16 January 2015
The opinions of young people in agriculture are more important than ever, said delegates at this year’s Oxford Farming Conference.
The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) was once again well represented at the Conference, thanks to sponsorship from the Worshipful Company of Farmers. Lynsey Martin, vice chairman of the Agri Steering Group, and Ed Ford, chairman of Essex YFC, attended the event, generally considered one of the biggest events in the British agricultural calendar.
The annual event was attended by some of the biggest names in British agriculture and politics, including Elizabeth Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Lynsey managed to put forward a question to the MP, asking what her plans were for implementing policies that help young farmers and new entrants into the industry.
Speaking about the event, Lynsey said: “There was a lot of talk about new entrants in to agriculture. I think we should be seizing this opportunity, while everyone is listening, to promote young people and new entrants in agriculture and to look at how we all promote ourselves within the industry to make it a more attractive career prospect.
“I learnt from the fantastic atmosphere that people do want to listen to young people in the industry and that approaching people doesn’t have to be scary! This was a fantastic opportunity for me personally making so many new and influential contacts within the industry and meeting like-minded and bright new entrants into the industry. This certainly would not have been possible without being sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Farmers.”
The event also saw Young Farmers take part in an enthralling debate about whether intensive agriculture was still sustainable. Charlotte Johnston of Warwickshire FYFC and Chris Manley, vice Chair of NFYFC, were on opposing sides, but spoke passionately about the pros and cons of the practice. The majority of the house supported the notion that intensive agriculture was still a viable option in modern agriculture.
One of the key points that Ed Ford took from the conference is that succession is extremely important for any young entrants into agriculture and that those who purchase farms out-perform those who inherit.
Ed said: “Succession is one of the biggest challenges facing young entrants coming into agriculture. It is vitally important that succession is not delayed and that Young Farmers secure their place on the family farm.”
Rosie Carne, Almoner and Liveryman at the Worshipful Company of Farmers, commented: "Lynsey and Ed were a real credit to the organisation with their active participation during Q&A sessions and interaction with other delegates. They are outstanding role models for young people coming in to the farming industry”.
NFYFC has teamed up with Savills to provide Succession workshops for its members and their families. The next workshop will be held in Oswestry, Shropshire on 19th March. For more information, please visit: http://www.nfyfc.org.uk/successionevent.
13 January 2015
2015 got off to an exhilarating start for hundreds of Young Farmers across England and Wales on the annual YFC Ski trip.
With thanks to tour operators, Outgoing, over 450 members travelled to Tignes in the Northern Alps to enjoy one of the most significant events in the Young Farmers calendar.
As well as some of Europe's best slopes, members also enjoyed a wide variety of activities, including camping in the wilderness, Apres ski and an evening with DJ Wire. There was even a guest appearance from Supermoo!
The fancy dress theme for this year's trip was 'Retro', and once again, our Young Farmers failed to disappoint, sporting a wide variety of amazing outfits.
Georgina Saxon, of Selby YFC, attended the trip as Yorkshire's ski rep. She said: "I had a fantastic time. I have skied before on previous YFC Ski trips and always had an amazing time. It is great to go with such a large group of people who are all just as crazy. After braving the very long bus journey it was definitely worth it and Selby YFC couldn't wait to get out on the slopes!
"One of the highlights was one of our members getting us all a 'surprise'...which turned out to be snails... that was a very entertaining evening for sure! Finally, we all made it back in one piece with lots of great memories and plenty of tired muscles! Definitely a holiday to remember!"
Caroline Baker, of County Durham FYFC, said: "12 members from County Durham FYFC travelled to Tignes. We were very noticeable wearing matching retro tie dye hoodies! Very easily identifiable on the slopes and in the bars! We all stayed in Dragon Lodge, Tignes and enjoyed yummy food and chilled out parties before joining up with the remaining 450 young farmers!!"
The Ski Trip is just one adventure that NFYFC members can enjoy in the Federation's YFC travel programme. For any Under 18 members, there is still an opportunity to apply for this year's Tall Ships Adventure. Click on the link for further details.
08 January 2015
Kuhn Farm Machinery is championing the future of young farmers with a sponsorship deal with the NFYFC. The agricultural machinery provider has pledged its support by sponsoring the NFYFC's AGRI Steering Group. It is also giving its support at next year's Annual Convention by sponsoring the AGRI Forum and the Convention wristbands.
Kuhn, the world’s leading supplier of specialised agricultural machinery, will enable NFYFC's members to have their voices heard by policy makers and people within the agricultural industry with its support of the AGRI steering group. The group is made up of regional YFC members who are passionate about rural life and agriculture. The group meets up three times a year to discuss the role that Young Farmers play in the world of British farming.
One of the steering group's key decisions is to choose the theme and organise the AGRI Forum in April. Held at the NFYFC Annual Convention, the forum provides a unique platform for Young Farmers to discuss topical agricultural issues and initiate debate with industry leaders. It is open to all YFC members, supporters and guests and encourages attendees to have their voices heard about key subjects for future farming. The Annual Convention is the most popular event in the NFYFC calendar, with over 5,500 members attending every year.
The theme for 2015's AGRI Forum in Torquay is "What is your future in farming?"
James Eckley, chief officer at NFYFC, said: “We are delighted to have the support of Kuhn Farm Machinery. It’s incredibly reassuring to have such a well-known agricultural brand on board, who recognise just how important the Federation is in shaping farming and rural affairs in this country. Kuhn’s support is giving our members a great platform to have their voices heard within agriculture and highlighting the importance of farming for the future.”
Sian Pritchard, managing director at Kuhn Farm Machinery, said: "As an organisation, we care deeply about the future of agriculture in this country and the legacy that we leave to the next generation of Young Farmers. We fully support what the NFYFC do and are keen to promote the great work that Young Farmers are doing across England and Wales. This sponsorship with NFYFC enables us to understand the challenges that face young farmers today. We have only been supporting NFYFC since October, but we hope that this is the start of an exciting partnership."
As well as Kuhn’s generous sponsorship, Young Farmers will have the opportunity to take a tour of Kuhn’s European headquarters as part of NFYFC’s study tour to France in February. For further information on the tour, please visit www.nfyfc.org.uk/francestudytour.
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