National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 March 2015

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) dedication to personal development has been given a boost by Rutland Electric Fencing.

The UK’s market leader in electric fencing has agreed a sponsorship deal to support the Federation’s County Chairmen’s residential weekend. The weekend, due to take place in November 2015, is for YFC members who have been successfully elected to become Chairmen and Vice Chairmen in their counties.

YFC County Chairmen are Young Farmers who voluntarily lead their counties and inspire their members to have fun, learn and achieve. During their year as Chairman, they are responsible for the management of the county and act as ambassadors and role models within the Federation. The aim of the County Chairmen’s Weekend is to provide County Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen the opportunity to network, share best practices with each other and be given the chance to develop new skills.

After several years without dedicated specialist training, the County Chairmen’s Day was re-introduced by the NFYFC in December, as requested by the members themselves.  Following the event, the delegates agreed that this specialised training offered them much needed support and helped them gain vital knowledge. They also said that any future events should be held over a weekend as it helped create a relaxing environment for delegates to learn. This new partnership with  Rutland Electric Fencing has enabled the NFYFC to offer this weekend to its members in 2015.

Thanks to Rutland Electric Fencing’s sponsorship, 2015’s residential weekend will also include four spaces for members from the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, which will enable them to interact with their peers from England and Wales.

Tom Royall, agricultural category manager of Woodstream Europe, which owns Rutland Electric Fencing, said: “As an organisation, we are delighted to be supporting the NFYFC in the development of its members. These people represent the next generation of farming and will play a pivotal role in the future of British agriculture. This residential weekend will be a fantastic learning opportunity for Young Farmers and we are proud to be helping them develop and pick up new skills that will serve them well for years to come.”

You can read more about 2014’s County Chairman’s Day here:

17 March 2015

Agriculture played a significant part at this year’s Big Bang Fair, as Young Farmers championed the industry to thousands of visitors.

With support from Defra, NFYFC teamed up with ambassadors from Bright Crop at the Fair to promote the wide variety of jobs available within the agricultural industry. In the presence of a large Massey Ferguson tractor, the Young Farmers’ stand attracted thousands of visitors across the four-day event.

Using promotional leaflets, with the hashtag #morethantractors (pictured right), the two organisations were keen to show young people that a career in agriculture can be much broader than working on a farm. The team distributed approximately 3,600 leaflets in total.

Held at the NEC in Birmingham, The Big Bang Fair is the largest celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects for young people in the UK. This year’s Fair is believed to have attracted more than 80,000 visitors.

One of those visitors was Farming Minister, George Eustice. Young Farmers and Bright Crop ambassadors talked at length to Mr Eustice about their plans to encourage young people to consider a career in agriculture. 

Prior to the event, a survey conducted on behalf of Bright Crop showed that only four per cent of young people were considering a career in farming and food supply.

Newly-elected Chair of the NFYFC AGRI Steering Group, Lynsey Martin, attended the fair. She said: “One of the aims of the Steering Group in 2015 is to eradicate misconceptions about agriculture, which are discouraging young people from pursuing a career in the industry. We want to promote this amazing and diverse sector and encourage young people to join us in making it bigger and better.

“I believe that our presence at the Big Bang Fair has been a great start in helping us achieve this goal. We are extremely pleased at the number of people who came to visit our stand and talk to us and I would like to thank Massey Ferguson for the loan of their tractor, which really helped us stand out at the Fair.”

The agricultural industry was given an even bigger boost at the Fair, as the Agri-Hammer, a machine which helps prevent farm accidents, meant that its inventor won the illustrious title of UK Young Engineer of the Year.

11 March 2015

A group of Young Farmers once again proved their fondness for new media with a masterclass in movie-making.

Thanks to training by Green Shoots Productions and sponsorship from the Elizabeth Creak Trust, delegates were taught how to make the perfect film that can be used to promote Young Farmers and the agricultural industry as a whole.

The training took place before the NFYFC's February Council weekend at the Quality Hotel in Coventry. Within the two hour training session, Young Farmers were given a thorough overview into the world of film-making, from video editing, sound and even the best place to stand in front of a camera. The session culminated in the group creating their own video, demonstrating the knowledge they picked up during the training.

Jess Townson, NFYFC's newly-elected vice chair of Council, said: "The training was really helpful. The idea was to create a video to go out and advertise to other people what Young Farmers is all about and what careers there are in agriculture. From the people that took part, we got a lot out of it, including the basics of how to produce a video, the software to use and even how to stand in front of the camera. It was a really useful session.

"One of the biggest challenges facing Young Farmers is recruitment and it's really important that we have all of these different tools and our members know about the different avenues that there are to recruit new members, including making videos, which can then be shown in schools, colleges and other youth groups."

You can see the final video on YouTube by clicking here

10 March 2015

Getting their hands dirty was all in a day’s training for YFC members in March on NFYFC’s first ever Soil Management Workshop.

The training, funded by Defra, helped to show 10 members how sustainable soil management can also be profitable and was delivered during the International Year of Soils (IYS). The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

The course, which was delivered at Morley Research Centre in Norfolk, was organised by David Whattoff from SOYL Precision Farming with support from Philip Wright of Wright Resolutions and NIAB.

Classroom instruction and practical tutorials formed the basis of the day and members who were registered with the relevant schemes were also able to earn NRoSO and Dairy Pro points.

Anthony Boeson, from Elham YFC in Norfolk and member of the AGRI Steering Group, is an arable farmer and contractor and attended the course.

“The course was very beneficial. We do a lot of research on top of the land and so it was good to see what is going on under the ground so we can ensure we conserve it for the future,” said Anthony.

“Learning about the soil is like learning about the foundations of our industry. Without quality, cared-for soil structure we can’t grow top quality produce.”

For more information on training courses available with NFYFC, visit our courses section.

05 March 2015

Wales Young Farmers’ Clubs are celebrating after their funding has been restored by the Wales Government following a major campaign.

Wales YFC faced pressure after it was revealed they would lose £140,000 of funding from 1 April due to budget cuts from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Welsh Government.

In response to the news, Young Farmers launched an online petition and gathered support from rural communities to fight the decision.

The Government has now agreed to award £88,600 of ‘transitional’ funding to Wales YFC while it develops a new five year plan. It is a one-off grant, and Wales YFC will need to adopt a new business model for future funding.

Iwan Meirion, Wales YFC chairman, said: “The on-going support of our members, supporters and stakeholders across Wales is much appreciated, particularly so in the last month.

"Clearly, the quality and value of services provided by the YFC across Wales is appreciated and acknowledged, and funding those services in the long term is a challenge.

"We now look forward to working with officials for the Welsh Government to fully understand and then implement the programme announced this afternoon.”

The funding cuts are a cause for concern for all YFCs and the NFYFC Council is currently reviewing services and ways of working. A 20% increase in the national levy has also been proposed by the NFYFC Council to help with some of the £200,000 shortfall in funding the Federation is facing.

03 March 2015

A lack of interest in a career in farming and food supply has prompted two of the industry’s major youth organisations to join forces to help promote the opportunities available for young people.

Bright Crop and NFYFC are teaming up to showcase the range of jobs on offer in the sector to 75,000 children, aged between seven and 19 years old, at The Big Bang Career Fair from 11-14 March at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Now in its seventh year, The Big Bang Fair is the largest celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects for young people in the UK and was the winner of the 'Educational Event of The Year' award at the UK Event Awards in 2014.

The two organisations are keen to show that a career in agriculture can be much broader than working on a farm.

Only four per cent of young people, who responded to a survey conducted on behalf of Bright Crop, said they were considering a career in farming and food supply. It is believed that misconceptions around the range of roles in the industry are dissuading children from viewing agriculture as a career option worth pursuing.

Volunteers from Young Farmers’ Clubs and Bright Crop Ambassadors will be at The Big Bang Fair to talk about their jobs and experience, as well as demonstrate the exciting opportunities on offer to young people.

Bright Crop Ambassador Andrew Brown, who will be attending The Big Bang Fair, said:

“It is vital that the food and farming sector promote their industry and its opportunities in schools. Not only are school children our customers of the future, but they are also the scientists, technicians and engineers who will drive the industry forward.

“Many children think farming and food production is all about getting cold wet and dirty, but there are so many exciting and varied careers in the sector that they may not have even considered. This is where the Bright Crop Ambassadors come in to explain how they can become involved in a forward thinking, modern and high tech industry which we all rely on every day of our lives.”

Lynsey Martin, Chair of NFYFC's Agriculture and Rural Issues Steering Group, said:

“The industry needs to go back to school to teach young people that agriculture is about technology and innovation. We need to show young people how many different roles there are in agriculture and promote the future of an industry that will be much more reliant on scientists and engineers.

“Members of Young Farmers’ Clubs do not all live and work on farms – but many of us have exciting and varied roles within the industry. We want to shout about this amazing sector and to encourage more talented people to join us in making it bigger and better.”


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