National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

24 March 2014

It was show time in March as members competed in the Northern and Southern semi finals of the Entertainments and Public Speaking competitions.

Fantastic performances from all competing clubs made it a difficult choice for judges at both sets of Entertainments competitions. Professional Judges from the National Operatic and Drama Association (NODA) had to choose two winners from the Northern and Southern semi finals to join Wales in the national final in Blackpool.

At the Northern region semi finals, Whitley Chapel YFC from Northumberland took first place with Raughton Head YFC from Cumbria coming in second. Both have now earned a place in the finals up against Cheriton & Tedburn YFC from Devon and Whittington & Oswestry YFC from Shropshire, who came first and second respectively in the Southern semi finals.

All four teams will compete against Llanbadarn Fynydd YFC from Radnor in Wales.

Members in Devon claimed it was the first time in 31 years that they had got through to the national final of the Entertainments competition. 
Chris Manley from Culm Valley YFC tweeted:  “Over 30 years ago since mighty Devon got to a National Ents Final. 2014 will be worth the wait! #DevonYFC on tour. @NFYFC #yfccomps”

Public speaking

As well as the stage performances, members also impressed judges in the Public Speaking competitions. Two teams from each competition go forward to the finals on Competitions Day at Stafford in July.

Shropshire are through to the finals of Speaking and Just a Minute after coming first and second respectively in the Southern semi finals and George Clarke from Shropshire also picked up the Best Speaker award.

In the Northern semi finals Yorkshire dominated in the Speaking competition, with Yorkshire A and B being awarded the two top spots. Ellie Saxby and Kyle O’Connell from Yorkshire also jointly picked up the Best of Vote of Thanks award.

Competitions Chairman David Hamer was at the Northern semi finals and was impressed by the standard of the competitors. He said: “It was a great weekend with clubs putting in some star performances in all competitions. It’s going to be a tough choice for the judges at the national stages! I wish all competitors the very best.”

At the Southern semi finals, Vice Chairman Hannah Talbot said there were some fantastic performances. “It was great to see so much talent at both the Public Speaking and the Entertainments semi finals. It really is going to make for an exciting set of finals in Blackpool and Stafford. Good luck everyone!”

Check out all the photos on Facebook.

The results:

1st Whitley Chapel – Northumberland
2nd Raughton Head – Cumbria
3rd Buxton – Derbyshire

Best Male Actor – Sam Slack – Derbyshire
Best Female Actor – Bethany Marshall – Northumberland

1st Yorkshire B
2nd Yorkshire A
3rd Bedfordshire
4th Leicestershire

Best Speaker –  Isabel Toons - Leicestershire
Best Chairman – Emily Walker  - Bedfordshire
Best Vote of Thanks joint – Ellie Saxby and Kyle O’Connell – Yorkshire 

1st Essex
2nd Cumbria
3rd Lancashire

1st Lancashire A
2nd Leicestershire
3rd Lancashire B

1st Cheriton & Tedburn YFC – Devon
2nd Whittington & Oswestry YFC – Shropshire
3rd Highbridge YFC - Somerset

Best Male Actor – Dan Grist (Devon)
Best Female Actor – Holly Gilbert (Devon)

1st Shropshire
2nd Wiltshire
3rd Cornwall
4th Buckinghamshire

Best Vote of Thanks – Beth Uren – Cornwall
Best Chairman – Bridgett Hichens – Cornwall
Best Speaker – George Clarke – Shropshire

1st Cornwall
2nd Shropshire
3rd Devon

1st Wiltshire
2nd Devon
3rd Shropshire
Best Speaker – Caroline Trude - Devon

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.


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