National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

09 November 2017

Long-term investment in conservation agriculture will benefit associated industries and the wider public, concluded leading experts, young farmers and conservationists at a Future Wildlife, Future Farming event at The Game and Wildlife Trust’s Allerton Project in November.

The event, organised by NFYFC and A Focus on Nature and supported by Defra, was aimed at bringing young farmers and young conservationists together to share good practice and talk about future sustainability and productivity. Discussions will help to feed into next year’s consultation on a future agriculture policy.

Young farmers and conservationists travelled from far and wide to talk, walk and learn, exchange ideas and bring misconceptions and hot topics to the fore.

Delegates to the free event got to see how integrated farming, wildlife, woodland, and game conservation can work and heard from leading experts Jim Egan from the Game and Wildlife Trust and policy adviser and farmer Ed Barker.

Ed debated the issue of large scale farms being easier to administer; from quantifying production results, efficiency and buying power to government schemes’ administration, and asked the question, “should society accept that big is better just because of convenience?” 

Other notable questions that were raised included: ‘Do farmers do enough to explain their part in maintaining the environment whilst producing food’ and ‘Can farm cluster groups help to change a long overdue business and environmental culture?’

A farm visit provided an opportunity to discuss different land management practices and start the conversation for what happens in the future. 

Young farmers Emily Norton and David Goodwin talked about developing and expanding farm businesses and their aim to integrate good practice messages to retailers and consumers –  a remit championed by LEAF and highlighted during the annual Open Farm Sunday events. 

One of the key issues for Emily was how the integrated systems that support the environment and food production on small mixed UK farms can be recreated on intensive, single enterprise units.

Emily said: “Broader farm-scale and landscape scale projects allow environmental resilience and year-round dependability. There are multiple reasons why mixed farming is a good management option, from building soil organic matter to diversifying risk, and its environmental contribution could be recognised more.

“It was fascinating discussing these issues with young conservationists, because they can be highly wedded to the idea of public money for the work that they are doing - even more so than some farmers! Challenging them to think of alternative ways of financing their work in a CAP-free future is a necessary and useful resilience-building exercise. Their expertise is crucial and vital to challenge the status quo and champion the needs of the overlooked.”

The event prompted ongoing discussion on social media about the farmed environment and the opportunities it can provide for a variety of associated industries. Members can continue the conversation using #farmenviro30 on social media and future collaborative work is being planned.

01 November 2017

From 8-9 November at the NEC Birmingham, the Farm Business Innovation Show will be combining 9,000 visitors, 200 seminars and 500 exhibitors, with workshops, live debates, and the top industry experts who are leading the way in rural diversification, all under one roof!

Why? Because with the uncertainty of Brexit threatening the stability of the rural UK, it is more important than ever to focus on how to make sure that the future is secure.  A proven way to do this is through diversification.  By making sure that a rural business is not wholly reliant on one form of income, it makes the entire business more secure.  The Farm Business Innovation Show is the event designed to provide you with this security.

But another factor that farmers and rural business owners have to consider is, literally, into whose hands will these businesses be falling?

The next generation has a solid base for making sure that UK farms and rural businesses remain stable, making the Farm Business Innovation Show the perfect place for our young farmers, landowners, estate owners, and rural entrepreneurs to find the inspiration, advice and resources they need to grow, diversify and evolve their business.

The event is completely free, and this year’s keynote speakers include Michael Eavis - Worthy Farm and Glastonbury Festival, Doug Gurr - Head of Amazon UK, Stephen Jones - The British Quinoa Company, Paul Williamson - Hillside Brewery and Tom Amery - The Wasabi Company.

YFC members can register for a free ticket now at

For Tickets and Admission Enquiries: Adam Enguell - Event Consultant or call 0117 929 6088

For Press & Marketing Enquiries: Emma Webber - Marketing Executive or call 0117 929 6088


01 November 2017

A new farm safety scheme, launched by the Devon Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (FYFC), is on course for a national roll-out.

The innovative project, Growing Safer Farmers, has been piloted successfully in Devon so far and NFYFC Chairman and Farm Safety Ambassador Ed Ford, will now pilot the scheme in Essex. A first meeting has already taken place with machinery dealers in the county (see picture right) and the initial response has been positive. 

It is hoped that once the pilots have been reviewed that the scheme can be rolled out nationally with the support of the British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA) and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Speaking at the NFYFC Council meeting in Coventry, where Devon’s County Chair Claire Bellew presented the scheme, Ed Ford said he was excited to be involved in helping to support Devon to take the scheme wider.

“In my year as Chairman I wanted to highlight farm safety, I was not prepared for the high number of fatalities this year. Four members of NFYFC, four of my members, four of your members.

“Devon FYFC has taken the bull by the horns and I feel its scheme could change the way the industry thinks. Once we have trialled it in Essex and everyone involved is happy, we will work with Devon to roll it out nationally. It’s very exciting and we’re all passionate about it, so watch this space.”

Devon’s idea, which came about following the tragic death of Lauren Scott, one of the county’s YFC members, is to engage farm machinery dealers and agricultural engineers to always check the Power Take Off (PTO) drives on every machine they are working on. Machinery dealers are asked to issue a written report to the owner/operator concerning the condition of the PTO and if the owner declines to have any repairs made to faulty PTO guards, they are asked to sign paperwork to say they have been notified of the PTO problems.

So far, Devon’s pilot has shown that the vast majority of inspections that indicate a repair or replacement is required have been acted on by the owner/operator. The machinery has then been repaired to ensure it is safe and meets the safety regulations, which have been in place for more than 60 years. 

Nick Creasy, Operations Manger for Devon FYFC, said: “We are so pleased with the positive responses from both the farmers and machinery companies. In the first four months of the project we have seen 460 repairs and replacements completed.  This has got to make things safer for the people operating these machines.”  

01 November 2017

YFC members can now learn more about how their club functions in a new Curve training module called Fundamentals.

The course, which can be delivered at club level by NFYFC trainers, aims to explain what makes YFC different to other youth clubs and why it needs a constitution.

The 1.5 hour course will help you to understand how YFC works as a charity and how to make the most of your club.

Club Officers from Leicestershire and Rutland FYFC participated in a pilot of the Fundamentals Curve module as part of their Club Officer Training Weekend.

Emma Lovegrove, County Organiser from Leicestershire and Rutland, said that the officers found the course very useful.

“Some of our officers had never seen the Constitution let alone read it! Members now have a greater understanding of the Constitution and its importance. As trainers we also learnt a lot too! Many of us didn’t know that associate members should be elected into the club or that County Organisers should attend Club Advisory meetings.”

Emma said she would definitely recommend the course to other YFC members. “The constitution is a difficult topic to get members excited about but it’s a really important one, like many Curve modules, the Fundamentals one educates member in a fun and enjoyable way.”

The Fundamentals course is one of 19 Curve modules that YFCs can deliver on a club night. The courses are all around 1.5 hours each and can be delivered by an NFYFC trainer in your county.

If you are interested in running the training session in your YFC, contact your County Office to find out who your nearest NFYFC trainer is or contact Josie Murray for more information.

01 November 2017

Living in a rural location can mean frequently driving on some of the UK’s most dangerous country roads and YFC members are being reminded of the risks this Road Safety Week from 20-26 November.

NFYFC’s research, back in 2013, showed that young rural drivers are nearly twice (44%) as likely to be involved in a collision compared to young urban drivers.

Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead – such as a child stepping out from between parked cars – it is a driver’s speed that will determine whether they can stop in time and, if they can’t stop, how hard they will hit.

Brake, the road safety charity, is encouraging everyone to Speed Down Save Lives for Road Safety Week 2017.

NFYFC launched a successful road safety campaign in 2013 to highlight the risks of driving on rural roads. From this, the organisation has launched a road safety Curve training module with Brake, to help raise ongoing awareness about road safety.

Laura Sumner, Personal Development Steering Group Chairman from Lancashire FYFC, said: “The Drive it Home Curve training module is ideal for club programmes in the winter months. This is the worst time of the year to be out on quiet country lanes that can feel the full impact of bad weather conditions. So many of our members are transported to and from activities in cars so it’s vital to keep everyone as safe as they can be. The Drive it Home module can help you to stop and think more about your driving and encourage you to take more potentially life-saving precautions.”

Road crashes are the biggest cause of death among five-25 year-olds. Five people die on UK roads every day and 61 are seriously injured. Help to change these statistics and spread awareness of the vital importance of the Brake Pledge rules:

  • Slow down
  • Never drink or take drugs or use a mobile when driving 
  • Always wear a seat belt
  • Get eyesight tested
  • Minimise driving.

To organise a Drive it Home Curve training session in your club, contact your County Office to find out who your nearest NFYFC trainer is or contact Josie Murray for more information about the course.

You and your YFC can support Road Safety Week by using materials available from Brake or by sharing posts from NFYFC during the week.


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