National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

14 April 2014

It might have been a gruelling 26.2 miles, but two Young Farmers made it to the finish line at this year’s London Marathon and raised more than £1,000 for charities Brake and The Farming Community Network (FCN) in the process.

Gareth Laking, Lincolnshire FYFC, and Laura Grist, Devon FYFC, joined Mo Farah and thousands of fun runners in the famous annual race across London.

Laura dressed as a farmer to raise more than £600 for FCN who are supporting NFYFC's Rural Plus campaign and Gareth has raised approximately £800 for road safety charity Brake. He chose the charity because of NFYFC’s Drive it Home campaign and because he has lost friends in road traffic accidents.

“The last six miles were tough as both my right ankle and left knee were in agony. The heat didn’t help as it was in the late teens! It was such a relief when I crossed the finish line,” said Gareth who completed the race in five hours and 27 minutes. 

“When I had finished, all I wanted to do was lay down but I had to walk about another mile to collect my bag, find my family and make my way to the nearest tube station!”

Laura, from Cheriton and Tedburn YFC, just beat Gareth to the finish line by completing the Marathon in five hours and 20 minutes and also had to contend with injuries. A few weeks before the challenge Laura manage to fracture a rib but she said the crowds helped her to complete the run.

"It was my first Marathon and the atmosphere in London was fantastic - the crowds cheered me on the whole way around! I was so relieved to get to the finish and collect my medal at the end!
"I was really proud to be running as a farmer, for The Farming Community Network and included the YFC logo on my name tag too!"

You can still donate to Gareth and Laura by visiting their donation pages online: You can donate to Gareth here and to donate to Laura you can visit the page here.

14 April 2014

YFC members from the 1950s were amongst those who helped to bury the NFYFC’s time capsule in Hemyock this April.

Brian Clist, former Culm Valley YFC Chairman from 1951/52, was among the speakers at a special ceremony to mark the burial of the capsule at a site where Young Farmers used to meet in 1921.

The capsule contains memorabilia from the Federation’s 80th year donated by 18 clubs from across England and Wales. Among the haul of items secured inside are photos, programmes, stickers, badges and information about clubs and the Federation.

The idea of a time capsule was suggested by the Youth Forum in 2012 as a way of marking the Federation’s 80th year. The intention is for future YFC members to dig it up again in 2058 so they can find out what life as a young farmer was like in 2013.

Chairman of the Youth Forum Sioned Davies gave a speech at the event and said: “We hope this small selection of items can convey the breadth of opportunity and the depth of our history.

“We hope the ceremony gave everyone a chance to reflect on the growth of the past 80 years and to celebrate the vigour and energy of our members today. Something we hope will be conveyed to those opening the capsule in 2058 on the 125th anniversary of NFYFC.”

Chairman of Mid Devon County Council John Berry also spoke at the event and Councillor Ray Radford read out a letter on behalf of Neil Parish MP – all three are former members of Culm Valley YFC.

“I would like to pay great tribute to the work of the Young Farmers for running a great youth organisation throughout the country that does a great amount of work for charitable causes,” Neil said in the letter.

“There are now four generations of young farmers and this is one of the great strengths of the organisation as there is the support from grandfathers, fathers, and present day young farmers.  I pay tribute to all of those club leaders who support the Young Farmers’ movement.”

The letter also included some interesting historical facts, such as:
•    In 1921, the average farm worker had a wage of just under £2 per week compared with the average railway worker who received £3 per week.
•    The price of wheat in 1921 was £17 a tonne; the price in March 2014 was nearly £170 per tonne.

After Culm Valley YFC members helped to officially bury the time capsule, everyone was invited back to Hemyock Parish Hall to look at old photographs and displays about Young Farmers’ Clubs and Hemyock.

There was also an opportunity to capture what people thought the industry and the NFYFC would look like in 2058. Attendees at the event were invited to hang their thoughts on a special wishing tree and their ideas will be kept, with a record of attendance, for young farmers to read in 2058.

Check out the photos from the event on Facebook.

02 April 2014

The time capsule, created in honour of NFYFC’s 80th year, will be buried at the site of the first Young Farmers’ Club in Hemyock on 12 April.

Members from the Youth Forum and Devon FYFC will gather at the Milhayes Play Area in Hemyock to watch the capsule be buried. It contains memorabilia from the Federation’s 80th year donated by 18 clubs from across England and Wales.

Among the haul of items are photos, programmes, stickers, badges and information about clubs and the Federation. The intention is for future YFC members to dig up the capsule in 2058 so they can find out what life as a young farmer was like in 2014.

Local dignitaries will be attending the event which starts at 2pm, including Chairman of Mid Devon County Council John Berry, Chair of Hemyock Parish Council Heather Stallard and Cllr Ray Radford will also be attending on behalf of Neil Parish MP.

Current and former members have been invited to the event and there will be a small exhibition showcasing YFC life from the past decades. Youth Forum Chairman Sioned Davies will welcome everyone and Culm Valley YFC will be providing refreshments.

Sioned Davies said: “It’s great to be finally burying the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ time capsule to mark our 80th year. There’s an impressive collection of items inside that is sure to interest the young farmers of the future.

“We are extremely proud of our heritage and the fact we have been around for more than 80 years. The Federation has made a difference to so many lives, and it will be great to be standing where it all began!”

02 April 2014

A new workshop to understand the common signals cows make is being targeted at young farmers.

The free workshops, organised by NWF Agriculture, are aimed at educating the dairy and beef farmers of the future. Trainers host a one-hour classroom session, followed by a visit to a farm to see the cow signals in action.

NWF usually delivers the workshops to customers but have developed a bespoke session to appeal to a younger audience. Carl Ellis and Ben Thornley from NWF help to deliver the courses and are also members of Ashover and Ashbourne YFC in Derbyshire.

Carl said: “I have been milking cows since I was a kid and I wish I’d known the signs when I was milking. When you know what signs you’re looking for, it’s easy to understand why a cow is having certain problems.”

Members of Derbyshire FYFC were invited to attend the first session and picked up some top tips. Jack Dakin, Ashover YFC, works on his family dairy farm and said he learnt a lot from the course.

“It was good being able to look around other farms to see what they do as you learn a lot this way. I didn’t realise how the layout of the shed can affect how much milk the cow produces.

“I’d definitely recommend the course to other YFC members.  It was a fantastic day out and you pick up a lot of advice,” said Jack.

If you or your Club would like to take part in a Cow Signals workshop with NWF Agriculture, contact Rachel Lander on 07829 797191 or email for more information.


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