21 November 2014
The National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs (NFYFC) has received a welcome boost to its Agricultural Education programme, thanks to generous sponsorship from the Elizabeth Creak Trust.
The Trust has agreed a £25,000 sponsorship deal with the federation to fund its agricultural education programme.
Elizabeth Creak was a former High Sheriff of Warwickshire who previously ran one of the county’s largest dairy farms. She was also the first female chairman of the Warwickshire branch of the NFU. Before she passed away in October 2013, she set up the Elizabeth Creak Trust to support and encourage new blood in farming and finance projects to help farmers survive and ultimately thrive in their challenging modern environment.
James Eckley, Chief Officer for NFYFC, said: "Promoting education to our members is our core role. The importance of agricultural education can be seen throughout our work, from the more obvious agricultural training courses to our travel programmes and competitions.
"The Elizabeth Creak Trust share our vision in helping Young Farmers learn the latest tricks of the trade and new developments in the world of agriculture. Needless to say, we are incredibly grateful to the Trust for their incredibly generous donation."
NFYFC members have been able to take advantage of a variety of agricultural training programmes in 2014, including Meat for the Market and Grassland and Soils Training. Dozens of Young Farmers have also taken part in Study Tours to Holland and Scotland.
Tenancy training, succession, business start-up and entrepreneurship are just a selection of some areas that Young Farmers will be able to learn about in 2015.
Robin Ogg, trustee with the Elizabeth Creak Trust, said: "The Trust is delighted to be able to support the NFYFC as it helps to develop farmers of the future and the future of farming as a whole. For us, it is very encouraging to see and hear about Young Farmers learning about the latest industry practices. These people really are the future of the industry and it only seemed appropriate that we should support them in this way."
To read about the latest training opportunities available to NFYFC members, please visit: www.nfyfc.org.uk/courses.
20 November 2014
The National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs (NFYFC) is calling on its members, associate members and supporters to volunteer their time at next year's YFC Annual Convention.
The Federation is looking for volunteers to be part of the event management team in Torquay to help run the weekend and give Young Farmers a weekend they will never forget.
The YFC Annual Convention and AGM is the biggest event in the YFC calendar. Around 5,000 Young Farmers from across England and Wales will descend upon Torquay from 24-26th April. The Convention comprises of YFC competition finals, an agricultural conference and the NFYFC's Annual General Meeting as well as a dance held each evening.
James Eckley, Chief Officer of NFYFC, said: "This is an ideal opportunity for associate members or supporters of the YFC organisation to volunteer to support and help run the NFYFC's largest annual event. It's also great experience for anyone looking to pursue a career in event management.
"We are looking for volunteers who are motivated and confident, are able to deal with large groups of people and have great people skills."
In return for the volunteers time and effort, NFYFC will cover the cost of accommodation on a shared room basis, as well as lunch and travel costs, as per the federation's expenses policy.
For full details about the nine opportunities available over the weekend of 24th-26th April, please visit www.yfcconvention.org.uk/get-involved/volunteers.
17 November 2014
It was a proud weekend for Gwent Young Farmers, Rhys Cooke and Rhys Whittingham, as they helped their county achieve success at the 2014 English Winter Fair at the Staffordshire County Showground.
Along with their team-mates, Andrew Watkins and Trevor Bowen, Gwent YFC (pictured right) took home three of the top five NFYFC stockjudging trophies. Cooke and Whittingham, from Raglan YFC, triumphed in their respective Pig Live and Carcase competitions, winning the Smithfield Trophy, while Whittingham and Bowen won the Bob Williams trophy for the highest combined score in the senior competition.
26 teams across 12 counties in England and Wales competed in various stockjudging competitions over the weekend of 15th & 16th November
Staffordshire continued their impressive run in this competition, taking home the two remaining trophies. Sally Leese and Matthew Wright (below right) took home the Smithfield trophy for their combined scores in the Beef Live & Carcase competition. Sally, along with team-mate Emily Cartmail, won the Mark Madders Trophy for the highest combined score in the intermediate competition for pigs and beef.
But it was Gwent who had the last laugh, winning the much-coveted John Spear Trophy for accumulating the highest marks across all competitions. Staffordshire took 2nd place while Devon finished 3rd.
David Hamer, Chairman of the NFYFC Competitions Steering Group, said: "On behalf of NFYFC, I would like to thank, the Staffordshire & Birmingham Agricultural Society for their continued support and for hosting our competition, Bradshaw Brothers for providing today’s carcases, the exhibitors who allowed us to judge their live pigs and cattle and EBLEX for once again sponsoring the competition and Katie Brian for coming along to present the prizes."
A full list of results is available on the NFYFC Results page.
You can also see the best photos from the weekend's competition by visiting the NFYFC Facebook page.
14 November 2014
12 November 2014
Agriculture experts at NatWest have teamed up with NFYFC to deliver business specific training to budding farmers and entrepreneurs.
The training, which will be delivered across the
Ian Burrow, head of Agriculture at NatWest and RBS said: “We have long been a proud supporter of the NFYFC delivering a number of events and support to young farmers across the country.
“This new training programme will arm young farmers with the skills they need to set up, run and maintain successful agricultural businesses which make such a huge contribution to the UK – and global – economy.”
Young Farmers will be able to take part in specialist Tenancy Training, run in collaboration with Savills, looking at the process involved in becoming a tenant farmer and how best to prepare for a farm tenancy tender.
New business start up training is also being introduced – helping YFC members to understand the importance of business planning, with specific emphasis on creating a business plan fit for purpose.
Members will also be able to take part in business management training demonstrating cash management and enterprise and entrepreneurship - skills they can demonstrate in running their own clubs and take on to running a business.
Joanne Wyles, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Officer at the NFYFC said: “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with NatWest in delivering this extended specialist training to our members. We hope this training provides them with the necessary skills to take on to their Young Farmers Clubs and in their personal and professional lives.”
NatWest is also supporting The Source, a bespoke guide aimed at YFC members who wish to set up and manage their Young Farmers’ Clubs.
For further information about all of the latest training courses on offer, please head over to the Courses page.
11 November 2014
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the implementation of CAP and family farming were just some of the topics discussed at the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) in recent weeks.
Thanks to sponsorship from HOPS Labour Solutions and Mole Valley Farmers, representatives from NFYFC travelled across Europe to attend CEJA events and discuss issues affecting Young Farmers across the UK and Europe.
At a recent Working Group trip to Beauvais, France, Young Farmers learnt of the
approach that the European Union and the United States are taking towards a
free trade partnership. The TTIP agreement could lead to farmers in
Europe competing against practices that are commonplace in America. These
include the use of genetically modified ingredients and growth hormones.
With support from NFYFC, CEJA has raised concerns over TTIP and has called for
the EU and US to be more open and transparent in their negotiations. Charlotte
Johnston, from Warwickshire FYFC (pictured above), attended the event, during
which, she tweeted: “Greater transparency needed in EU and US TTIP negotiations
to include producers earlier on in discussions”.
Young Farmers also learnt, at the Copa Cogeca Conference in early October, that
farmers in other countries have access to grant funding from their Government,
yet farmers in England and Wales do not.
Due to differing implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), UK
farmers are being denied potentially-vital funding.
Ed Ford, chairman of Essex Young Farmers, attended the event in Brussels. He
said: “26,000 Young Farmers have been assisted with funding in France and only
19 have been assisted in the UK. This is because none of the UK Administrations
have implemented the Capital Grant Funding for Young Farmers.
“It is important that NFYFC and all of its members make clear to the Government
that Young Farmers in other nations have access to up to 70,000 Euros of grant
funding per year and yet Young Farmers in England and Wales do not.”
On a more positive note, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has expressed its commitment to Young Farmers. The bank approved CEJA’s request to guarantee agricultural loans to farmers under 40, allowing Young Farmers to have access to cheaper rates of interest.
Meanwhile, at the International Summit of Young Farmers, NFYFC learnt that family farmers were the best people to achieve sustainability within agriculture. Farmers from 50 countries attended the event in Bordeaux and signed a manifesto pledging to implement proposals making family farming a solution for the future.
For further information about NFYFC’s recent CEJA trips, please visit www.nfyfc.org.uk/ceja.
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