barriers.

“I will continue to work with leaders across farming, banking, business and education to promote jobs in farming and make it easier for new entrants to forge successful careers in the industry.” 

For more information and support about the Future of Farming click here.

09 July 2013

New skills were on display at the national finals when competitions in knitting and ultimate Frisbee were held for the first time – and Derbyshire reined supreme in both contests.

Anne Wildgoose from Derbyshire (pictured right) clinched the top prize in knitting for knitting a pair of socks using more than 50% British wool – a condition of the competition.

The knitting challenge was launched in conjunction with the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) and was judged by their Producer and Communications Manager Gareth Jones and Textile Designer Berni Raeside.

Gareth said: “We hope this competition has promoted the qualities of wool to NFYFC’s members who are the farmers and consumers of the future.”

In Ultimate Frisbee, the Derbyshire team (pictured below left) only had an hour’s practice in the park the day before the contest but still romped to victory, beating Cumbria in the final.

It was a tense match – and the team nearly fell out during the knock out stages when it all got a bit too much for one of their players. But the team rallied round and went on to win first place.

More than 500 members, friends and family attended the competitions over a sunny weekend in Stafford. A range of speaking competitions and artistic challenges were staged on Saturday, culminating in an awards ceremony at the end of the day.

Devon FYFC brought home a few trophies, with wins in the Junior Member of the Year competition for Helen Bellew, Buckland Brewer YFC, Sophie Grills won Best Chairman in Brainstrust and Devon won the overall Brainstrust competition. 

This was the first year that semi finals for public speaking were held before the nationals, which reduced the number of competitors, making it easier for judges to mark.

Hannah Talbot said: “Our competitions programme offers all members a chance to take part in something they might not have tried before, and this weekend really shows off the variety of competitions on offer.

“While we had fewer public speaking teams competing at the nationals because of the semi finals, it meant the standard was higher than it has ever been. It was a great weekend with lots of members competing and having a good time.”

On Sunday, while Andy Murray was preparing to win Wimbledon, Young Farmers were out in force playing Dodegball, Ultimate Frisbee, Women’s Rounders and Men’s 5-a-side football.

Yorkshire came out top of the counties in Dodgeball and Women’s Rounders, while Carmarthenshire went home with a win for Wales in the Men’s 5-a-side football following a penalty shoot out. 

Sally Turnball was team captain for the Yorkshire Women’s Rounders team and said it was teamwork that earned them a win.

“We played really well as a team and we upped our game. It was hardcore and Cumbria played really well. We had one practise the other week and we lost to our boys and they said we were absolutely rubbish and we were not going to do any good. But we came and did our best and I'm very proud of everyone,” said Sally.

All photos from the events are on our Facebook page.
All results and scores can be seen on our Results page.

Knitted Garment Competition: Anne Wildgoose, Derbyshire
Junior Public Speaking: Yorkshire
Best Vote of Thanks: Alice Hyland, Yorkshire
Best Speaker: Elin Havard, Brecknock
Best Chairman: Christina Evans, Shropshire
Junior Reading: Brecknock
Brainstrust: Devon
Best Panel Member: Matthew Allen-Hosken
Best Chairman: Sophie Grills

After Dinner Speaking: Essex
Best Speaker: Paul Williamson
Junior Member of the Year: Helen Bellew, Devon
Situation Vacant: Robert Walker, Lancashire
Cube Exhibit: Warwickshire
Video Clip Competition: TBA
Christmas Card Competition: Beth Dennis, Worcestershire
Photography Competition:
YFC: Luke Cox, Wiltshire
Charity: Hollie Harris, East Riding
Rural Life: Sam Roberts, Warwickshire
Seasons, Country Shows, Machinery: Jessica Wright, Herefordshire
Livestock: Owen Hearn, Bedfordshire
Lighter side of Farming: Eve Hooper, Somerset
Landscape: Maria Muntz-Torres, Worcestershire
Weather: Maddy Sharpe, Gloucestershire
Community: Alun Roberts, Pembrokeshire

Dodgeball: Yorkshire
Ultimate Frisbee: Derbyshire
Women’s Rounders: Yorkshire
Men’s 5-a-side indoor football: Carmarthenshire

08 July 2013

Members celebrated in Brussels with other European young farmers when the extra financial support for young farmers was announced as part of the CAP Reform.

The European Commission confirmed that there would be a mandatory 25% top up on direct payments for new entrant young farmers under the age of 40 in all member states. It also recommended that Governments provide business start-up grants and invest in training and advisory services.

CEJA’s campaign, on behalf of two million European Young Farmers, helped to bring about the historic breakthrough and it is hoped these developments will start to address the need for generational renewal in agriculture. NFYFC also contributed to this positive outcome through its membership of CEJA, thanks to support from Mole Valley Farmers.

Chris Manley, Devon YFC and Charlotte Johnston, Warwickshire YFC, both travelled to Brussels for a CEJA meeting on the day of the announcements. They were both in the country to take part in the CEJA European Young Farmers General Assembly where new President Matteo Bartolini from Italy was elected.

As the only representative for England and Wales, NFYFC has one of the largest memberships in CEJA, which gives the maximum allocation of 12 votes and an influential position in the election outcome.

Chris said: “After consulting with other former NFYFC CEJA reps, we voted for individuals that represented countries with similar views to ours on agriculture. During the day there was a great deal of last minute campaigning in the form of one to one networking to clinch last minute votes.”

Alongside new President Matteo Bartolini, the following Vice Presidents were also voted into position: Alan Jagoe from Ireland, Mattias Daun from Germany, Laurent Poirier from France and Paola del Castillo from Spain.

Charlotte said: “Overall this was a good result for NFYFC as they were all very strong representatives of young farmers in their own right and were very positive of the prospect of NFYFC increasing its presence on CEJA matters. Thanks to Mole Valley Farmers, NFYFC has been able to contribute to these elections and the outcome of the CAP.” 

The new committee will now take on the challenge to ensure that each nation's young farmers can access the additional funding.

NFYFC’s CEJA representatives will also review the additional funding to see how it can be rolled out in the UK and will present viable recommendations to justify the Government implementing the voluntary support measures that could be made available under the Rural Development Programme.


Find out more about Mole Valley Farmers by clicking here.

Find out more about CEJA by clicking here.

02 July 2013

Four fancy dress themes have been shortlisted for Annual Convention 2014 and the final decision will be chosen by members in an online poll.

Americana, Circus, Smurfs and YFC were the themes agreed by the Communications, Events and Marketing Steering Group and were presented to Council at the weekend.

The announcement was one of many during a three-hour meeting at the Quality Hotel in Coventry on Sunday. Representatives from counties across England and Wales came together to vote on decisions to help shape the future of the organisation.

As well as news on Convention, Council also approved a new name for the Discovery programme to help the Personal Development group promote travel opportunities to members.

It was agreed that it would now be called YFC Travel – what will your discovery be?

The Youth Forum became an official ‘steering group’ to give younger members more of a voice in the organisation.

The Competitions Steering Group made a number of proposals, which were approved, including holding North and South Semi Finals for speaking competitions in the 16 and under, 21 and under and 26 and under categories in Northern Region, Southern Region and Wales.

It was also agreed that under 18 year old members would be subject to the same fines as under 26 year olds if they did not produce a membership card at NFYFC finals.

The Board of Management approved a number of proposals, including health and safety polices and the strategic plan. Their proposal to keep Annual Convention 2014 wristband packages at the same price as 2013 was also approved by Council.

A proposal to appoint a new Regional Support Officer for the South East Area was approved to assist clubs and counties in the South East.

Council also agreed that a new interim English representative for the Board of Management from the Eastern and South East Area could be appointed following Helen Walker’s resignation. But they also requested and voted that all Areas that were without a representative due to ill health or unforeseen circumstances should be appointed an interim. The Board of Management has also been asked to review the constitution to see if deputies can be introduced for these roles in the future.

National Chairman of Council, Milly Wastie, chaired the meeting and said: 

“It was great to see so many members attend the Council meeting in Coventry and the contributions from county representatives are really valued. That input is so important to ensure this organisation makes decisions that are based on what our grassroots members want us to do. Thank you to everyone who came to the steering group sessions and the Council meeting.”

Decisions from the Council meeting were posted on Twitter as they happened throughout the meeting.

You can also download the June 2013 Council Newsletter for a full summary.


Designed by Kevyn Williams