National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

22 September 2016

Today (22nd September) is day 4 of “National Young Farmers’ Week” – a week celebrating all things Young Farmers.

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.

One of the key things that ex-YFC members reflect upon about their time as a Young Farmer is how YFC has helped them develop as a person.

And today’s theme is about exactly that - training and development. NFYFC offers a huge range of training and development opportunities to help Young Farmers brush up their skills or learn something completely new that can help them as individuals, as well as their YFC.

In recent years, NFYFC has developed some fantastic resources, such as The Curve and The Source to help members realise their full potential. Not only that, thanks to the NFYFC’s Countryside Challenge initiative, YFCs can help with the personal development of their members – and earn cash for their club!

Rachel Tattersall, of Market Bosworth YFC, Leicestershire, got her club involved in the Countryside Challenge, by completing a 192-mile Coast to Coast walk for charity.

Rachel said: “The Coast to Coast challenge was to raise money for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance. Not only were we raising money for a vital cause, as a lot of YFCs do, but we were showing how our club was catering activities to all age groups from 10 to 26 and helping our members develop new skills like map reading, team working, self- motivation and nutrition for prolonged activities.

“Since joining YFC, I have been able to further develop time management skills. Combining a pressured full-time job, being club treasurer and trying to plan the Coast to Coast walk took a lot of organisation and hard work.

“Being a Young Farmer gives you access to loads of different activities, courses and grants, that help develop important skills such as team working, communication and self-confidence. These skills go a long way to helping members with their studies, jobs and as senior members running clubs. All members should be taking advantage of these opportunities.”

For further information about how YFC can help you with training and development, visit www.nfyfc.org.uk/developmentandtraining.


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.


20 September 2016

“National Young Farmers’ Week” 2016 is well underway – a week celebrating one of the biggest rural youth organisations in the UK. 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” will consist of a theme relating to the amazing experiences and opportunities that come with being a YFC member.

On day 2 of “National Young Farmers’ Week” (20th September), it’s time to put on those hiking boots and unearth your sense of adventure, as today’s theme is all about travel.

Since the dawn of YFC, thousands of young farmers have taken part in the YFC Travel programme, which offers YFC members the chance to enjoy a different culture and see what farming is like in another country. Past discoverers have tackled white water rapids in Canada, helped out in an ice cream factory in Sweden, shorn sheep in New Zealand and built schools in Uganda.

It was thanks to the YFC Travel programme that Jesslyn Thay, of Henley YFC, Oxfordshire, got to travel to the USA in 2015 and learn about farming on the other side of the pond.

Jesslyn said: “I spotted a post that NFYFC had shared to Facebook about a Young Farmer who had posted a photo from her trip to Australia, so I read up about the travel programme and naturally I was interested. I've always dreamed of travelling, but I wasn't brave enough to take the plunge. That's where the YFC exchange really helped me, as I could get the adventure I craved, yet it was from the comfort of an agricultural background I was familiar with.

“I had several ‘money can’t buy’ experiences during my time in Montana and North Dakota. This included camping under the Northern Lights, listening to singing coyotes, and riding horses with cowboys. Also, the families I stayed with were the kindest caring people who accepted me into their homes and treated me as their own. Everyone I met was so keen to show the best of their country.

“My trip wasn’t all fun and games - I also worked for my keep, doing odd jobs around the farms such as cleaning out grain bins; driving corn carting trucks and unloading them with augers; hand-milking goats and feeding the farmed rabbits. In North Dakota, I worked 12-hour shifts for five days driving a combine at the State University for their harvest.

“I owe YFC so much for enabling me to travel to America. There was so much support for me from both national and county level - and my club were super supportive and generous. Going away for nine weeks helped me figure out what was truly important to me, it also helped my confidence and interpersonal skills as I was constantly meeting new people and in shifting situations I had to adapt to. 

“If I had never been a Young Farmer, I'm pretty sure I would have never had the amazing opportunity I was given. I have priceless memories of a wonderful trip which was all made possible because of the fantastic organisation that is NFYFC.” 

Details of the 2017 YFC Travel Programme will be available soon at www.nfyfc.org.uk/yfctravel. Keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter for further information. 


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


16 September 2016

The aim of the Trust is to support effective voluntary youth work  in the rural areas of England and Wales. The Trust will concern itself primarily with the motivation and training of young people, developing their personalities and individual capacity to play their full part as caring and active members of their rural communities. The Trust’s aim will be achieved by making grants for projects put forward by organisations or individuals whom the Trustees are satisfied will be able to carry out such projects effectively.

The next meeting of the Rural Youth Trust will take place in London on Wednesday 5th October. Application forms & Grant Criteria are available on the website link below.  All applications are to be submitted by no later than Friday 30th September, these can be emailed to sandra.bromley@nfyfc.org.uk – RYT Secretary, or submitted via the Website link  http://www.ruralyouthtrust.co.uk/apply-to-ryt


12 September 2016

The UK farming industry is uniting to support Red Tractor Week this September as an autumn campaign dedicated to promoting great, British food gets underway.

Now in its fifth year, Red Tractor Week (12 to 18 September) includes a huge programme of activity designed to highlight the provenance of Red Tractor food to shoppers and remind them of the stringent standards that are used to produce it.

Farmers will be taking part in events at major supermarkets up and down the country to talk to the public about how British food is produced, backed up by a huge on-pack sticker promotion. Industry bodies will be spreading the message to their own audiences through digital and social media activity.

This year the event kick starts the Celebrate Great British Food campaign which runs throughout the autumn. Announced in April – and backed by UK Government – the programme of activity sees a whole range of farming organisations coming together with a clear message to consumers to look for the Red Tractor when they buy their food.

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “Whether it’s beef from the hills and pastures of the West Country or Yorkshire’s famed Wensleydale cheese, British food is renowned around the globe for its quality, innovation and tradition.

“The Red Tractor logo is an iconic symbol of this – assuring shoppers that their food is traceable, safe to eat and produced responsibly.

“It’s wonderful to see our world-leading food and farming industry joining forces to encourage everyone to shop smart and support British farmers.

Events include the NFU’s Back British Farming Day on Wednesday 14 September, British Food Fortnight, which starts on 17 September, and British Sausage Week which gets underway on 31 October.

Andrew Blenkiron, Suffolk farmer and vice-chairman of Assured Food Standards, said: “Everyone has played their part to make sure that the farming industry is united behind a single, simple message to consumers which is to support Red Tractor food. 

“This autumn’s coordinated campaign of activity gives the farming and food industry a huge opportunity to communicate the values of British food.

“People will be able to get an even better understanding of the standards that British farming adheres to, further increasing consumer loyalty and the purchasing of Red Tractor labelled products.”

The campaign sees the farming industry uniting in a concerted effort to educate consumers and raise the profile of British food.

The NFU, NFU Scotland and Ladies in Pigs have mobilised their members to ensure a strong presence at in-store retailer events up and down the country during Red Tractor Week, while the AHDB will feature the on-pack sticker promotion in television advertising during its four-week beef and lamb mini-roast campaign, starting in mid-October.   

Further support is being provided by the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, National Pig Association, Ladies in Beef and the National Sheep Association.

In store, Red Tractor is launching its biggest ever promotion designed to give food shoppers a taste of what it is like to live close to where their food comes from. On pack stickers, giving shoppers the chance to win £300 of Premier Cottages UK mini break vouchers every day for 70 days, will be found on Red Tractor assured products in all of Britain’s major supermarkets.

Farmers are encouraged to get involved in events running throughout the week at major supermarket stores across the UK, where farmers will be talking to shoppers about Red Tractor and what it means.

Free materials to help farmers talk to the public are available to order through the Red Tractor Marketing Tool Kit here, as well as a guide to engaging with shoppers through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and a campaign consumer postcard for inspiration on what to say.

For farmers wanting to get involved in Red Tractor Week, information is available online at www.redtractor.org.uk/redtractorweek


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