30 October 2015
A TV crew from the show, which is the most watched factual programme on British television, descended upon Blackmore Farm in Bridgwater to film a Rural+ workshop, run by the campaign's founder, Claire Worden.
Claire set up the campaign when she was national Chairman to highlight mental health issues amongst young people living in rural isolated areas.
During the show, Claire was interviewed by Countryfile presenter, Tom Heap, about her own personal experiences and battles with mental health. This was followed by a workshop, led my Claire and Matt Caldicott from FCN and featuring YFC members from Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire. Members opened up and discussed their own experiences with rural isolation.
Viewers turned to social media to praise the coverage featured on BBC Countryfile, as #RuralPlus reached an audience of over 250,000 people:
— Dominic Smith (@Maenllwyd) October 11, 2015
Claire said: “When I launched the Rural+ campaign, I never thought that it would receive the kind of publicity that it has. I am delighted with the coverage that the campaign received on BBC Countryfile. It was a very emotional day for all of the Young Farmers involved and that emotion was portrayed brilliantly. I feel it really put the campaign, and Young Farmers’ Clubs, in a really positive light. I am really grateful to the BBC Countryfile team, to all of the YFC members from Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire who attended the group session, and also to FCN and Tama for everything they have done to make the Rural+ campaign so successful.”
You can watch the show on the BBC iPlayer by clicking here. It will be available on the NFYFC website soon.
Read more about Rural+ here.
30 October 2015
Q. Why did you want to be YFC ambassadors?
Scott: I have played Young Farmers’ gigs for a very long time, even from when I started at Radio 1. I think Harper Adams was the first gig I did, which Chris and me still do to this day. I think our show lends itself to that time of day where we get a lot of interaction from Young Farmers because they’re generally on their own and they have a lot of time while working hard to listen to the radio. Unlike other people, who perhaps dip in and out of the show, they can properly listen and get involved. It’s generally a solitary thing that they’re doing and that’s what radio is all about for me. It’s a one-to-one thing, people don’t generally listen to the radio in crowds of people. It’s part of your routine knowing we’re on the radio at a certain time of the day and that becomes part of your daily life and that’s why I got into radio in the first place. It’s quite a personal medium between a listener and a presenter.
Chris: When I started at Radio 1 I didn’t really know about Young Farmers. When I did my first Young Farmers’ gig I was amazed by it – it was such a good night. The more I have learnt about Young Farmers on Radio 1, I really appreciate that there’s a massive amount of them in the UK who work very, very hard. It is incredible what they do for British farming and it’s great for us to be part of their daily lives with the time that the show is on. They’re a large group of young people who love Radio 1 and I feel that Scott and me are in a position to recognise that and give something back.
The first gig I did was either at the Burwarton Show or with Dereham YFC and I thought it was the strangest thing to turn up to a field in the middle of nowhere. I was absolutely convinced there was going to be no one there. But there was a field full of a thousand Young Farmers having the best time. That’s why I admire Young Farmers, because they work really hard but then they play hard as well and I have a lot of respect for that kind of lifestyle.
Q. Have you had much experience of Young Farmers?
Scott: We live and work in London so often we get to a gig an hour or so before and the members will often show us around and make us feel included. They want to show you what their lives are like so we have got a good feel for it from that.
Chris: Due to the amount of gigs we have done with Young Farmers, we have got more and more of them involved in the show. They send in a lot of stories – we get loads and there are a lot we don’t end up talking about on air. We get a lot of emails and tweets from Young Farmers so we feel like we’re learning all the time about this community of people that we want to support. We’ve started to see more of the issues that affect farmers, especially at the moment, and because of the level of communication we have with Young Farmers, we feel we are in a position to be able to help them a little bit.
Q. Do you wish you were still young enough to join YFC?
Scott: Yes, I’m an old farmer! We even did a song recently for Young Farmers reworking the Avicii song and that got a massive response from people. It’s a community I didn’t know much about. You do a gig like the AGM and they’re a massive part of our audience – the same as students or people at school. We should be representing Young Farmers and because we mention them on the show we naturally have an affinity with them now.
Young Farmers’ gigs are the best because they work so hard. We know that for a lot of people they save up all year and the AGM is their actual holiday and they go crazy! That’s the difference between some of the student gigs we might do because you get the feeling they’re out for a big night and you get a good atmosphere from it. It’s very rare you’ll have a bad Young Farmers’ gig.
Before we did it, I don’t think Radio 1 talked about Young Farmers much before. That’s purely because we’ve been to these gigs and seen how many of them there are and what avid listeners they are to our shows.
Chris: Young Farmers’ gigs are the best. What I see at these YFs gigs is what I would like to be a part of so it’s great DJing at them – they seem like amazing nights out. Everyone is generally really positive and friendly. It’s a fun night to go there and have a few drinks and talk to people as well as DJ. People are so enthusiastic. Young Farmers really show it when they like a DJ – they make you feel so welcome. The reception you get when you walk out at a Young Farmers’ gig is like no other because they want to support you. That’s such a warm and lovely feeling.
Q. During National Young Farmers Week, we’re trying to attract more young people to join who are not necessarily from a farming background. How can our clubs do that?
Chris: We are those people. Encouraging people to join this amazing community that aren’t necessarily working in the fields is an amazing thing, as that is basically what Scott and me are hoping to represent. We have the upmost respect for Young Farmers and we just want to be part of the Club really. We want to support them. It’s in our interest as a lot of them are providing the food that ends up on our plate. It’s great for us to support as non-farmers and we want to encourage other people similar to us, who maybe didn’t even know about NFYFC.
Q. What can YFCs learn from your show about appealing to a wide range of ages?
Scott: We try to do stuff that makes us laugh and we test it on other members of the team to check you could enjoy it if you were 10 or 26, or older. For our show it’s keeping the appeal quite broad and making sure it will make a lot of people laugh. Even though it’s aimed at a young audience, it’s not meant to feel exclusive so if you’re 10 you wouldn’t feel left out or if you were in your late 20s.
Chris: Young Farmers are already doing a lot of the right stuff. They are constantly communicating with our show now. Young Farmers have amazing resources – I would love a tractor and a field to play around with on the show. We could make some amazing videos with that. This is where Scott and me can help as we want people to get in touch with the show and express themselves in any creative way they like. If you’re not sure where to send that stuff, send it to us and we can be talking about it. There is a lot of stuff that Young Farmers are making – such as videos – and they’re hidden on their Facebook accounts. There are more ways they can get that out there a bit more.
During National Young Farmers’ Week, represent what you love about farming. Young Farmers are very proud people and that’s why they work hard – and often for little reward. It’s important that they represent their passion and their lives through the fun and creative stuff they can do. In that one week, they should focus on what makes them really proud about being a Young Farmer, about being a British farmer, and use it as a time to show it off.
Scott: It’s fascinating for us because it’s not our lives. And we’re not doing that in a ‘ooo aren’t they funny in their fields..’ it’s done with a lot of love and fascination about people’s lives as it’s not a life that we lead. There are dating sites for Farmers that we’ve only just discovered!
I would say that they need to make the week fun and get a message across. We’re aware of how hard they work – but they also know how to let their hair down a lot, which is good.
Q, Which of these YFC Competitions would you enter and why?
Tug of War
Scott: Maybe I could put my Ballroom shows on again – I still have them. I do point out when people are doing bad footwork now (even though I can’t do it).
Chris: There’s a TV show in that Fence Erecting…Mills knows Simon Cowell, we should get him on to that – Fence Factor! A Radio 1 Tug of War would be one of the most pathetic things you’d ever see. I’m uber competitive though so I think Id like to give the Tug of War a go – and I would give everything to it.
Q. One of next year’s competitions is a to produce a live radio show – any tips for our YFCs?
Scott: They should include as much about their lives as possible and don’t try and make it sound like a radio show you’ve heard before. Make it sound bespoke to that community would be my tip rather than just copy what you’ve heard on the radio or things you like. Make it based around what you do in your every day lives and that could be quite fun.
Chris: I would go for a different tack. I think they should go full on Five Live commentary on the Fence Erecting competition and make it sound like it’s the Champions League Final.
Q. Any examples of live on air flops?
Chris: Just type my name in on Google and you will see them all. Mills holds it together. Most of the stuff that Scott gets me to do is embarrassing. Scott teamed up with Jennifer Aniston and told her to be really horrible and awkward. When Scott appeared half way through I just wanted the ground to swallow me up. I realised then that he’d stitched me up. I still need to get him back for that. That’s something I would like Young Farmers everywhere to help me with – how to stitch Scott up.
Scott: Chris’ interview with Mila Kunis is a prime example of when things go wrong, people love it.
22 October 2015
The first ever “National Young Farmers’ Week” will take place between 2nd and 8th November. Each weekday during “National Young Farmers’ Week” will consist of a theme relating to the opportunities available to all 25,000 of its members.
The week is part of a larger national campaign to try and encourage young people living in rural areas to join their local club – even if they are not from a farming or agricultural background.
One member who has benefited greatly from being a YFC member, despite having no experience in farming, is Jess Roche from Dunmow YFC in Essex.
Jess, who is currently studying law at Durham University, said: "If someone was to make an assumption about a Young Farmer stereotype, I guess I would be pretty far removed from it. I grew up in London I have no farming connections whatsoever. One of my friends wanted to go along and convinced me to join her for a meeting. I was pretty sceptical as what did I know about farming? However, I've never met a bunch of people who are so welcoming and made me feel so included.
"I'm very passionate about trying to encourage non farmers to join the federation as I've got an unbelievable amount out of being a member. It's helped me get into a top university as well as getting a job due to the valuable experiences and lessons I've learnt through participating in YFC activities.”
You can read more about Jess’ experiences as a Young Farmer by visiting www.nfyfc.org.uk/morethantractors. For more information about National Young Farmers’ Week, please visit www.nfyfc.org.uk/nationalyoungfarmersweek.
02 October 2015
Young Farmers are being offered the opportunity to prove how important their work is – by taking part in an innovative research project about supply chains.
Members of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) are invited to take part in the project, called “MyChainReaction”, to help researchers and government understand supply chains, particularly within the agricultural industry. The project is being led by Professor Jan Godsell of the University of Warwick.
Young Farmers can use this project to post stories or upload pictures or videos demonstrating the important role they play within the supply chain and explain how their produce ends up with the consumer.
Supply chains within agriculture have received plenty of attention in recent weeks, particularly in light of the recent crisis within the dairy industry.
Lynsey Martin, NFYFC AGRI chairwoman said: “We have seen significant changes to the dairy sector in recent weeks because the supply chain has become more visible to the public. They now have a better understanding of why dairy farmers are struggling to make ends meet in the current market and progress has been made to improve the situation. It would be really good if we could keep up this momentum across the whole of the agricultural industry, as well as doing our bit to help highlight food chain issues back to government.”
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