National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

31 March 2015

A group of eager and dedicated members from the Worcestershire Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs are preparing to complete a 160 mile run to Torquay from their County Office in order to raise money for two very worthy causes.

The team of 20 will be running in groups of three in a rolling 5km relay over 160 miles along the A38 from Hawford, Worcester to the location of 2015's Annual Convention. This will mean that over the three days it takes to complete the run, each member will have completed a marathon by the time they reach Torquay.

The Worcestershire Young Farmers will be raising money for Cancer Research UK and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Worcester Hospital - two causes that are close to the hearts of the runners, especially county chairman, Matt Tomkins (pictured far left).

Matt said: "It didn’t take us very long to decide which causes/charities we wanted to support this year. The Neonatal Unit at Worcester Hospital helped support a couple who have supported not only their local Young Farmers club but also the County Federation for many years. Sue and Mark Symonds had their world turned upside down with the very early arrival of their son, young Thomas at just 29 weeks in November last year. The support they received from the unit and all the hard work from the staff there helped them through a very difficult time, and we are so pleased that Thomas is doing so well now. Young Farmers is just as much about helping other charities, despite us being a registered charity ourselves. We are thrilled to be able to give something back to the local community."

Jane Righton, one of the runners, also expressed her thanks to the unit, which helped her with the premature birth of her twins, Evie and Olivia. Weighing in at just 2lb and 3lb Jane said that she couldn’t thank the Unit enough for all of their hard work to help the girls get strong enough to go home and for the continued support she and her family obtained from the staff there.

Cancer Research UK was also a significant charity to the group. Matt revealed that "I lost a close friend a few years ago to cancer. It was a very sad time for his family and friends, as well as his local club, Upton YFC. He was a much loved character and was thought of highly by his peers. I have been waiting for an opportunity to do something big for the charity, and now seems like the perfect opportunity."

The run will be taking place between the 22nd – 24th April 2015, arriving at the Rivieira International Centre in Torquay between 1:00pm and 2:00pm but they require lots of help and support in the meantime.

Matt went on to finish by saying: "All of our runners have worked extremely hard to prepare for the run and also to help with the fundraising side of it too. Young Farmers is not just a youth organisation, when you join, you become part of a family that will follow you throughout your life if you want it to. We want to give something back to causes that mean a lot to us, that have helped support our friends and family in their hour of need, of which we are ever thankful for. We cannot complete our goal without the help of others, so please help us as much as you can, no matter how big or small. Every little helps. Thank you.’

For more information regarding the run, sponsorship or auction you can call 01905 621616. You can also email matt at matt.tomkins@live.co.uk. You can even follow the groups progress on Twitter @WFYFC_Challenge or at www.worcsyfc.org.uk.

If your club or county is taking on a fundraising challenge en route to this year's Annual Convention, NFYFC would love to hear from you. Email details about your challenge to magazine@nfyfc.org.uk.


31 March 2015

The NFYFC Youth Forum has received recognition for its development of the 'Watch That Cowpat!' game, by picking up a top Award.

The Youth Forum came up with the idea of 'Watch that Cowpat!' last year and received funding of £500 for their project. The game, which is supported by the Rural Youth Trust, encourages participants to make connections between products that we see on supermarket shelves and their source on the farm, through a spinner board, which lists food products, and the player connecting this to its respective source on the floor mat. Their efforts were rewarded last week when they picked up a NCVYS (National Council for Voluntary Youth Services) Action Squad Award.

The NCVYS Action Squad Awards 2015 aim to showcase and celebrate good practice amongst social action teams that have made a positive and lasting impact on their environment. Nominees were invited to attend the Shaping Social Action Conference on March 25 2015 where the winners were announced.

Former chairman, Sioned Davies, spoke on behalf of the Youth Forum at the Conference and helped the team win an additional £500 for being the best action squad. Sioned tweeted: "@NFYFC @NCVYS thanks so much for the opportunity! It was a good session and we had lots of interest!"

Meanwhile, Butsfield YFC also won an Action Squad award and received £500 for completing their youth social action project. The club, from County Durham, cleaned up a nature reserve for the benefit of their local church in the village of Satley that would benefit the whole village.

Kate Tomlinson, from Butsfield YFC, said: "We spent a really good day improving a nature reserve behind a church in our local area, putting on new gates, clearing the whole area, putting down a new path etc. Everyone who took part (about 22 of us) had a great time".

Learn more about the NFYFC Youth Forum here.


 




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: www.nfyfc.org.uk/national_news?articleid=10826&single=1


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.


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