12 February 2015
The tractor run completed its 220-mile journey from Sedgemoor in Somerset to the Energy Now Expo in Telford on Wednesday (11th February). Young Farmers from Somerset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire all helped out on the three day drive, alongside Essex YFC Chairman and Forage Aid trustee, Ed Ford.
The run took place a year after the devastating floods in Somerset. Young Farmers played a huge role in helping all farmers affected by the flooding get back on their feet. The tractor run hit a few challenges on the way, including some narrow roads and an extremely low bridge, but the team completed the challenge, arriving at the Expo bang on schedule.
Upon arrival at the Expo, the Forage Aid team were presented with a cheque for £15,000 by Anglian Farmers, which will go a long way to helping farmers affected by flooding and other adverse weather conditions in the future.
Ed Ford said: "It's been a hell of a journey over the last few days. We hit a few bumps on the way and annoyed a couple of the locals but we managed to smooth everything over! We also had some difficulty with a particularly low bridge and there was less than three of four centimetres crawling under it. But all of the Young Farmers helped to pull it out of the bag.
"They've been really supportive and their driving has been particularly excellent. Forage Aid simply wouldn't have been possible without the help of the Young Farmers."
And Andrew Ward, a former Young Farmer in Lincolnshire, was also delighted by the efforts of Young Farmers who helped on the way.
"This has taken a huge amount of effort and organisation on everybody's part, including Young Farmers, but we've done it and it's been very worthwhile" said Andrew.
"This has been a great way for Young Farmers to get involved and this is why Forage Aid has worked so well. We could really connect with Young Farmers in the future. Whichever area is affected next, we can speak to the Young Farmers in that area and get their help.
"We couldn't have done this without the help of the Young Farmers. It's good exposure for the whole Young Farmers federation."
09 February 2015
Danielle McNulty of Gloucestershire YFC (pictured right) was elected chairman of the Youth Forum for 2015, having served as the group's vice chairman in 2014. She replaces outgoing chairman, Sioned Davies, with Cumbria YFC's Amy Swinbank taking over as vice chairman.
10 members ventured over to the Isle of Man for the Youth Forum's annual residential weekend. As well as archery and shooting, the group enjoyed other fun-filled activities, including abseiling and tackling an assault course.
They also enjoyed an evening meal with members of Isle of Man YFC.
"I was absolutely chuffed to be elected as the new Chairman, after a year as vice. I'm really looking forward to being a spokesperson for our younger members. I'm also looking forward to connecting with our younger members and ensuring that their voices are heard, which is the whole point of the Youth Forum. More than half of NFYFC members are under the age of 20 and each of their points of view are just as important as anyone elses.
"I've got some great plans for my year as chair, including building on our "Watch the Cowpat" game - not just for our younger audience but also for older members to show the importance of us valuing the traceability of our food."
The Youth Forum is made up of the winners of the Junior Member of the Year and a representative from each Area. Members have a place on the Forum for two years.
Click here to find out more about the Youth Forum.
09 February 2015
The final route, drivers, and stop-offs for next week’s Forage Aid tractor run have been confirmed. Young Farmers from Somerset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire will all take turns in driving part of the run and helping pick up donations en route.
The tractor run marks a year since the Somerset levels flooding, that devastated so many farms. It will kick off at Sedgemoor livestock market at 10:00am on Monday 9th February.
Ed Ford, chairman of Essex Young Farmers and one of the key players in setting up Forage Aid, will be driving through Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.
On Wednesday 11th February, at 11.00 am, the tractor and trailer will be driven into the Energy Now Expo, where a cheque for a whopping £15,000 will be presented to Ed, along with James Winslade, whose farm was badly affected by the floods and Andrew Ward, founder of Forage Aid.
Young Farmers played a pivotal role during the flooding last year and were keen to get involved once again.
“Young Farmers from Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Somerset and Shropshire will be driving some of the route” says Ed. “They’re keen to see funds raised for Forage Aid, and have been behind it from the start.”
Energy Now Expo organisers will donate 50p per visitor to the show to the charity, and the total will be announced at the Expo.
Forage Aid is not just about providing feed for stock, explains the man behind the hugely successful operation, Lincolnshire farmer Andrew Ward.
“We want to be ready to help in any emergency,” he says. “The pledged donations that we are picking up next week on this run will enable us to have funds that we can use to step in quickly and help farmers in need when necessary.”
To register for the Energy Now Expo, and see the tractor driving in on the 11th February next week, visit www.energynowexpo.co.uk or call 01293 854405. Press can attend the Expo free of charge.
Click here for further information about the route of the tractor run.
02 February 2015
The experience of long-serving staff combined with the enthusiasm of new starters helped to make this year's NFYFC Staff Conference a great success.
Staff with over 20 years' experience working with Young Farmers joined forces with staff who had only been with the Federation for a matter of weeks. Held at the Billesley Manor Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, the aim of the Conference was for all county and NFYFC staff to get together and share best practices and pick up some hints and tips to take back to their respective counties. The delegates were given the opportunity to learn new ideas and pick up advice from NFYFC staff.
On the first day of the Conference, they were given an overview of how the Federation had performed over the last 12 months and how they can make the most out of social media. They were then divided into workshops where they could pick up new skills, ranging from setting up competitions to bid writing for sponsors.
The second day saw presentations from Glyn Smith, operations manager at HOPS Labour Solutions, and Ken Norman from Bretherton's Solicitors, who gave a talk about keeping motivated.
The conference finished with the delegates learning more about competitions, including Just A Minute and Cake Stockjudging.
Despite the action-packed event, there was still time for some of the staff to try their hand at Ultimate Frisbee, (pictured right) which will be included in the 2015/16 competitions programme.
Julia Taylor, county organiser at Staffordshire YFC, said: "It was a great couple of days to catch up with old faces and meet the many new members of staff working around the County. With so much going on in the world of NFYFC and back in our own counties, it is always good to bring everyone together and see what challenges and opportunities lie ahead for our members”.
T: 02476 857 200
F: 02476 857 229
Designed by Kevyn Williams