National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 August 2015

Mule rides, rodeos and tubing were just some of the amazing experiences that Gloucestershire FYFC's Poppy Stephens enjoyed on her recent excursion to Canada.

In December 2014, Poppy, 21 and from Westbury-on-Severn YFC, was one of three members selected from a large number of applicants to travel to Canada, as part of the NFYFC's travel programme and partnership with 4-H Canada, one of the country's biggest youth organisations.

Having hosted a member of 4-H Canada for a week, Poppy made the journey across the Atlantic on 23rd July to spend four weeks experiencing farming life in another country and taking in some of the breathtaking sights - and she was given an amazing welcome by her Canadian counterparts.

"The first weekend of which I stayed in Manitoba, was spent at the ‘North West Roundup Exhibition’" said Poppy. "This was a 3-day Rodeo weekend which consisted of Bareback, Tie Down Roping, Saddle Bronc, Steer Wrestling, Ladies Barrel Racing, Team Roping, Bull Riding, Wild Pony / Horse Race and Mutton Busting.

"To welcome me to Canada in true Cowgirl style, the Rodeo team organised for me to parade the grand stand in a Chuckwagon and ride one of the few English horses prior to the races, whilst the commentator explained the 4 – H Discovery programme to the audience. I declined the offer of riding a Western horse as after a practice I decided my seat wasn’t the best and went against the English technique which I have been brought up with!"

During her visit, Poppy quickly noticed the differences between farming life in Canada and the UK.

"In Canada, it is common to have fairly big farms and for the farmers to have two jobs unlike Britain. I was lucky enough to see moose (Canada’s national animal) roaming the fields and roads on the odd occasion throughout the day and evening. Buffalo are farmed on a large scale in Canada, this was evident from the 400 head of buffalo safari which I toured, and I was fortunate to sample the buffalo burger which was the local delicacy across the country, seeing it from field to fork!"

But this adventure wasn't just a learning experience for Poppy, as she was also given the opportunity to enjoy Canadian culture and take in one of the country's most iconic landmarks - Niagara Falls.

"To take in even more of the beautiful Canadian picturesque scenery I went on a mule trail ride, spent a day trekking around multiple lakes, tubing, fishing and ending the day by relaxing in the Jacuzzi. This was a good day spent meeting other 4 – H members.

"With a few days left of my trip in Canada I thought it would be worthwhile to visit Toronto. Whilst in Toronto I went on a day tour to Niagara Falls on the ‘Hornblower’ Niagara Cruise, which is known as ‘Maid of the Mist’, to view the spectacular U.S. Falls and Canadian Niagara Falls. The CN Tower was another attraction which I visited during my trip to Toronto 447 meters above Toronto, and a 360-degree view shows the complete contrast from the prairies of Manitoba and the city of Toronto with the far as the eye can see to Niagara Falls.

"Overall my month spent exploring Canada was incredible, breathtaking, and a once in a life time opportunity. Thank you to my host family, NFYFC and 4-H Canada for making this discovery trip to Canada a memorable lifetime experience. It’s fair to say I’ve met like-minded friends for life even though they live 3,800 miles away!"

Poppy's exchange partner, Katie-Jo Stehr, has written a blog about her visit to the UK, which you can read here.

Details for 2016's YFC Travel programme will be available on the NFYFC website in due course.

25 August 2015

We are thrilled, once again, to be giving away 10 pairs of show entry tickets to the fabulous show Your Horse Live - The UK’s largest equine shopping event of the year - taking place at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire 14th & 15th November. 

This year’s Your Horse Live is set to be a shopping extravaganza with over 300 stands offering great bargains for you and your horse, alongside amazing entertainment from the world’s best riders and trainers, including elite dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin.

Over two pack days you can also enjoy:

  • Live demonstrations across 2 arenas
  • The chance to meet and  greet celebrities
  • Visit gorgeous horses in need of new homes in the Rescue Village
  • Soak up expert advice in the Equine Learning Zone and much, much more!

To win you simply need to tell us why you love being a Young Farmer in 50 words or less. Simply email your answer over to, stating your full name, age, club and email address and start your message with: "I love being a Young Farmer because...".

The deadline for entries is Friday 23rd October. You must be aged between 10 and 26 to enter. The 10 winners will be chosen at random and each receive one pair of tickets to the show. The winners tickets will be distributed via a unique redemption code sent by email. 

For more show info go to

11 August 2015

Two Young Farmers have won the opportunity to develop their future in agriculture, thanks to a joint initiative between NFYFC and Massey Ferguson.

Max Rees from Maendy YFC in Glamorgan (pictured right) and Poppy Burrough of Marshwood Vale YFC in Dorset (pictured left) were selected from multiple entries to become ambassadors for Massey Ferguson's 'Home Grown Talent' initiative.

Home Grown Talent is a joint project between Massey Ferguson and the NFYFC. It aims to recognise and support young people who want to be part of the agricultural industry but are unsure about the path they would like to take at this early stage of their career development.

This new initiative was open to Young Farmers Club members aged between 10 and 16 who are keen to pursue a future in agriculture. 

As ambassadors, Max and Poppy will have a tailored programme created for them by Massey Ferguson. This programme will support them to learn more about the industry and hopefully give them an idea about what they would like to do in the future.

Included in this tailor made programme will be a trip to Massey Ferguson’s factory in Beauvais, France, work experience and activities with Massey Ferguson, an expenses paid trip to an agriculture / trade show and the opportunity to spend time with a Massey Ferguson mentor.

Max and Poppy, both aged 14, have expressed their gratitude at being chosen for this initiative.

Max Rees commented: “I really feel that this opportunity could change my life. I don't come from a generation of family farmers where farms are handed down in succession. I will not inherit a farming business and so it is up to me to make sure I have a place within the agricultural industry. Becoming a Massey Ferguson ambassador will give me that direction, experience and knowledge that is so difficult to obtain at my age. I will ensure that I make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity. I am thrilled to win. It’s going to be an enjoyable experience.”

Poppy is equally enthusiastic about the potential of her role as Home Grown Talent Ambassador. "I feel that agriculture is still widely viewed as a male profession,” she said. “Being female makes me more determined to encourage other girls who do not think that agriculture is a female job sector. Encouraging other girls to get involved in agriculture would mean a lot to me as I would play my part in developing the industry to include everyone. I was surprised and glad to hear that I had won. This is going to be a valuable experience I can use when going to college, university and for various jobs.”

Lindsay Haddon, advertising and sales promotion manager of Massey Ferguson, said: “The Home Grown Talent initiative was launched as part of Massey Ferguson’s dedication to help support the next generation of farmers with their careers in agriculture. We were extremely impressed by the applications we received from Max and Poppy and the mature and passionate answers they gave about why they wanted to be involved with this initiative. We hope that this gives them the leg up that they need in their future careers and I wish them both  the very best of luck in their roles as Massey Ferguson ambassadors.” 

Plans are already in place to hold the 'Home Grown Talent' initiative in 2016. Continue to visit the NFYFC webpage for further information.

11 August 2015

A seismic change in the way food is sold is essential or there could be dire consequences for the farming industry and rural economy, the UK’s farming unions said today.

Farming leaders, including NFYFC's AGRI Steering Group Chairman, Lynsey Martin, have jointly urged Government, retailers and processors, and the European Union not to ignore the warning signs that farming was in a state of emergency.

Lynsey attended the meeting as a representative for the next generation of dairy farmers and all Young Farmers who fear for the future of the dairy industry. She met with the four union Presidents of the NFU, NFU Scotland, NFU Cymru and Ulster Farmers Union together with FFA, TFA and CLA. Between them, they issued a joint statement asking for action in the following areas:

Government:  “We would urge farm ministers across the UK to meet urgently. They need to admit that something has gone fundamentally wrong in the supply chain and take remedial action. In general, voluntary codes are not delivering their intended purpose. Government needs to take action to ensure that contracts to all farmers are longer-term and fairer in apportioning risk and reward. At the moment in many contracts all the risk is put on the farmer with very little of the reward. Government also needs to urgently ensure that rules are put in place regarding labelling so that it is clear and obvious which products are imported and which are British.  We are all looking for government to ensure that British products are marketed abroad and that new markets are opened up for our high quality British food.”

Retailers: “Stop devaluing fresh British food like milk purely to get customers through the door. Start demonstrating right now how you are ensuring that ALL the food you are selling comes from a farm which has been paid a fair price. The British public has said time and time again that they want British food. Unless farmers’ returns are sustainable and you promote British food and label it properly the future of our supply is at risk. If you can’t demonstrate what you are doing for all food then we look to you to commit to changing.”

European Union: “There is an emergency meeting of the Council of Agriculture Ministers on September 7. We are calling for UK ministers to stand up for British farming at that meeting. In particular ensure that European safety nets are at a proper level and do something to underwrite the short term credit position of vulnerable farmers.”

British public: “Thank you for your support.  Please keep asking retailers what they are doing to ensure their farmers receive a fair price and above all keep buying British.”

Farmers: “We know that many of you are going through desperate times and we are working on your behalf. Keep being visible. Keep the British public on our side. It’s time to Back British Farming and the farming unions are looking to Government and retailers to take action now. Until they do, farmers will be making their presence felt, where they feel there is unfairness in the supply chain locally, nationally and in Europe from now and including September 7.”

10 August 2015

Whitley Chapel YFC continued its success in national competitions with victory in the men's tug of war finals at the Tenbury Show in Worcestershire. 

Having won this year's pantomime competition at April's Annual Convention, the Northumberland side (pictured right) pulled out all of the stops to claim victory, owing its success to fellow county member Stu Ridley.

Stu, who was the subject of the 'Stay Strong Stu' campaign, died of an inoperable brain tumour last month at the age of 25. Many of the Whitley Chapel team went to school with Stu.

Matthew Hope, from the Whitley Chapel team, said: "The team was really strengthened at the beginning of the year. We begun this year's training in February around the same time Stu was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. The team got together, doing the Wot-Not run, (a hand powered rail rail cart) from the Scottish border to the Northumberland County show, raising over two thousand pounds for the 'Stay Strong Stu' campaign. The team really feels that Stu really helped to inspire us throughout the year.

"The team could not be more shocked about the win to be perfectly honest. The victory really means a huge amount to the team. We are all good mates who just live a stones throw from each other and all help each other out when ever needs be, so for us all to have accomplished this together is an unbelievable feeling."

Whitley Chapel beat Bilsborrow YFC of Lancashire in the final to claim victory, with Bridgwater YFC of Somerset coming third and Waterhouses YFC of Staffordshire finishing fourth.

Meanwhile, Tenbury YFC ladies team came out on top in their home event, beating Penistone YFC of Yorkshire in the final. Haldon Group YFC of Devon came third with Hermon YFC, Pembrokeshire finishing fourth.

Trecastle YFC of Brecknock came first in the junior tournament having beaten Grayrigg YFC of Cumbria in the final. But there was good news for the Cumbria side, after they were chose to represent England in the GENSB International Tug-of-War tournament in Holland at the end of August. In the third-placed match. Worcestershire's Upton-upon-Severn YFC beat Hope Valley YFC of Derbyshire.

A full list of Results is available on the NFYFC website. You can see all of the best photos from the competition on the NFYFC Facebook page

06 August 2015

British Food Fortnight is back and will be taking place from 19th September - 4th October and the organisers are keen for YFC members to get involved and champion British produce.

Click here for more information about British Food Fortnight and how your club can get involved.


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