National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

21 March 2014

A group of Young Farmers visited Amsterdam in March to learn more about the latest developments in animal nutrition and new technology in agriculture.

The agricultural study tour, supported by Defra, was organised by NFYFC and more than 30 members from YFCs across England and Wales took part. The tour included a visit to Nutreco’s swine and ruminant feed research facilities in Boxmeer where the latest developments in animal nutrition are being discovered.

There was also the opportunity to discuss the research with scientists working on the projects and to find out how they improve livestock production.
Young Farmers also visited a robotic dairy farm in the south of the country and Agrocare’s tomato farm in Rilland, as well as enjoyed a spot of sightseeing in the city of Amsterdam.

Russell Carrington, Chairman of NFYFC’s Agriculture and Rural Issues Steering Group (AGRI), said: “This tour to Amsterdam was a brilliant opportunity for YFC members to broaden their knowledge of agricultural techniques and methods in different countries, as well as being a great way to meet other young farmers in our organisation.”

Members took to Twitter to share their enjoyment of the trip. Joanne Gillingham tweeted: "Amazing time in Amsterdam! Great to make lots of new friends and compare farming!"  Simon Walgate was equally as impressed: "Fantastic trip to Holland with @NFYFC. Learnt a great deal and had a great time."

The study tour was just one of the many events organised by the AGRI Steering Group, which is run by YFC members. They are currently preparing to host leading industry figures at the NFYFC’s AGRI Forum, which will take place on 10 May at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool as part of the Federation’s Annual Convention.

You can see more photos from the trip on Facebook.

21 March 2014

Being a voice for the future of farming is harder than it looks as young farmers found out on a recent media training course.

The aptly named ‘Speak Out’ course, delivered by Annabel Shackleton from LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and Susie Emmett from Green Shoots Productions provided a whistle stop tour of  communication basics looking at what makes a good communicator, listening skills, using social media and a specific focus on making the most of the media.  The aim was for members to develop their communications skills and help them to feel more confident about speaking to the media and inspiring others about farming.

The course was free to members, thanks to funding from Defra, and involved lots of participation from members, including the opportunity to have a go at a mock radio interview.

Feedback has been very positive and it is hoped that everyone who attended the day will be able to implement their new skills soon.

Emily Look (pictured below, centre with Vice Chairmen Hannah Talbot and Chris Manley) from North Somerset YFC attended the course with the aim of improving her communication skills.

“I thought it could help me in the future with whatever career I choose, as well as help me to promote our Club’s activities better,” said Emily who is currently studying Applied Biology at Nottingham University. “We often tell the newspapers about events we’re planning but then never follow up to say how successful it was or how much money we raised.”

Emily said she will be applying her new skills to future activities the club plan. “I learnt how it is best to focus on making three clear points, to keep in mind who your target audience is and to paint a picture with your words.”

Annabel Shackleton from LEAF added:  “Equipping young people connected to farming with the skills and know-how to communicate their messages clearly and confidently is vitally important.  NFYFC members have a massive role to play in inspiring and motivating others and key to this is effective communication.  This is what LEAF’s Speak Out training is all about.”

18 March 2014

BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark played a prank on the show in March when he called NFYFC with a list of demands for Scott Mills for his gig at Annual Convention.

Among the items were 10 piglets, a pizza that looked like Scott Mills’ face and two Young Farmers to pay compliments to the Radio 1 DJ for the whole time he is at Annual Convention.

Chris pretended to be Scott Mills’ agent and reeled off a list of diva-style demands for NFYFC to provide for him in Blackpool.

Christina Evans, NFYFC’s Fundraising Officer, took the call and recorded the list of requirements. She said it was difficult not to laugh at some of the requests.

“It was very funny as the list got more and more ridiculous. I was definitely confused when he started asking for white goods and was wondering why he would need a fridge and a washing machine!

“It’s all great promotion for our Annual Convention though and it’s just great to know that Scott and Chris are excited about playing at our fantastic event!”

The Radio joke attracted lots of comments on Twitter including Towcester YFC who saw the opportunity to make some demands for their Chairman. 

They tweeted: “@NFYFC can Towcester YFC have Bon Bons a pizza looking like our chairman and 4 cardboard cut outs of @scott_mills in our hotel on the AGM?”

Katie Evans from Wales tweeted: “Hahahaha hilarious @BBCR1 @Chris_Stark @scott_mills @NFYFC soo excited for agm now!!!! Get the pizza ready aha.”

Daniel Rowe from Keverne YFC in Cornwall tweeted. “Brilliant phone call to @NFYFC from Chris stark - I feel sorry for the one who had to deal with it!”

The full list of demands were:

  • 6 boxes of wine
  • Pizza – toppings to look like Scott’s face
  • Fruit basket
  • Cured meat
  • Lebonese food
  • Bonbons
  • Scented candles – vanilla
  • Dressing room – to have a staff member outside at all time. Showered and freshly shaven.  No eye contact with Scott
  • Two fans to be outside his dressing room to follow Scott around and pay him compliments. They can give him eye contact.
  • White goods in dressing room (fridge, freezer, dishwasher)
  • Wet look gel
  • Large tub of Vaseline
  • Koi carp or piglets
  • Set of albums – S Club 7, Cher, Jersey Boys, Ricky Martin
  • Four cardboard cut outs of Scott Mills placed around the dressing room in different stances
  • Just beer and pizza for Chris.

Find out more information about Annual Convention 2014.

17 March 2014

The semi finalists for the 2014 Entertainments competition have been announced after counties competed in their Area finals.

Six counties are going through to the Northern and Southern semi finals that will be held on 23 March in Retford and Weston-Super-Mare.

The Northern teams include Buxton YFC from Derbyshire, Whitley Chapel YFC from Northumberland and Raughton Head YFC from Cumbria.

In the Southern semi finals, the competitors are Whittington & Oswestry YFC from Shropshire, Cheriton & Tedburn YFC from Devon and Highbridge YFC from Devon.

Olivia Gratton from Buxton YFC tweeted about their winning performance Patent Pending as soon as the results were announced. “Through to national semi finals, amazing Buxton YFC!”

Two winning counties from each semi final will go through to the national finals at NFYFC's Annual Convention in May. They will join Llanbadarn Fynydd YFC in Radnor with their performance of Just Chilled, which won the Wales Entertainment competition.

Be part of the audience and order your tickets today.

Northern semi finalists

Sunday 23 March 2014 the Majestic Theatre, Retford at 2 p.m.

Buxton YFC - Derbyshire
‘Patent Pending’

Whitley Chapel YFC – Northumberland
‘Toy Box’

Raughton Head YFC – Cumbria
‘Prepare to take off’

Buy tickets using the order form online.

Southern semi finalists

Sunday, 23rd March, 2014 the Playhouse, Weston Super Mare at 2 p.m.

Whittington & Oswestry YFC – Shropshire
‘Shakespeare takes his shirt off – A tale of two star crossed lovers’

Cheriton & Tedburn YFC – Devon
‘And How Would you Like your Eggs’

Highbridge YFC – Somerset
‘Scream if you wanna go faster’

10 March 2014

Despite never driving a tractor before, one YFC member is travelling 315 miles in one to raise money for a charity that is supporting flooded farmers and NFYFC’s Rural+ campaign.

Tess Cadman, current South West Area Chairman, set off from Dorset on 10 March with the aim of visiting the other five YFC County offices in the Area - Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. Tess’ last stop is in Newquay on 12 March, just in time for the South West Area (SWA) Competitions Weekend.

The SWA Chairman, who has been a Young Farmer for more than nine years, was keen to raise money for The Farming Community Network, especially because of their work in the local area. 

“The Farming Community Network is supporting farmers affected by the recent flooding, which is particularly relevant at the moment in our local area.

“They are also linked to NFYFC’s new Rural+ campaign, which is focusing on rural isolation and supporting young people with mental health issues. This was launched by the National Chairman of Council Claire Worden last month and as Claire is from Cornwall, I wanted to support her as well.”

Tess was loaned the tractor by Hamblys Claas dealer and is being followed by three friends in a Landrover donated by Gerald Hallett Ltd. The resourceful fundraiser has also secured sponsorship through the NFU.

Tess’ Tractorthon will mark the start of the SWA Competitions Weekend, which is in Newquay from 14-16 March. It brings together around 1,800 members from the six counties to compete against each other to possibly win places in the NFYFC national finals.

To support Tess on her Tractorthon and to donate to a great cause visit the Just Giving page or follow her progress on Twitter.

07 March 2014

NFYFC is working with clubs in Somerset to help organise a clean up operation after floodwaters have ruined homes and farms in the region.

National Chairman of Council Claire Worden met with members, farmers and Somerset County Council last week to discuss a way Young Farmers’ Clubs could support local communities.

The current needs are:

•    Volunteers for manual cleaning tasks within the confines of a farm holding and farm house
•    Clearing farm land of small debris (for example, there are miles of hedge rows choked with strong, domestic and commercial refuse that will need to be handpicked into skips).

Somerset FYFC is now working closely with the local authority, responsible for the clean-up coordination, and local farming and rural communities, to collate a database of properties that would welcome the help of YFC members.

NFYFC has set up a central email address where members can pledge their support for the clean up and will work with Somerset to match offers of help to those in need.

While many YFCs across England and Wales hoped to take part in a one day clean up event, local organisers have insisted this is not a practical solution for Somerset. There are issues around business/household insurance and the need for loss adjusters/assessors to have reviewed claims before cleaning can commence.

Clubs in Somerset are trialling their clean up plans this weekend, offering support to a local farm who need help. Up to eight young farmers are giving their time for free to help clear up the yard of a farm in Moorland. 

Bridgwater Club Chairman Rachel Dyer is helping to coordinate a team of helpers for this weekend’s work and said: “Our club has been trying to do what we can to help people. Our members have helped evacuate cattle from local farms and have been involved with hauling donated forage to farms.

“The support from other YFCs around the country has been overwhelming and it’s really appreciated. We just want to get back to normal now but I think it’s going to take a long while.” 

How to get involved

To coordinate volunteers, the recovery team are looking for:

•    Groups of four to eight people, who must allbe  over the age of 18 with a Team Leader (1 or 2 car loads)
•    All volunteers should have an up to date tetanus inoculation.

To pledge your support to the clean up effort, email NFYFC  so they can work with Somerset FYFC to match pledges to their database of requests for support

Please include the following information in your pledge:
1.    Team leader – full contact details
2.    Number of volunteers (ideally teams of 4 to 8 YFC members)
3.    Dates on which the group is available to volunteer

Volunteers should be prepared to equip themselves with good wellington boots/strong work boots and overalls and suitable outdoor clothing.

The Clean Up Coordinators will equip volunteers with:
•    Suitable gloves
•    Hi Vis Jackets
•    Hand tools for the job at hand
•    A verbal risk assessment of the task and the hazards to be avoided.

Insurance information:
The current NFYFC insurance policy, held with the NFU Mutual will provide the required Public Liability Insurance for those YFC members aged 18 and over volunteering to help with the clean-up. Risk assessments are required as with any YFC activity.


Designed by Kevyn Williams