National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

30 April 2014

A new apprenticeship scheme, launched by HOPS, is aiming to help more young farmers start a career in agriculture.

HOPS Labour Solutions, NFYFC’s commercial arm, is partnering with Further Education (FE) Colleges and farmers to offer a unique matching service for new entrants. The company wants to become the first port of call for anyone interested in entering the agri-business by directing them to a suitable FE college course and arranging a placement for them on a local farm. It is hoped the scheme will help to close the age gap between established farm workers and new entrants.

HOPS has access to a wide network of young people through its YFC association and will create placements through its long standing relationships with UK farms. 

It has partnered with Askham Bryan College in York to run a pilot apprenticeship scheme in the North of England and Plumpton College in the South. It is anticipated these will soon be rolled out nationally. Apprenticeships will be offered across a broad spectrum of potential career paths in the rural business sector.

HOPS Operations Director Glyn Smith said: “The benefit of the scheme is that it’s open to all, not just young farmers, anyone wishing to enter into the agri-business sector is welcome. With a widening age gap between established farm workers and new entrants, we are delighted to be in a position to help rejuvenate the sector."

To find out more about apprenticeships with HOPS, call (0)2476 698 000.

17 April 2014

Young farmers are aiming to break into the top 40 with a charity single featuring comedian Alexander Armstrong and singer Chesney Hawkes to help raise awareness about rural isolation and mental health issues affecting young people. 

Put that Hoedown is an upbeat track that was recorded at the world-renowned Abbey Road Studios in London, involving 50 young farmers from the Essex Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (FYFC). The video includes celebrity guest appearances and a New Holland T7.210 tractor specially wrapped in Union Jack livery!

Essex Young Farmers set themselves the challenge to write, record and release an original song, with the hope of getting it into the UK Top 40 on the weekend of NFYFC's Annual Convention in Blackpool on the 9-11 May 2014. More than 5,000 young farmers will descend on the seaside resort for a weekend of competitions and entertainment – including DJs from Radio 1.

Track highlights:
•    Comic Alexander Armstrong speaks at the end of the song
•    Singer Chesney Hawkes makes a guest appearance in the video, which was filmed at locations across Essex and Abbey Road Studios
•    The video choreography was performed by Bunty Bailey – most famous for her appearance in the video for A-Ha’s ‘Take On Me’
•    100 Young Farmers took part in the video, 50 sang on the chorus and four sing lead vocals. 

The song, which was written and produced with the help of Audio Network, celebrates Young Farmers and how they work hard, play hard and support each other. The lyrics reference the recent floods that affected farming communities across the UK, which young farmers supported raising more than £40k to support communities devastated by the Somerset floods.

The chart-topping challenge is all in aid of the NFYFC’s Rural+ campaign, which is aimed at raising awareness of rural isolation and mental health issues in young people. Money raised from the single will be donated to two charities: YoungMinds and The Farming Community Network.

Sam Iddison, Chairman of Essex FYFC, said: “Music in particular is a proven mental boost. It can help create a positive mindset so it feels like the perfect way to raise awareness and money for those charities.

“We’ve had so much support for our single and we are really hoping we can break into the top 40 with it in time for the young farmers’ Annual Convention. It will be a great way to celebrate, surrounded by 5,000 young farmers!”

The song is available to pre-order on iTunes from Thursday 17 April and the release is set for Monday 5 May 2014.

16 April 2014

Young Farmers from Cornwall are driving two classic tractors from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

The 12 members of Lostwithiel Young Farmers Club set off on Saturday and are taking it in turns to drive the 962-mile journey – at a top speed of 15mph – over around ten days.

Young Farmers from clubs along the route are putting the weary travellers up overnight as they make their trek south passing through 100 towns.

They also popped in to the NFYFC headquarters in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, to say hello and SuperMoo was there to greet them.

The idea for the challenge came about when club member Josh Stephens and his brother Callum were given two classic tractors – a Case 2290 and a Fiat 1300 Super – by their grandparents who were retiring from their farm in Northern Scotland.

The boys wanted to bring the family heirlooms back to Cornwall and came up with the idea of a tractor relay as a fun way of transporting them that could raise some valuable money for charity at the same time.

Fleur Worden, event organiser and outgoing Chair of the Lostwithiel Young Farmers Club (LYFC) said: “We’re thrilled with the support we’ve received so far from people donating generously. It’s such a good opportunity to raise money for a cause that is close to a lot of people’s hearts that they can relate to no matter whereabouts in the country they are.”

 Follow their journey on Twitter.

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!”


Designed by Kevyn Williams