National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 November 2016

Counties across England and Wales welcomed back empowered County Chairs and Vice Chairs this week after an NFYFC training weekend in Derbyshire.

The Chairman's Weekend, called Kick Start your Year, was aimed at newly elected County Chairs and Vice Chairs to equip them with leadership and management skills to help them successfully and confidently tackle their year in office.

NFYFC laid on two days of interactive workshops from time management to learning more about YFC Governance. Members were made aware of all the support and resources available to them from NFYFC and also the importance of peer support and using their network of colleagues.

The weekend at Ilam Hall YHA was sponsored by Rutland Electric Fencing and received positive feedback from those who attended. As well as serious discussions about their roles, there was also a chance to socialise with other counties with an evening meal and quiz.

The two days proved to be a hit though with members returning to counties ready for action. Tom Wells, County Chair of Lincolnshire, tweeted: "Fantastic weekend with @Matthew_Denby on @NFYFC County Chairmans training weekend representing @LincolnshireYFC #feelinginspired."

While Beth Duchesne from Suffolk YFC was excited about her year ahead and tweeted:  "What an amazing weekend! Thank you @NFYFC! Can't wait to get going with my year as @Suffolkyfc chair now!"

Guests speakers over the weekend included JJ Lynch from Leading Edge Leadership who helped members get to grips with effective time management and Danny Matley from Canal and River Trust who discussed the Youth Social Action and Countryside Challenge.

NFYFC’s Youthwork Officer Cath Sykes said:  “It was great to get to know the new County Chairs and their Vices at the NFYFC’s Chairman’s Weekend and we are confident that those counties are in safe hands with such enthusiastic and inspirational people leading them.

“The weekend aimed to equip all of our Chairs and Vice Chairs with skills to help them through their year in office. It was also the perfect place for them to meet with other counties and get support from each other. We’re very grateful to Rutland Electric Fencing for sponsoring such an important weekend in the YFC calendar as these Chairs are the people who will be helping to shape the organisation’s future.”

There was plenty of opportunity for discussion over the two days as well with members giving feedback on all areas of the organisation. In the Agriculture and Rural Issues workshop members highlighted rural issues of importance for their members including rural broadband, affordable rural housing and rural transport. 

The government will be publishing a new strategy for youth services in the coming months and NFYFC has been pushing members’ views forward.

Bringing all the county chairs together showed the benefit of working together and the far reaching effect of joined-up work on behalf of young people living and working in rural areas.



21 November 2016

Collaboration with European young farmers and next generation initiatives is helping YFC members to promote future farming.

Alastair Wilson, a member of the NFU’s Next Generation Forum and November’s NFYFC CEJA representative, took young farmers’ views to a CEJA (The European Council of Young Farmers) working group meeting at Massey Ferguson Manufacturing in Breganze, Italy. The group met and discussed CEJA’s future position on environment, risk management tools and insurance.

Alastair, who is a farmer and vegetable grower from the North West on a family farm, travelled to Italy to gauge how his European farming colleagues were dealing with issues; how they viewed different topics and what they believe to be the best way of promoting the future of farming. Talking with ‘a great bunch’ of fellow Europeans allowed knowledge transfer to flow freely. You can read Alastair’s full report online.

NFYFC’s CEJA membership is shared with the NFU’s Next Generation Forum, which Alastair is a member of as well as a CEJA representative.
 
Alastair was also a delegate at the NFYFC ‘Know Your Future Market’ forum in October and from his perspective this was a really good day that offered a great spread of speakers and topics.

Alastair commented: “It’s interesting to see how people in agriculture deal with different things, what they see as opportunities and threats, their current markets and future trends. This helped me at CEJA when I spoke with fellow young farmers who had different farming interests from my own.”

Find out more about NFYFC’s membership of CEJA here.



21 November 2016

Young farmers proved the future of livestock farming is in safe hands after award-winning performances at NFYFC's Stockjudging competition finals at the English Winter Fair in Staffordshire this weekend.

Competitors as young as 13 years old were among the finalists judging pigs and beef, live and carcase in the first competition of NFYFC’s programme for 2016/17.

Around 80 members took part in the event, representing nine counties from across the Federation.

But it was Herefordshire, Yorkshire and Staffordshire that proved they knew the most about beef and pigs by winning the five team trophies between them. Yorkshire and Herefordshire also excelled in the individual categories too.
 
Teams in two classes (under 18s and under 26s) were asked to place and classify live beef and place live pigs as well as judge carcases for both animals – and give their reasons to judges over the two-day competition.

Steward Katie Brian, Senior Knowledge Transfer Manager at Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) who are one of the sponsors, said:  “It was great to see so many members from across the country, especially all the younger members who were competing for their counties. The older members need to watch out for these talented youngsters coming through.”

NFYFC has been hosting its Stockjudging competition at The English Winter Fair since 1997 and was grateful to the exhibitors for providing the stock and to Bagshaw Brothers for the carcases to be judged.

Competitors also enjoyed a YFC supper on Saturday evening, which was kindly supported by Bagshaws Agriculture.

FULL LIST OF 2016/16 STOCKJUDGING WINNERS:
 
BEEF - UNDER 18    
3rd    Nerys Lewis    Gwent
2nd    James Heath    Derbyshire A
1st    Thomas Barley    Yorkshire E
        
BEEF - UNDER 26    
3rd    Kelly Maltby    Yorkshire E
2nd    Peter James    Staffordshire A
1st    John Hanson    Herefordshire A
        
PIGS - UNDER 18    
3rd    Meg Barnes    Staffordshire B
2nd    Jessica Odgers    Lancashire A
1st    Megan Watkins    Herefordshire A
        
PIGS- UNDER 26    
3rd    Harriet Wilson    Staffordshire A
2nd    Emily Cartmail    Staffordshire B
1st    Thomas Stapleton    Yorkshire D
        
3rd    Yorkshire B    Jacob Ryder, Ellis Snowden
2nd    Herefordshire A    Lee Thomas, Megan Watkins
1st    Yorkshire E    Thomas Barley, Eleanor Hobson

SENIOR TEAM - THE BOB WILLIAMS TROPHY
3rd    Herefordshire A    John Hanson, Fay Thomas
2nd    Staffordshire B    Sally Leese, Emily Cartmail
1st    Staffordshire A    Peter James, Harriet Wilson

BEEF TEAM - THE SMITHFIELD BEEF LIVE AND CARCASE TROPHY
3rd    Staffordshire A    Robert Mollatt, Peter James
2nd    Herefordshire A    Lee Thomas, John Hanson
1st    Yorkshire E    Thomas Barley, Kelly Maltby
        
PIG TEAM - THE SMITHFIELD PORK LIVE AND CARCASE TROPHY
3rd    Yorkshire D    Daisy Roberts, Thomas Stapleton
2nd    Staffordshire A    William Leese, Harriet Wilson
1st    Staffordshire B    Meg Barnes, Emily Cartmail
        
OVERALL TEAM - THE JOHN SPEAR TROPHY
3rd    Yorkshire E    Thomas Barley, Kelly Maltby, Eleanor Hobson, Daniel Ellis
2nd    Staffordshire A    Robert Mollatt, Peter James, William Leese, Harriet Wilson
1st    Herefordshire A    Lee Thomas, John Hanson, Megan Watkins, Fay Thomas



17 November 2016

Clubs could get their hands on a share of £4,000 before Christmas just for helping out their local community.
 
Over the festive season, NFYFC is encouraging clubs to organise community projects and they will give them up to £400 to help them put their plans into action.

Thanks to funding from the Cabinet Office and the Pears Foundation, NFYFC has a pot of money to dish out every quarter of the year to five YFCs that deliver community projects. The campaign, called the Countryside Challenge, is a great way for clubs to get much-needed funds to help them support projects locally.

NFYFC is waiting for applications for this quarter and your club could be one of them that receive £400 for doing a good deed.

Many clubs have planned activities already – but they can still apply for funding too!

Your ideas could involve car boot sales to raise funds for a local charity, supporting older people in the local community, putting on a nativity performance involving your members, or major carol singing sessions.

Sedgefield YFC has already successfully applied for funding to help them host entertainment evenings in nursing homes around the local area over the Christmas season. They are hoping to cheer up residents who may be feeling lonely at this time of the year.

The Club plans to measure its success by surveying residents after their entertainment to see if they enjoyed the experience. If it’s a success, they will deliver more entertainment evenings to other care homes and they are looking to involve more young people in their activities too.

Savannah Turnbull who completed the application form for the funding said:

“Our project addresses a community need because due to other commitments, many people forget about the members of the community who are in nursing homes. I feel our members will benefit from this project as they will view elderly people in a different light and care for the community a little more.”

If you have an idea for a community project for your YFC that you would like to receive funding for, why not apply now for NFYFC’s Countryside Challenge? All the information you need to get started is online and NFYFC also offer resources to help you get your mission off the ground.



07 November 2016

NFYFC has joined the Rural Services Network to keep up to date with rural opportunities for young farmers, including available funding.

As part of the organisation's membership, the Federation receives a monthly bulletin, which highlights new opportunities and NFYFC will be highlighting these to members.

Sarah Palmer, NFYFC AGRI said: "There are many rural funding and collaborative opportunities for everyone to take advantage of and as a member of the Rural Services Network we can share these with members." 

October's Rural Opportunities Bulletin shares news on a wealth of rural funding and grant opportunities some of which will be relevant for YFCs. For more information you can read October's Bulletin here. 



04 November 2016

Young Farmers ensured their views would be considered as part of any future British Agricultural Policy when they met with the Farming Minister George Eustice in November.

The members, who are all part of NFYFC’s Agriculture and Rural Issues Steering Group, arranged a meeting with Defra to discuss the findings from the Federation’s post-Brexit survey. Members had also gathered additional input and opinions from the Know Your Future Market Forum held by NFYFC in October.

The Defra meeting was an insightful trip to the capital and a chance to highlight what young farmers would like to see in a future British Agricultural Policy.

AGRI Chair Sam Dilcock said: "The opportunity of meeting the Minister to discuss young peoples’ views and opinions was absolutely fantastic. It is very pleasing that government is taking seriously the ambitions and goals of the younger generation who will have to deal with the impacts of future policy and practices the longest.

“As a forward thinking and innovative generation, we are very grateful to the Minister for taking the time to listen to us and engage in such stimulating discussion.  It has helped us all better understand each other and work collaboratively towards the best possible outcomes for all our futures."

The full results of the NFYFC post-Brexit survey are available online but the survey will be left open to gather further opinions and thoughts for future meetings.



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