National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

19 September 2016

Today marks the start of “National Young Farmers’ Week” – a week celebrating one of the biggest rural youth organisations in the UK.

As part of the NFYFC’s Recruitment & Retention campaign (sponsored by the Rural Youth Trust), each weekday of ‘National Young Farmers’ Week’ will consist of a theme relating to the amazing experiences and opportunities that come with being a YFC member.

Today’s theme in National Young Farmers’ Week focuses on a subject which is at the heart of YFC and has been since the first club was founded almost a century ago – Agriculture and Rural Issues (AGRI).

Interacting with government bodies and industry leaders, such as the NFU, the NFYFC aims to be the voice of the UK’s rural youth and the next generation of farmers. The Federation was established for the purpose of advancing the education of its members and their knowledge of agriculture, rural issues and country life. It also aims to promote agriculture as an attractive and viable career choice.

Despite being from a non-farming background, it is thanks to YFC that Charlie Cunningham, of Culm Valley YFC, Devon, is now pursuing a career in farming – as well as teaching children about agriculture.

Charlie said: “My parents are from completely non-agricultural backgrounds, both coming from big cities and have their own family-run business. The main appeal about the agricultural industry for me is that it is so diverse and always changing. I've always said I never wanted a job where I'd be doing the same thing and you can't get much better than that with agriculture. Every day industry, politics and the markets are presenting new challenges for us to tackle

“I'm currently studying for a degree in Agricultural Management at Cannington College, Bridgwater. It is a degree run through Plymouth & Reading University. I am hoping this will help me pursue a career working in the dairy industry.

 “One of my biggest passions now is the education of agriculture to children in the hope of getting more children, who are from backgrounds like me, getting on board with the industry and the fantastic movement that is YFC. Last summer, I spent a day at the North Somerset Showground, teaching local schoolchildren how to make butter, which they were able to get involved with and loved. It was such an eye opener for some of the inner city children!

“Being a member of YFC is the whole reason I am now in pursuit of a career in agriculture! From going to my first meeting, Young Farmers has opened up a whole new world to me. Without it, I would have never known about agriculture as a career possibility. Even when I'm not such a young farmer anymore, I'll be forever thankful for the start up YFC has given me and the support network too. I cannot stress how important it is to anyone, regardless of background, in rural areas to join up; you definitely don't have to be one to be one!”

For further information about the NFYFC’s role within agriculture and rural issues, please visit: www.nfyfc.org.uk/agri


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