National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

21 September 2016

We are approaching the halfway stage of “National Young Farmers’ Week” and YFCs all over the country have been celebrating their club and everything that is great about being a Young Farmer.  As part of the NFYFC’s (National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs) Recruitment & Retention campaign (sponsored by the Rural Youth Trust), each weekday of “National Young Farmers’ Week” consists of a theme relating to the amazing experiences and opportunities that come with being a YFC member.

Today’s theme for “National Young Farmers’ Week” (21st September) is competitions. From singing to stockjudging, competitions have been at the heart of YFC for years.

Not only are competitions a brilliant motivator for club members to have a go at something new and broaden their experiences, they are also a fantastic tool for counties and clubs to meet their charitable objectives of promoting education and learning.

Each year the NFYFC competitions programme includes a mix of traditional rural and agricultural activities, sport, art, life and vocational skills, as well as competitions that help develop public speaking talents - for which YFC members have become renowned.

Since she joined Tewkesbury YFC, Gloucestershire, eight years ago, Steph Watkins has been a regular participant in club, county and national competitions. From public speaking to flower arranging, Steph has done it all!

“Back in 2008 (my first year of Young Farmers), I was asked to do the junior flower arranging. To my surprise I won at our county Rally, then again at the Royal Three Counties. I then competed at the National finals and came fourth. That experience gave me confidence and showed me that if you try something, you never know what you can achieve. Every year since, I have done the flower arranging and this experience gave me the push to try something new like public speaking.

“It’s not just the winning; you are always competing for a team or representing your club, county or area when you participate in a competition. Over the years I have learnt to sew, cook, stockjudge and so much more. Every time you compete you learn something new, from other competitors, to judges and your own thoughts that can help you improve your performance next time.

“I still get butterflies every time I compete! If I said I wasn’t competitive I’d be lying. Being competitive drives you to do well and give it your best and you could even surprise yourself.

“Young Farmers has played a big part in my life for many years, helping me gain so much confidence within myself but allowing me to grow more each day. It has opened many opportunities for me, making me the person I am today.  My life within Young Farmers is now changing, as I want to give back what it has given me. I am now taking on leadership duties as club chairman and hope to be county chairman in a few years. This is down to the confidence I’ve gained from competing over the years.”

The 2016/17 NFYFC competitions programme will be available on our website next week, where you will see a full list of the competitions that are on offer to Young Farmers. Simply go to www.nfyfc.org.uk/competitions for further information.


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