National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 June 2017

NFYFC observed a minute’s silence at its June Council meeting in Coventry to remember agricultural stalwart John Alliston who died in June.

John was emeritus professor of agriculture at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) and is known to many YFC members who have been taught by him over the years.

He was also the first Chairman of the Henry Plumb Foundation and only last year was awarded a Farmers’ Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the 50 years that he had devoted to British agriculture, research and education.

Ed Ford, Chairman of NFYFC, said: “It is with great sadness that we learned of the sudden death of John Alliston. Many YFC members will know John and have fond memories of the time spent learning from one of the masters of our industry.

“His legacy will live on in the lives of so many young farmers that spent time with him at the RAU and through his support for new food and farming projects at the Henry Plumb Foundation.

“Our thoughts are with John’s family at this difficult time.”

Anyone wishing to pass on their condolences to the family is asked to do so through an email to RAU Alumni Office or by sending to Alumni Office, Royal Agricultural University, Stroud Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1WA. The photo of John Alliston is from the RAU website.

The minute’s silence during the Council weekend also remembered all those who had lost their lives in the recent terrorism attacks, including Cheshire FYFC member Nell Jones, and the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.


27 June 2017

NFYFC is searching for seven YFC members to join a Governance Review working party that will help modernise and shape the Federation’s governance and rules.

Applications for the posts are needed by Friday 7 July so work can begin quickly on the necessary changes. The purpose of the working party is to review current arrangements, recommend changes and additions, modernise governance operations and the language used in the ruling documents. It is important to the NFYFC Board of Management that the group includes YFC members who can prepare a draft document that will then be presented to the YFC community for consultation.

The working party is supported by several ‘experts’ on organisational governance and experts in the operations of the NFYFC’s current governance and rules. 

The working party will be expected to edit the first draft of the document they prepare to include any recommendations following the consultation with NFYFC’s membership. 

Work involved

Members of the working party will be expected to attend two or three meetings as well as join two or three conference calls to carry out the work. 

As the group will comprise YFC members from across England and Wales, it is expected the meetings will take place at the YFC Centre, Stoneleigh Park, which is central location.  Travel expenses will be available. The dates for the meetings are set, and these are:-

  • Friday 18th August 2017
  • Saturday 25th November 2017
  • Saturday 20th January 2018

We are looking for people who have:  

  • A good level of YFC experience
  • Understanding of the relationships between clubs, count federations, YFC area committees and NFYFC
  • A good communicator – someone who expresses their opinion, argues their point and listens to and compromises with other opinions
  • Prepared to commit to two or three full day meetings and some Skype/phone meetings
  • Ideally in membership age

Please note

  • You do NOT need to be a member of Council or an YFC area committee
  • You do NOT need to have read or have any knowledge of the constitution and standing orders.

To express an interest in joining the group, or to nominate a YFC member, please email Sandra Bromley by the close of business on Friday 7th July 2017.


27 June 2017

Thanks to feedback from YFC members a new NFYFC Sheep Shearing Competition will be launched in 2018 and it is hoped that the final will be held at The Great Yorkshire Show.

NFYFC asked members on social media for their feedback about running a sheep shearing competition and the response was positive. A Twitter poll showed 94% of respondents loved the idea of hosting the competition and a post on Facebook received a massive response with Ian Francis saying: “It is a great task to have as a national competition.”

Each Area of the Federation will be asked to hold a Sheep Shearing competition eliminator during 2017-18 and all competitors will need to have a ‘Blue Seal’ recognised qualification. NFYFC will be following BISCA Rules for the competition. Discussions are taking place with the Great Yorkshire Show committee about hosting the national final at the event.

Further details about the competition will be sent out to Counties in the next few weeks.

The decision was made during the June Council weekend where the Competitions Steering Group met to finalise rules and plans for 2017-18 competitions and arrange activities for 2018-19.

It was also confirmed during the weekend that the Performing Arts competitions for the next three years will be Pantomime in 2018, Entertainments in 2019 and Drama in 2020.

There will also be Ballroom Dancing and Choir among the 2018 competitions line-up, as well as Mixed Rounders, Mixed Tough Rugby and Mixed Netball.

Chairman of the Competitions Steering Group Rachel Parker from Lancashire FYFC asked Council members to being suggestions to the next Council meeting for potential venues where the Tug of War competition final can be held in 2019. 

YFC members will be competing at the national Competitions Day on 1 July and this year they can expect to see more attractions during the event.

Anyone attending the Competitions Day is also invited to have a go at Clay Pigeon Shooting after the NFYFC competition that is being held at Oakedge Shooting Ground.

There will also be a packed day of activities on Sunday for NFYFC’s national Sports Day with YFC members competing in football, Netball and Rounders matches.

For more information on competition rules, check out the A-Z Competitions pages on the website.


26 June 2017

Plans are underway to deliver free training for YFC members to hone skills in producing meat for the market.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) training will also benefit stockjudging competitors and is designed to demonstrate how to select animals for slaughter, produce meat for the market and get better returns for production.

NFYFC and AHDB aim to host the training in three regions, which will include the North, the Midlands and the South, during October and November 2017 and January and February 2018.

Members are being asked for feedback on the type of training they prefer, so that NFYFC can ensure there is sufficient interest, as well as understand the preferences for beef or sheep training in specific regions.

The training options in both beef and sheep are for Live to Dead training at an abattoir (secured by AHDB) or On-Farm Selection training at a preferred farm secured by YFC members.

This free training can take place anywhere in the country (England) and will operate on a first come, first served basis.

Register your interest and preferences for dates and locations online.


26 June 2017

Annual Convention 2017 proved to be a huge hit with members as the recent survey revealed 99% of respondents rated the event highly and said they would recommend the weekend to family and friends.

The evening entertainment that came out on top was Scott and Chris, who received a massive 94% of respondents saying how much they enjoyed their set. One YFC member commented: “Love these guys, brilliant as always.”

 

Feedback in the online survey was discussed in the Events and Marketing Steering Group during the June Council weekend and helped to shape plans for future Conventions.

Positive messages from YFC members included: “Had a great weekend and it was the best Torquay convention I have ever been on (and I have been to three now!). Thank you NFYFC for making it a great weekend and also to Massey Ferguson staff who we shared a hotel with, they were all great!”

News about the Convention reached more than 2.64m on Twitter during the weekend and also reached more than half a million on Facebook, with this being the top channel for how members said they followed news about the weekend.

For the first time, NFYFC ran a Positive Behaviour campaign before and during the event to encourage YFC members to respect the local community where the event is held and to do positive activities while they are visiting the town.

During the 2017 event, £3,000 was raised for the Torbay branch of the Street Pastors charity and Council agreed that a percentage of the 2018 Annual Convention ticket price will be donated to local Blackpool charity Street Angels. There was also wide-spread agreement that NFYFC should continue building on the Positive Behaviour campaign for future years.

Ticket prices were confirmed for Annual Convention 2018 and these will be made available on the NFYFC Convention website soon.

The Events and Marketing Steering group have also gathered feedback from members on preferences for House DJs in 2018 and, following a scoring system, they have shortlisted three names. 

The Steering Group are also looking for more suggestions for DJs and bands that members would like to see perform during the Convention weekend as well as ideas for Fancy Dress themes. Anyone wishing to suggest a DJ, band or fancy dress theme should please email Erica Attwood by 11 September 2017.


16 June 2017

YFC members are invited to share their views in an important rural survey that will help to influence a new agenda for the countryside.

The survey, which is gathering opinions and experiences of life in rural England, is a collaborative research project between Rural England, The Rural Services Network (RSN) and the Countryside and Community Research Institute at the University of Gloucestershire.

NFYFC is a member of Rural England, an organisation that brings together a network of rural stakeholders and decision-makers to share ideas and solutions. Its independent evidence-based research helps improve the delivery of rural services.

To share your views on your rural future, visit the online survey here.


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