National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

10 December 2013

Chris represented NFYFC members at a European Council for Young Farmers’ (CEJA) working group which took place at the Agritechnica event in Hanover.

Representatives from farming organisations across Europe discussed how their home countries are responding to CAP proposals, and the methods they are using to achieve the best result for young farmers.

Chris said: “CEJA is calling on member states to maximise the two per cent of the direct payments budget available for young farmers in order to encourage generational change in the European farming population.

“We think there should be up to the maximum of 90 entitlements for Young Farmers in the UK.
Extra guaranteed income will help in establishing a new business and we hope it will also encourage more farming families to hand over the reins sooner to the next generation as part of a succession plan.” 
The information Chris gathered helped to feed into NFYFC’s response to the CAP reforms and to ensure English young farmers receive a fair level of support. 

Chris also attended a panel discussion called Global Tillage – Young Agriculture Worldwide, which gave 400 young farmers the chance to discuss their business future in agriculture.

“Young farmers from Tanzania, the Netherlands, South Africa and the USA shared their experiences and regardless of the continent, the size of the farm and the political framework, all of them said the image of agriculture is one of the biggest challenges,” said Chris. “We have to improve the image of farming.”


10 December 2013


Forty-six lucky YFC members will be jetting off on the trip of a lifetime in 2014 after gaining a place on the YFC Travel programme.

The members were all chosen at the YFC Travel selection day, which took place at the NFU Mutual headquarters in Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend.

Kirsten Hoggard (pictured left) from Southwell YFC in Nottinghamshire was one of four YFC members chosen to go on a three month working scholarship to New Zealand, sponsored by the C Alma Baker Trust.  She will be living and working at Limestone Downs – a 7,954 acre beef, sheep and dairy farm in the North Island.  Kirsten said:

“I especially chose this trip because I liked that it was a working scholarship, I’m really interested in farming and New Zealand has always been a place I’ve wanted to visit. I want to see how sheep farming works out there – it’s definitely on a different scale to our own farm!”

This isn’t Kirsten’s first experience of travelling with YFC, last summer she spent five weeks in Canada on a cattle ranch and organic farm:

“It was really amazing, an invaluable and unforgettable experience. I’m so grateful that I’ve been selected for another trip, it’s an unmissable opportunity and I feel very lucky.”

As well as working scholarships, the YFC Travel programme also offers a range of homestays and team travel opportunities, with trips ranging from one week to three months. NFYFC has been providing these opportunities for more than 60 years, and this year the re-launched YFC Travel programme saw nearly twice the number of applicants than in 2012. 

The programme is supported by the Young Farmers’ Ambassadors, a group of former YFC travellers who raise money to provide scholarships for future travellers, as well as the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, C Alma Baker Trust and the Australian Bicentennial Trust. Each year YFC Travel continues to develop, adding new and exciting opportunities for YFC members.

A brand new trip for this year is the Tall Ships sailing adventure which is a week-long sailing voyage open to YFC members aged 16-18. Adam Penny, County Chairman of Dorset FYFC, has been chosen as a leader for the trip:

“I was a late comer to YFC and I haven’t taken part in YFC Travel before. When Tall Ships popped up on my Facebook feed I thought it looked like a great challenge and something a bit different. I’m really looking forward to seeing the younger YFC members grow and develop during the trip.”

There are still five spaces available on the Tall Ships Sailing trip, and Adam would encourage anyone who is interested to apply:

“The application process was really easy – I was a bit nervous before the interviews but it was totally fine and everyone is really friendly so get applying!”

Click here for more information on how to apply for the Tall Ships Sailing trip.

You can view all of the pictures from the YFC Travel Selection day on our Facebook page, and you can download the full list of 2014 YFC Travellers here.

09 December 2013

Ever wondered what it’s like to star in a TV programme? In the winter issue of Ten26, you can find out by reading one member’s story.

Kate Watts, from Ledbury YFC, has taken part in the filming for the new series of the Channel 4 show First Time Farmers, which will be back on screens in 2014.

As a first time dairy farmer, Kate wanted to get involved in the programme to show others the opportunities in the industry and to dispel myths about farming.

“I don’t look like the typical farmer,” said Kate. “If you saw me on a night out, you wouldn’t think that I milk cows.”

You can read more about Kate in the latest issue of Ten26 that is landing on doormats this week – just in time for Christmas.

It’s packed with stories from members and includes a focus on the competition winners from the Malvern Show and the Farm Skills weekends.

There’s also a fantastic photo of the new Council members that is a pastiche of a famous Beatles album cover. See if you can spot your representative among the crowd.

You can also read about Matthew Ranson – the youngest member of the Youth Forum – and get some top tips for club nights.

There’s also an insight to life as an agricultural journalist thanks to a week in the life of Louise Hartley from Clitheroe YFC, who works for Farmers Guardian.

Everyone who was registered as a member on the database by the end of November will receive a copy of Ten26. The next issue will be out in March and to receive a copy you will need to be a current member and on the database before the end of February.

To be featured in a future issue of Tem26, please email Emily Meikle with a few lines about why you would like to be in the magazine. We are always looking for interesting jobs to profile and Young Farmers to interview, so get in touch!

05 December 2013

NFYFC, in association with Marks & Spencer, is offering one lucky member a free ticket to the Oxford Farming Conference, including all expenses.*

The annual Oxford Farming Conference discusses the major issues in agriculture and this year’s event will be held at the Oxford University Examination Schools from 6-8 January.

Leading figures in agriculture will give presentations on a wide range of topics including social media, opportunities in dairy farming and a focus on the latest industry innovations – among others.

It’s a unique opportunity to hear about and discuss industry developments and to network with like-minded individuals.

The winner of this prize will receive a free ticket to the event (worth £345), return travel from their nearest train station, two nights accommodation and all meals.

A similar competition was recently open to all members of Wales YFC and Aled Jones from Dyffryn Cothi YFC in Carmarthenshire won the prize. 

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is state in 200 words or less why you would like to be the NFYFC – M&S delegate. Send entries to Emily Meikle by 16 December 2013

The winner will be notified by Wednesday 18 December 2013.

Find out more about the conference at the Oxford Farming Conference website.

*Please note this prize includes a ticket to the two day event, return travel from your nearest train station, two nights’ accommodation and all meals. Additional expenses are not included. 

04 December 2013

Tesco have launched a Future Farmer Foundation to support the next generation of British farmers and are encouraging YFC members to get involved.  

The Foundation has been established to help bright, talented, determined young people make their own start in the world of agriculture, whether that’s taking over the family farm, embarking on a new business venture, or entering the industry for the first time.

In its first year, Tesco will offer a minimum of fifteen young people a bespoke package of leadership training, business planning advice, mentoring, supply chain experience and networking opportunities.

Funded by Tesco and free for participants, the Foundation is unique in its tailored, candidate-led approach. Successful applicants will be able to choose a programme suited to their own aspirations and business needs, and it’s hoped the Foundation will also be able to offer training and support to dozens more young farmers during the application process itself.

NFYFC’s Acting CEO James Eckley said:

“As one of the largest rural youth organisations in England and Wales, NFYFC works to support young people living in rural areas. The Future Farmer Foundation compliments much of the work we do in helping to develop the leadership and business skills of rural young people and we would encourage our members to take up this fantastic opportunity to further their careers in agriculture.”

Richard Marris, Commercial Director of Fresh Foods at Tesco said:

“We’re committed to the success of British agriculture, and we want the next generation of farmers, with all their energy, talent, and dedication, to be working with us for decades to come.  Whether it’s guidance on succession planning, advice on financial management, or providing access to a world-leading supply chain, we’ve developed the Future Farmer Foundation to be a strong base from which the farmers of tomorrow can launch themselves onto their chosen paths.”

How to apply

  • The first stage of the application process opens on 20th November and closes on 31st December 2013.  Candidates can apply online here.
  • A selection of candidates will then be invited to an assessment day in the Spring.
  • The Foundation is open to candidates aged 20 to 35 who live and work in the United Kingdom.

Find out more about the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation.

04 December 2013

Caroline Trude from Devon FYFC has been named as the winner of this year’s Young Farmers Ambassador (YFA) YFC Travel competition.

The annual competition was open to all YFC members who took part in a YFC Travel trip in 2012/13.Travellers were asked to produce a powerpoint presentation about their trip that could be used to help promote the YFC Travel programme and inspire other members to apply.

Caroline’s winning powerpoint was packed with pictures and information about her trip to Canada which included the Youth Ag Summit and celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Canada 4H, the Canadian equivalent of YFC.

After the summit Caroline continued to explore Canada with other YFC travellers, visiting Vancouver and wildlife spotting in the Rocky Mountains. She described her YFC Travel experience as “the trip of a lifetime”.

Caroline will be presented with the YFA Trophy as well £50 towards the cost of the next YFA reunion at the NFYFC Annual Convention in May.

The competition was judge by YFC members Aimee Mahony and Andrew Cartwright. They are both members of YFA, a group of past YFC travellers who meet regularly and raise funds to support the YFC Travel programme. Aimee said:

"I really enjoyed judging the PowerPoint competitions, they brought back great memories from my own trips and Caroline's presentation met all of the criteria and really made me want to visit Canada myself!

"I think everyone who has the opportunity should travel with the YFC programme and then join the YFA. Becoming a Young Farmers Ambassador means you can help to give someone the same travel opportunities you had and it also means you can continue to have endless adventures!"

Find out more about YFA here.

Take a look at the top three YFA presenations and find out more about the winner's YFC Travel adventures.

1st place Caroline Trude, Devon FYFC - Canada
2nd place Toby France from Warwickshire FYFC – Rural Youth Europe Spring Seminar, France
3rd place - Rebecca Goodwin, Herefordshire FYFC - Canada


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