27 February 2015
Putting Young Farmers’ Clubs firmly at the heart of their local communities is one of the 2015 priorities of NFYFC’s new top team in a bid to fortify the 80-year old organisation.
Members elected a new leadership team at the Council meeting in February and they have promised to strengthen the organisation in what is set to be a challenging year.
Hannah Talbot from Cutnall Green YFC in Worcestershire was voted in as the new Chair of Council by members following two years in the Vice Chair’s position. Chris Manley from Culm Valley YFC in Devon was re-elected as Vice Chair for a second year while Jessica Townson from Bolton by Bowland YFC in Lancashire stepped into the role for the first time.
The trio will face tough financial challenges this year as the organisation develops new income streams and ways of working.
During her year as Chair, Hannah wants to reinvigorate the organisation to make it more relevant to rural young people today and drive up the membership numbers. She also wants to celebrate what is great about YFCs and the essential role they play in their local communities.
Hannah said: “I’m honoured to be leading an organisation that has so many members and offers such diverse opportunities. Young Farmers’ Clubs do so much work to support their local communities – not only by raising money for charities but also by being a vital social link for rural young people.
“The membership will have some big decisions to make this year to strengthen the organisation but everyone on the Council team is so passionate and enthusiastic that I know we will be able to create a positive future for more Young Farmers.”
One of the ways Hannah hopes to unite clubs across England and Wales is by involving them in the Birmingham Half Marathon in October. All members taking part are invited to raise money for their local causes and it is hoped the fundraisers – nicknamed Hannah’s Dashers – will demonstrate how much money YFCs can raise for local charities.
More than 100 members gathered in Coventry to pass motions that affect the running of the organisation and to elect the new Council. Stepping down from her post as Chair, which she took on in November 2013, Claire Worden said her highlights were launching the Rural+ campaign and working with a fantastic group of people.
“Working together with a number of organisations – especially The Farming Community Network (FCN) and YoungMinds – Rural+ has helped to raise awareness about the mental health issues that can affect rural young people. Thank you to every single Council member, every member that I have spoken to this year and every County I have visited. It has been an exceptional year, and I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Chris Manley, who was re-elected as Vice Chair, has already put his hat into the ring to be considered for the 2016 Chairmanship. He said: “I would be honoured to stand as Chair in 2016. I think the two-year lead in is essential as you get to learn from a lot of experienced people. I want to support Hannah this year and then hopefully I can run for Chairman in 2016 to continue to make NFYFC the number one rural youth organisation.”
As well as the elections, the Council also approved proposals, including:
Five steering groups represent the views of the members and include: Competitions; Events and Marketing; Personal Development; the Youth Forum and Agriculture and Rural Issues. Rules for 2015/16 competitions.
The team will be charged with leading on the overall policy for the Federation, continuing the development and leadership of YFCs to meet the needs of its members and developing the status and image of YFC to the outside world.
Steering Group Chair and Vice Chair elections:
Chair: Mark Curr (Cumbria)
Vice Chair: Matt Tomkins (Worcestershire)
Events and Marketing
Chair: Katie Davies (Pembrokeshire)
Vice Chair: Caroline Baker (County Durham)
Chair: Toby France (Warwickshire)
Vice Chair: Mark Hurst (Cumbria)
Agriculture and Rural Issues
Chair: Lynsey Martin (Kent)
Vice Chair: Sam Dilcock (Lancashire)
Chair: Danielle McNulty (Gloucestershire)
Vice Chair: Amy Swinbank (Cumbria)
The full report from Council is available online in the members area.
27 February 2015
19 February 2015
NFU Mutual, the UK’s leading rural insurer, is once again offering the Centenary Award for postgraduate students in agriculture.
The award gives annual bursaries to pay up to 75% of course fees for selected post graduate students in agriculture (Masters or PhD).
The Centenary Award is a long-term scheme, run by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, and was launched in 2010 to celebrate the 100th birthday of NFU Mutual. To date 23 students have received bursaries for their studies.
The award is open to students who have gained, or are expected to gain, a 2:1 or above in agriculture or a closely related degree, and have been accepted or provisionally accepted on a Masters or PhD course in agriculture in the UK starting in Autumn 2015.
To select the students the judging panel will be looking for applicants who are not only excellent academic performers, but are also committed to the future of agriculture.
The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust has specifically identified three topic areas of interest for eligible students:
Prospective postgraduate students who think they may be eligible to apply for the award in 2015 should contact email@example.com to request further details and an application form.
The closing date for applications relating to courses starting Autumn 2015 is 30th April 2015.
17 February 2015
NFYFC has once again teamed up with Country Living Magazine to offer Young Farmers a chance to win tickets to their Spring Fair (18th - 22nd March).
You could be the lucky winner of one of FIVE pairs of tickets to the show, which promises to give lots of inspirational ideas for the home and garden.
Taking place at the Business Design Centre, Islington, The Country Living Spring Fair is fresh and bright and full of lovely things and creative ideas that bring a touch of the countryside into the home to herald that summer is on its way. It has all the ingredients for a special day out, offering inspiration for the house and the garden with hundreds of unusual items – furniture, furnishings and fashion - hand-picked from companies that you won't find on the high street. There are expert demonstrations in the Spring Lifestyle Theatre, and hands on workshops to encourage your own creativity.
New features at the 2015 Fair will see a Producers Village at the front of the Fair. Visitors can also stop by to meet traditional farmers, kitchen table bakers, artisan chocolatiers and organic wine makers. Meanwhile, located on the Gallery level is the Newcomers Market, acting as a launchpad for talented artisans that celebrates a wonderful variety of makers, crafters, designers and producers from across the UK. Click here for more information about the Spring Fair.
To be in with a chance of winning one of five pairs of tickets, all you need to do is answer the following question:
Q. What is the fancy dress theme for this year's NFYFC Annual Convention in Torquay?
Just send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, with your name, the name of your club, address and telephone number, by 12:00pm on Monday 9th March 2015 to be in with a chance of winning!
The five winners will be chosen at random and contacted after the competition has finished. The winning tickets will allow access for one day at the Spring Fair. You must be a member of the NFYFC and have an up-to-date membership card to take part.
If you are a Young Farmer but not lucky enough to be a winner of this competition, you can still apply to get discounted tickets for the fair, simply visit www.nfyfc.org.uk/deal-countrylivingspring (You will need your account login details to access this offer).
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.
T: 02476 857 200
F: 02476 857 229
Designed by Kevyn Williams