National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

14 May 2014

A record number of young farmers attended Annual Convention 2014 at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, with more than 5,500 people involved in activities over the weekend.

Wristband sales prior to the event were already up on previous years and combined with on the door ticket sales the event was one of the most popular in recent years.  

Major competition finals in Entertainments, Disco Dancing and the Choir attracted coach loads of supporters to the seaside resort.

Wales celebrated two victories in Entertainments and the Choir competitions. Llanbadarn Fynydd YFC came top in Entertainments with their performance of Just Chilled, and Glamorgan FYFC’s choir beat seven other clubs with their performance of Hallelujah and a Welsh folk song.

In Disco Dancing though, it was Wigton YFC from Cumbria who were hailed the champs of the dance floor – the first time the club had ever made it to a national final.

Members were treated to evening entertainment from five Radio 1 DJs over the weekend and three live bands. Jameela Jamil from Radio 1 got the party started on Sunday night, followed by Edith Bowman and Aled Haydn Jones on Saturday and Scott Mills and Chris Stark on Sunday.

As well as the entertainment, the weekend also included NFYFC’s Agri Forum 2014 where leading industry speakers shared their advice on topics associated with technology and farming. David Gardner, Chief Executive of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, Professor Toby Mottram Founder of eCow and Campbell Scott from Massey Ferguson each gave a presentation and hosted workshops.

The weekend also included the 82nd Annual General Meeting where Poul Christensen was re-elected as NFYFC’s President for a second year.
Members also agreed to increase the membership and associate membership levy by 20% for the first time in three years. Rachel Goldie, from Great Smeaton YFC, gave a supportive speech for the increase in the levy and won The Sidney Fawcett Trophy for her contribution to the meeting.

The Senior Member of the Year was awarded to Jessica Wright from Lugg Valley YFC in Herefordshire for inspiring others to achieve. While trophies were given to the club and county who had raised the most funds for charity in 2013.

There were also elections for two new Live Vice Presidents and one life member, as well as all the trophy presentations for achievements in 2013.

Devon raised more than £100k last year for charity and won the Prince of Wales Trophy in recognition of their achievements, while Ivybridge YFC raised £18,000 and took home the Lionel J Hill Trophy for raising the most funds per member in the club. It is estimated that YFCs raised £1.2m for charity in 2013.

Young Farmers support of local charities was praised during the weekend, with many clubs arriving in Blackpool on cycles after raising funds on their journey to the Convention.

Catch up on all of the news and videos from Annual Convention 2014 over on the dedicated Convention website and see lots of photos on Facebook.

Tell us what you thought of Annual Convention 2014 and you could win a wristband for the 2015 Convention in Torquay!



02 May 2014

With less than seven days to go, excitement is mounting for what is set to be the biggest YFC event in recent years.

More tickets have been sold in advance of the weekend than in the last 10 years, and with Radio 1 DJs performing every night, NFYFC is expecting even more wristband sales on the doors.

Radio 1 DJ Aled Haydn Jones has already tweeted about the event: “Just realised one of my favourite DJ gigs of the year the Young Farmers AGM #yfcagm is a week Sat! Put a smile in (sic) my face :)”

On Sunday Young Farmers are also hoping to top the charts with the Essex FYFC single Put that Hoedown and it is hoped everyone will be performing the dance routine in the Empress Ballroom – including Radio 1 DJs Scott Mills and Chris Stark.

Entertainment highlights include:

  • Radio 1 DJ Jameela Jamil will DJ on Friday night, Edith Bowman and Aled Haydn Jones from Radio 1 will be playing to the crowds on Saturday night and Scott Mill and Chris Stark will hit the decks on Sunday night.
  • Three live bands will perform including Tzars, Boomin and tribute act Killer Queen.
  • National competition finals of NFYFC’s Entertainments, Choir, Disco Dancing and Senior Member of the Year will take place throughout the weekend. 
  • YFC Ski launch and a chance to win two ski holidays worth £399.
  • Pub quiz, Darts Championships and Comedian Herbie Adams. 

As well as radio celebrities, leading figures from the world of agriculture will be joining YFC members at the Agricultural and Rural Issues Forum 2014, supported by Defra, which this year will discuss the topic of Young Farmers and technology – adapting farming for the future.

NFYFC’s Annual Convention, which is sponsored by Massey Ferguson, returns to Blackpool for a second consecutive year and it will be the 22nd time it has been hosted at the seaside resort.

Claire Worden, NFYFC’s Chairman of Council, said: “We are really excited about returning to Blackpool this year after such a brilliant weekend event in 2013 – and let’s make sure we top the charts while we’re there with Put that Hoedown!”

To pre-order Put that Hoedown visit  iTunes.

For ticket information, visit the YFC Convention website.


01 May 2014

Massive congrats to our Face of Annual Convention winners 2014 who will be flying flags for the Eastern and Northern Areas.

Sarah Lees from Turton YFC in Lancashire and Pete Archer from Bicester YFC in Oxfordshire are the winners of this year’s competition and win passes to the exclusive Massey Ferguson Lounge and a chance to meet our Radio 1 DJs.

After a flood of applications and some heated debates, the NFYFC team agreed on the two worthy winners. And they couldn’t be more different.

Sarah lives and works on her family’s Dairy and Beef farm and is studying Law at Manchester University, while Pete works in IT and has no farming connections other than through his club.

Sarah, who is 20, won the judges over by sharing the fact her parents first met at Convention in 1989 in the Winter Gardens and that this would be her first time at the event. Her parents were both members of Bury YFC – a club that Sarah also has connections with as her boyfriend is the current Chairman!

It was a tough decision to join in the fun and games this year as Sarah has exams on Friday and Monday afternoon – so she has been busy preparing in the build up!

“The exam on Monday afternoon is open book so I have written myself some very detailed page notes to compensate for the fact I may be a bit tired on Monday,” said Sarah who wants to work in agricultural land disputes, surveying and tenancy.

“I applied for the competition because I thought it would be a good laugh and make my first AGM a bit more memorable. I was very surprised to win. I think Turton YFC will be proud, we’re a very small club so it’s good promotion for us!”

Pete Archer is 22 and joined his local YFC six years ago after a friend introduced him to the organisation. Although he has never lived on a farm, he said he has learnt a lot – including coming third at Stockjudging in a recent competition.

Judges were impressed with Pete’s application as he said the organisation had given him confidence and a sense of belonging – proving you don’t have to be a farmer to be a Young Farmer! This will be the fourth year Pete has been to Convention and so he’s ready for what’s in store.

“I can’t wait for Convention. I am surprised and scared about being the Face of Convention but it will definitely make my fourth year different!”
Pete will be arriving at Convention with 14 members of Bicester YFC and is looking forward to cheering on members from Oxfordshire in the Choir competition on Sunday.  

A big thanks to everyone who entered the NFYFC competition to be our Face of Convention. Please look out for updates from Sarah and Pete over the weekend!


01 May 2014

Members will be cycling a combined total of more than 1,000 miles to reach Annual Convention 2014 and aiming to raise thousands of pounds for charities in the process.

Traditionally referred to as WotNots, every year members take part in fundraising challenges on their way to Annual Convention.

This year, NFYFC is aware of six counties who have been preparing for back breaking missions to reach the seaside resort – all in the name of charity. 

The first to set off are 47 members from Cornwall FYFC who start Tracey’s Triathlon on Saturday 3 March. They are raising money for the British Heart Foundation by walking, canoeing and cycling 200 miles from Gloucester to Blackpool.

Following on from them will be a range of cycling challenges. Travelling from Canterbury in Kent, 10 members are aiming to cycle 360 miles in 36 hours in a relay in aid of Reverse Rett to support research into Rett syndrome.

Canterbury YFC Chairman Stacey Taylor said: “This is an enormous challenge and requires not only dedication but a lot of support for the club and its members.”

Wareham and Purbeck YFC in Dorset are aiming to cycling 320 miles over 30 hours from Swanage Pier to Blackpool Pier to raise money for Amelia Grace Rainbow Fund.

Five members of Edgcott & Winslow YFC are raising money for RABI and the Motor Neurone Disease Association by cycling approximately 200 miles non-stop in 24 hours. “This is an endurance challenge,” said member Alan Burborough.

Both on and off road cycling is in order for five members of Ashbourne YFC in Derbyshire who are cycling 100 miles in firemen outfits to raise money for The Derbyshire Fire & Rescue.

And finally, Essex FYFC are aiming to get into the charts by Convention weekend with their charity single Put that Hoedown, which is raising money for The Farming Community Network and YoungMinds.

Where to support
Ashbourne YFC:  TBC
Canterbury YFC:Visit their Just Giving page.
Cornwall FYFC: Text donation to CYFC37 £3 or an amount you care to donate
Edgcott & Winslow YFC: Visit their Just Giving page.
Essex FYFC:  Visit iTunes and buy the single.
Wareham and Purbeck: Visit their Virgin Money page.


01 May 2014

Preparing for technological changes in farming is critical for the next generation and will be the focus of an agricultural forum at NFYFC's Annual Convention in Blackpool in May.
 
Hundreds of young farmers are expected to attend the Agriculture and Rural Issues (AGRI) Forum 2014, which is supported by Defra, BIAC and Massey Ferguson at 10.30am on Saturday 10 May in the Spanish Hall of the Winter Gardens, Blackpool.
 
The forum, Young Farmers and Technology – adapting farming for the future, provides a unique platform for young farmers to discuss topical agricultural issues with leading industry figures who will share their experiences and insight. The Forum is also a Dairy Pro points event.
 
Campbell Scott, Director of Sales Engineering and Massey Ferguson Brand Development, will discuss how digital marketing can build and add value to your brand. Founder of eCow Professor Toby Mottram from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) will explain how the use of technology can change the way we manage cows and RASE Chief Executive David Gardner will talk about the advantages of automation and the impact this will have on a future career in farming. 
 
Massey Ferguson is the major sponsor of this year’s Annual Convention and Campbell Scott said it was an event the business was eager to be involved with again.
 
“Massey Ferguson continues to focus strongly on this new generation of farmers who are embracing the latest technological advancements in agriculture. With new product introductions targeted at potential future customers, we are fully committed to seeking the views and sharing the ideas of these young farmers.
 
“New opportunities and new ideas drive us and our younger generation forward with confidence, changing the way people perceive the farming industry and also the way we work. Delegates of this event are vibrant, passionate people of which Massey Ferguson is proud to support."
 
Following on from the Forum, there will be a buffet lunch, which has kindly been sponsored by BIAC.
 
Farming Minister George Eustice said: “As a former young farmers’ member myself, I know that Young Farmers’ Clubs are the lifeblood of the industry. I recognise the importance of the YFC movement in helping the next generation of farmers and fully support the great work that these clubs do around the country promoting different routes into the industry, including matching young entrants with retiring farmers.
 
“Every industry needs new talent with new ideas and the farming industry is no exception.”
 
The Forum is one of a number of events taking place during NFYFC’s Annual Convention, where more than 5,000 young farmers will be gathering from 9-11 May in Blackpool. Other events include NFYFC’s national competition finals – which this year include awards for Entertainments, Choir, Disco Dancing and Senior Member of the Year.
 
The Federation’s 82nd Annual General Meeting also takes place on Sunday 11 May where members will discuss the future of the Federation, review the previous year and present trophies to award winning clubs and individuals. 
 
Evening entertainment includes DJs from Radio 1 performing each night and three live bands that will entertain thousands of young farmers in the Empress Ballroom over the weekend.
 
NFYFC’s National Chairman of Council Claire Worden said: “This year is set to be our biggest event in recent years! We have already sold more tickets than the last few years in advance of the weekend and we’re expecting many more to buy on the weekend itself.
 
“It is one of those few occasions when young farmers can unite from across England and Wales to enjoy an amazing weekend of social activities as well as engage in what we are doing as an organisation in the industry.”
 
Find out more about NFYFC's amazing event in our new Convention website. Tickets are still available to members to buy on the weekend.



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