National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

13 April 2017

Leading industry figures and top broadcasters will arrive in Torquay on 21-23 April to help celebrate The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) Annual Convention.
The first time NFYFC held its Annual Convention in Torquay was 21 years ago and this year will be the tenth time the Riviera Centre has hosted the event that attracts 5,500 members of Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs). The major event has a positive impact on the local economy – estimated to be close to £4m.

One of this year’s highlights will be when radio and TV presenter Charlotte Smith is officially elected as NFYFC’s new President at the Annual General Meeting on Sunday 23 April.

Charlotte, who presents BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme and is also a regular presenter on BBC 1’s Countryfile, is keen to raise awareness of the issues surrounding rural isolation and the impact this can have on young people.

Charlotte Smith said: “NFYFC is an organisation I have always been really impressed with – especially as it teaches young people how to talk! Pretty much the youth service in rural Britain is YFCs. It is the local youth club for lots of people and it’s really important – especially for combating isolation issues.”

Charlotte will be joined at the event by five DJs from BBC Radio 1, including Young Farmers’ Ambassadors Scott Mills and Chris Stark from BBC Radio 1.

The Annual Convention, which is sponsored by Massey Ferguson for a fifth year, is the highlight of NFYFC’s calendar, offering a packed weekend of competitions, agricultural discussion and entertainment.

Highlights include:
•    AGRI Forum 2017, sponsored by Kuhn Farm Machinery, involving guest speakers Alexia Robinson founder of British Food Fortnight, Simon Haley, social media and agri business expert, Jane King, Chief Executive of AHDB and Guy Smith the Vice President of the NFU.
•    Matt Edmondson from BBC Radio 1 will DJ on Friday night, Huw Stephens and Dev from BBC Radio 1 will be playing to the crowds on Saturday night and Scott Mills and Chris Stark from BBC Radio 1 will hit the decks on Sunday night.
•    Three live bands will perform including Black Stagg, The Supergroup and RPJ band.
•    National competition finals of NFYFC’s Entertainments (which will be held at The Princess Theatre on Saturday 22 April), Cheerleading, Street Dancing and Senior Member of the Year will also take place throughout the weekend. 

Many of the clubs attending from England and Wales use the journey to Devon to raise some of the estimated £1.2 million that YFCs generate every year for charities.

Young farmers travelling from Yorkshire, Cornwall and Oxfordshire will be trekking, paddling and tandem cycling to the venue in Torquay. Thirty members of Cornwall Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs will be trekking and paddling over 100 miles from north Cornwall's coast – Padstow – to south Devon's coast – Torquay, in aid of Alzheimer's Society. YFC members from Oxfordshire and Yorkshire will tandem cycle to the event to raise money for charities Blue Skye Thinking and Anthony Nolan respectively.

NFYFC’s Chairman of Council Ed Ford said: “Many YFC members live and work in isolated rural communities and NFYFC’s Annual Convention is one of the few occasions where young farmers can unite from across England and Wales. It’s also an opportunity to take part in some serious agricultural discussions with leading experts and a time to acknowledge the fantastic work our YFCs do throughout the year to support, not only our members, but also our rural communities.

“We have built strong working relationships with the police, the local authority and businesses in Torquay to make sure this year’s event is entertaining and safe for young farmers and local residents.  Our members really enjoy visiting Torquay and all it has to offer.”

The Annual Convention starts at 1pm on Friday 21 April and closes on the evening of Sunday 23 April. 

For more information and to see the full programme of activity about NFYFC’s Annual Convention, visit

04 April 2017

Young farmers will be told they need to be bolder about self-promotion and be proud of their products if they want to build a successful career in the industry.

This critical advice will be delivered by industry leading marketing experts who will make up the panellists at NFYFC's AGRI Forum 2017, which will be held during its Annual Convention in Torquay this April.

The event, called Making our Mark!, which is sponsored by Kuhn Farm Machinery (UK) and supported by Defra, will be held on Saturday 22 April 2017 in the Forum at the International Riviera Centre in Torquay from 11am. 

The AGRI Forum is a major attraction during the weekend for YFC members and representatives from the agricultural and rural industries. This year’s discussion is set to be the biggest yet with four major marketing names preparing to share their wisdom.

Speakers include Alexia Robinson, Founder of British Food Fortnight; Simon Haley, co-founder of @AgrichatUK and general social media and agribusiness expert; Jane King, former editorial director of Farmers Weekly and current Chief Executive of AHDB; and Guy Smith, Vice President of the NFU. 

Alexia Robinson said: “Like it or not we live in a social media-driven world where he who shouts the loudest gets a lot of publicity and there are no prizes for shrinking violets.  This is not a natural trait in many farmers, most are more used to just quietly getting on with their daily work. 

“British farm produce is some of the very best in the world; there is so much to shout about and we all need to be smarter about telling the consumer why it is so high quality and why they should buy it.”

The AGRI Forum is organised by NFYFC’s Agricultural and Rural Issues (AGRI) Steering Group and a new topic is chosen annually.

AGRI Chairman Harriet Wilson, from Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, explained why marketing was chosen as this year’s topic: “There are testing times ahead for the industry so it is imperative that, as young farmers, we are equipped with the necessary skills to market ourselves, our businesses and our products if we want to succeed. This year’s AGRI Forum will help our YFC members and guests learn more about the key marketing essentials and how to make use of all of the opportunities available.”

Self-styled social media expert Simon Haley will advise young farmers on how to take advantage of the internet. He said: "We are all our own brands. And brand perception is absolutely integral to growth and success. Once you introduce that concept onto a digital platform, the internet becomes a powerful tool with which to project yourself and research others."

The AGRI Steering Group is sponsored by Kuhn Farm Machinery (UK) and the company are also sponsoring the AGRI Forum.

Siân Pritchard, Managing Director at Kuhn Farm Machinery (UK), said:  “Having spent most of my career working for Kuhn from its global headquarters in Saverne, France and fulfilling various marketing and sales roles across Europe, I commend NFYFC’s AGRI Steering Group for highlighting the importance of marketing in young farmers’ personal and professional development.”

An additional discussion group facilitated by NFU Vice President Guy Smith follows the main AGRI forum. Young farmers will be encouraged to collaborate and talk further about considerations for a future British agricultural policy in this session. 

Guy Smith said: “This time last year YFC members had a fair bit to say about Brexit. Now it's actually happened it's really important they continue the conversation. Decisions made by politicians in the next few years could colour the prospects for U.K. Farming for a generation. So it's vital that the next generation makes its voice heard now.’

There will also be the opportunity to network over lunch and view exhibitions. Please email if you would like to attend the event.
For further information, including profiles of each of the panellists visit the Annual Convention website. Follow the discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #YFCAGRIForum.


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