National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

11 December 2013

Stay safe this Christmas time and avoid taking chances behind the wheel, advise road safety leaders.

Drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on our roads: one in seven road deaths are at the hands of someone who was driving while over the limit.

Drug driving is now also a problem with one in nine young drivers owning up to it. In the UK, around 18% of people killed in road crashes have traces of illegal drugs in their blood, with cannabis being the most common.

The following advice is taken from the road safety charity Brake’s website, and there are also links to find out more. 

After a year since launching the Drive it Home campaign, its champion Milly Wastie hopes young farmers heed the warnings over the festive season.

“Despite the challenges of transportation in rural areas, there’s no excuse for being over the limit while behind the wheel. I hope that messages from the Drive it Home campaign have hit home this year, and that people take care over Christmas,” said Milly. 

“If you’re driving, switch off your phones, avoid the booze, and concentrate on driving safely.”

It is impossible to calculate how much alcohol you have in your blood (even if you know exactly how much you have consumed), or how long it will stay in your system.

The speed at which alcohol is absorbed into your system (and how quickly your system gets rid of it) depends on a large number of factors, including your sex, weight, metabolism, health and when you last ate. Find out more about alcohol content here.

As a rough guide you should allow at least one hour to absorb alcohol, plus at least one hour for each unit consumed - but it could take longer, so you should always leave extra time to be safe.

Drinking coffee, eating, sleeping and showering don’t make you sober up any faster. It just takes time.


  • Never drink any amount of alcohol if you’re driving
  • Never drink if you’re driving early the next morning
  • Plan ahead to make sure you can get home safely when going out for the night, using public transport, booking a taxi, or having a designated driver who sticks to soft drinks
  • Take responsibility for others: never buy a drink for someone who is driving

For information about the effects of drugs on driving, click here.

For more information about the Drive it Home campaign click here.

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.


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