07 August 2013
Thanks to sponsorship from Nestle and encouragement from IFMA president John Alliston, NFYFC Chairman Milly Wastie has been learning more about agriculture on a global scale after being invited to attend a five day conference in Poland.
The conference was held by the International Farm Management Association and hosted farmers, agricultural students, consultants and academics from over 40 countries. The attendees all had a common interest in learning more about and experiencing different farming techniques as well as how counties vary in their approach to agriculture.
During the week Milly and the rest of the attendees went on a number of field trips including visiting a peppermint farm, a salad grower and a sweetcorn canning factory.
The conference also included farmers and academics sharing their own research and personal experience of various elements of the agricultural industry in countries such as New Zealand, Poland and Argentina.
“Before I was asked to attend I had not heard of the IFMA conference, but now having been on this trip I really want to promote it more widely. It was a fantastic week and I learnt a lot, particularly on the excellent field trips. It became clear that Poland is a rapidly growing country and agriculture seemed to be diverse and healthy with lots of enterprises wanting to expand.”
06 August 2013
Over 300 Young Farmers took part in the finals which were held at the Tenbury Countryside Show in Worcestershire – the perfect location for the eventual winners of the Ladies Tug of War competition, local girls Tenbury Wells YFC.
The ladies team, who beat last year’s champions Derbyshire FYFC to the title, have been practicing for around four hours a week as well as swimming, running and cycling. They also compete in the Welsh Tug of War league and will be representing Wales in the National Finals next weekend.
Team member Nicola Yarnold said:
“We are all so proud and happy that we have become National champions and that all the hard work and training has paid off! It is a great achievement to put Worcestershire Young Farmers and Tenbury Wells Young Farmers’ Club in particular on the map.”
In the men’s competition it was Staffordshire FYFC, runners up in last year’s competition, who clinched the title in a thrilling final against Lancashire FYFC.
This year was also the first time NFYFC have run a Tug of War competition for its younger members, with a mixed competition for members aged 12-17. This time Lancashire FYFC proved their strength, beating Leicestershire FYFC in the grand final.
The ladies, mens and mixed under 17 finals all took place in the show’s Grand Ring, drawing hundreds of spectators and supporters.
05 August 2013
NFYFC has joined forces with The Farming Community Network (FCN) to help raise awareness of mental health issues and the support available to rural communities.
A new survey has been launched for YFC members to find out more about their attitudes to mental health as well as the issues that cause them to feel stressed and under pressure. The results of this survey will help FCN and NFYFC understand more about the type of support young people in rural communities need.
Around one in four people will be affected by mental health issues at some point in their lives, and farmers in particular are classed as being at a high risk of experiencing problems. Financial pressures, livestock disease and poor harvests are often highlighted as particular difficulties for the agricultural community, alongside issues such as rural isolation.
NFYFC’s Vice Chairman of Council, Claire Worden, said:
“Given the current climate many of our members will be concerned about their future within the agricultural industry and could be feeling the pressure to make some big life decisions. Perhaps they are worrying about taking over the family farm and the responsibilities this entails, or concerned about the rising costs of feed, land or rural housing."
“There are so many factors that can lead to stress, and we are working with FCN to raise awareness of the support and guidance that is available and to encourage young people to seek help before the problem escalates.”
Charles Smith, FCN’s Chief Executive added:
“Over recent months, we have noticed a gradual increase in the number of calls to our helpline from younger people, so we are eager to understand more about the particular issues facing young people in the countryside, so that we are better able to support them.”
To take part in the survey visit www.nfyfc.org.uk/youthwork. By taking part in the survey you will also be entered into a prize draw to win two tickets to Go Ape.
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