National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

24 March 2016

NFYFC Chief Officer James Eckley has been given a top honour by the Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies.

In a glitzy ceremony at the House of Lords in London, James received his Associateship of Royal Agricultural Societies (ARAgS) from the Countess of Wessex “in recognition of contribution to practice and development of agriculture”.

James was sponsored in his application for the Associateship by NFYFC President Poul Christensen and Gordon Gatward, who sits on the NFYFC’s Board of Management. Poul and Gordon are both Fellows of the (FRAgS). James said: “This is recognition from the industry, so I feel very honoured to receive it.”

“It’s also a great recognition of the work that NFYFC does helping develop young people from rural communities.”

Poul said: “I had no hesitation in sponsoring James for this deserved award. He has been instrumental in making sure that the NFYFC remains in good shape to meet its future challenges and has done an enormous amount of work in helping members reach their full potential.”

24 March 2016

Following the hugely popular "Cook for The Queen" competition for children that was held for the Diamond Jubilee, the organisers, Love British Food, are inviting schools to join in this summer’s Royal celebrations and commemorate Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday by making a Cake for The Queen. 

The Queen’s official 90th Birthday is being celebrated on the weekend of the 11th and 12th June 2016.  It begins with a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, followed by Trooping the Colour on Saturday.  The finale takes place on the Sunday when the Mall will be transformed for Britain’s largest ever street party.   

Communities across the country will be celebrating this historical occasion in many wonderful ways and schools are invited to join in the national celebrations by holding a fun birthday party, the centre piece of which will be a very special birthday cake for Her Majesty made by the children themselves.  The more delicious, the healthier and the more spectacular the better!

The competition sets a specific challenge: as well as making a cake that is spectacular to look at and is decorated in a manner fit for Royalty, it must be made with healthy ingredients.  The healthier, the fresher and the more local the better.  This is an opportunity to teach children that there are alternatives to sugar!  We want the delicious flavours of the ingredients to sing out in your cakes and for sugar and marg to take a back seat.  

Photos of the top five winning cakes will be made into a montage and presented to Her Majesty The Queen as a birthday souvenir and the winning school will be treated to an exclusive trip to Buckingham Palace, during British Food Fortnight (17th September – 2nd October 2016) 

How to take part

Taking part is easy.  The competition is open to any group of children of school age and all you have to do is:

1.      Adapt a traditional cake recipe using healthy and/or local ingredients or create your own brand new recipe.  Eating healthily doesn’t mean you have to give up all things nice, in fact it is an opportunity to discover new, delicious ingredients to use. For example, did you know… 

  • Beetroot, courgette and carrots are all examples of vegetables that can be used in cakes?
  • White refined sugar can be replaced with honey, fruit syrup or seasonal fruit?
  • There are many delicious local butters available to use in place of margarine.

2.      Bake and decorate the cake in a manner fit for The Queen.

3.      Share and eat the cake – have a Royal Birthday Party for the class or the whole school.  You could make it a fancy dress party with all the children dressing up to commemorate different features of Her Majesty’s reign: The Queen as a child, her wedding, Coronation, overseas tours, her love of horses and her famous corgis.

4.      Send us: up to five photos of the cake, of the children making it and your Royal Birthday Party, plus a description of the recipe and ingredients you used and how and why you adapted it.

Who can take part? 

The competition is open to any group of children of school age (primary and secondary) in the UK.  The group should have an adult as a co-ordinator / point of contact.

How to Enter

To enter, send your photos and a description of what you did, including your cake recipe to by 15th July 2016. Don’t forget your name, your school or group name and a contact telephone number.

Winners will be notified w/c 18th July and the prize tour of Buckingham Palace will take place during British Food Fortnight (September 17th- October 2nd).

For more information about Cake for the Queen visit the Love British Food Website:

Love British Food’s official sponsor in 2016 is Co-op Food.

14 March 2016

Members of Cornwall FYFC are once again preparing for another gruelling fundraising challenge ahead of this year's NFYFC Annual Convention in Blackpool.

Every year, a group of Young Farmers from the county federation, called the "WotNot", take on a daunting method of travel to get to the Annual Convention in an attempt to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

This year's challenge has been organised by Cornwall's county chairman, Georgina Monk, and will see 25 "WotNotters" don their bike helmets and cycle over 350 miles to Blackpool in just six days. The challenge has been dubbed "Monkey's Magical Mystery Tour" and will raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support, a Charity that is very close to Georgina's heart.

Georgina said: "My Granny died of cancer three years ago and she was looked after in her final months by MacMillan Cancer nurses which, being 400 miles away, meant that we felt better that she was in safe hands. They also helped my Granddad deal with everything. Cancer affects so many people, and is an illness that has directly or indirectly affected everyone. In doing this challenge, we would like to raise money to make sure that these nurses are available to deliver the care that their patients and affected family member needs."

"Monkey's Magical Mystery Tour" will begin at the National Agricultural Centre, in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. The team will then head up to Scarborough, the home of Georgina's grandfather, before heading across the country to Blackpool. The team are aiming to arrive during registration at the Winter Gardens on Friday 6th May.

Georgina is hoping to raise £5,000 from this challenge. To make a donation, please visit the "WotNot" JustGiving page, or text CYFC37 £10 (or £1, £3, £5) to 70070.

You can follow the team's progress on social media by using the hashtag #WOTNOT2016.

10 March 2016

Members of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) can put their innovation skills to the test, with a new farm machine design competition. The “Dream Machine” competition, in conjunction with Kuhn Farm Machinery, will see Young Farmers submit an idea or concept of a new farm machine that could be used in the agricultural industry.

The four winning YFC members will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Kuhn’s headquarters in Saverne France. As part of the trip, they will have the opportunity to present their “Dream Machine” concepts to the company’s head designers.

This competition underlines Kuhn’s continued partnership with the NFYFC and the company’s dedication to the future of farming and agriculture.

Sian Pritchard, managing director of Kuhn Farm Machinery (UK), said: “Since Kuhn began its partnership with NFYFC, we have been really impressed by the levels of innovation and creativity that we have witnessed from the members. These attributes are vital in ensuring that the agricultural industry remains sustainable in the future. This competition is a great opportunity for Young Farmers to showcase that creativity and demonstrate how innovative they truly are. We are very much looking forward to seeing the designs these Young Farmers come up with.”

The deadline for competition entries is Thursday 31st March 2016 and the winners will be announced at the NFYFC’s AGRI Forum (on 7th May) at the Annual Convention in Blackpool. For further information and details of how to enter the “Dream Machine” competition, please visit

04 March 2016

The third Farmers Apprentice competition is open and ready for entries. We are looking for bright, enthusiastic and highly motivated 18-25 year olds able to show their potential to run a successful business.

You don’t need to have a farming background, but you will need to be free from 10-15 July to take part in bootcamp and available to take up a one-year internship with Farmcare sometime afterwards. Here are five compelling reasons why you should enter NOW at

1.         The prize

This is your fast track to becoming a farm manager!

The winner of this year’s Farmer Apprentice has a one-year internship with Farmcare, one of Britain’s biggest farming operations. They will receive mentoring and training across the whole of Farmcare’s operations which span 16,000ha from Carnoustie to Kent. 

This is a chance in a lifetime to learn about the whole field to fork operation with one of UK’s leading farm businesses; experience and skills that can be applied to almost any food or farming business.

2.         The bootcamp experience

You’ll need plenty of energy and enthusiasm to last the 6 days and nights of full-on `fun’ at bootcamp. Bishop Burton, just outside Hull, is the setting for challenges that will test your problem solving, leadership and team working skills to name but a few. You’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone and you’ll come away exhausted, but inspired, and energised to tackle your dreams.

Here’s what previous contenders said of Bootcamp:

“Bootcamp was life-changing, no seriously it fuels the fire.” Richard Bradley

“Supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus!!!  Great experience, huge learning curve revealing things you never knew about yourself.” Annabelle Story

“Eye-opening, enriching and valuable… an experience I will never forget.” Charlotte Foxhall

“The best week of my life, honestly.” Sophie Barnes

And if you still need convincing have a look at this taster of life at Bootcamp.

3.         Your CV

This is an opportunity, whether you win or not, to make your CV stand out. It’s worked for all the other 20 contenders so far and it should work for you too.

Whether applying for a job, internship or work experience having a week at Farmers Apprentice Bootcamp is unique. It’s your personal brand image that you are building – and the evidence is all on film!

“After winning Farmers Apprentice in 2012, a farmer in Cumbria tweeted me saying to pop in and say hello, I took him up on this and now he is my current boss!”

George Brown, Dairy Herd Manager, Cairnhead Farm in Ainstable, Cumbria.

“I can say for sure that being a 2014 finalist has helped to improve my CV, and helped me to get my placement with Genus!”

Rebecca Kelsall, Harper Adams University.

“When I applied for a job with Bayer, some of the people that were interviewing me had already seen me on Farmers Apprentice. It gave me a foot in the door and was a great ice-breaker.”

Catherine Barrett, Commercial Technical Advisor, Bayer CropScience.

“It has done a great deal to make my CV stand out as a candidate for new positions, this is something that employers have actually told me.”

Kate Yells, Royal Agricultural University.

4.         The contacts you will make

It’s the people you and meet and know who shape your future. At FA bootcamp you will have access to some key industry influencers that can support you in your future career – be they the sponsors (Bayer, New Holland, Farmcare, The Co-op and Bishop Burton) or the judges and experts involved in testing and mentoring you.

Equally important are your fellow Farmers Apprentice contenders; these are life-long friends in the making. Despite the `competitive’ element of this week, there is a camaraderie and shared ambition that will bind you all.

“I met a recruiter at Bootcamp and got a job as a Ruminant Nutritionist on the back of Farmers Apprentice 2014!”

Carwyn Jones, Account Manager, For Farmers

5.         Fun

There are a lot of laughs and not just those that are at your expense! Trying not swear in front of the camera brings an added stress level, but it’s amazing what the film editor can do.

“My fondest memories of Bootcamp include lifetime friends, lessons learnt, brilliant mentors and a lot of laughter,”

Rebecca Thorpe, Newcastle Waters Station, Northern Territory, Australia

Article written by Debbie Beaton - Farmers Weekly.

03 March 2016

The NFYFC is calling on all of its clubs and county federations to show their love for their community by taking part in the “Countryside Challenge”.

In December, The NFYFC received funding from the Cabinet Office and Pears Foundation to progress the work of Youth Social Action. As such, the Federation is now looking to support five community projects per quarter until the summer of 2017. This will be done by providing tools, resources and training to get them started, as well as offering an amount of enabling money. 

One project that clubs are being encouraged to get involved with is “Clean for the Queen”. This is a campaign to clean up Britain in preparation for the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, patron of NFYFC.

Mark Hurst, chairman of the NFYFC’s Personal Development steering group, said: “The Countryside Challenge is an opportunity for YFC members to provide a service to help their local community. This could be helping elderly people within the area or launching a project that meets the needs of the local community. 

“We are calling on all of our YFCs to join with their local council and 'Clean for the Queen'. This campaign is perfect for Young Farmers as not only will it help their local community, but it will help with the celebrations of the patron of their Federation.”

For more information about the Countryside Challenge, please speak to NFYFC’s youth development officer, Cath Sykes. Information about the “Clean for the Queen” campaign can be found at:


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