National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

06 December 2017

The new year will bring exciting global adventures for 40 young farmers who have all been awarded a place on a YFC Travel trip. 

Young farmers were invited to apply for 16 locations, including New Zealand and Montana, as part of NFYFC’s 2018 travel programme. All applicants were interviewed by a panel of judges at a Selection Day in Stoneleigh to determine who would be going on a trip of a lifetime.

One of the most coveted trips is the three-month working scholarship funded by C Alma Baker where YFC members get to work on an extensive sheep, cattle and dairy farm in New Zealand’s North Island.

Grace Gibbs, 22, from Staffordshire FYFC, was one of the four chosen to go on the trip and said she was slightly nervous but excited.

“It is a fantastic chance. I have always wanted to travel and learn more.”

One of the YFC Travel judges Martin Brown – a former YFC member and one of the first people to go on the C Alma Baker trip in the 1980s said: “Excellent applicants, high standards If you didn’t get a trip this year, apply again as your time will come.”

The YFC Travel opportunities are unique experiences for YFC members as they involve staying with farming families or being hosted by similar rural youth organisations around the world

Homestay opportunities include staying with families around Europe, including Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Norway, as well as travelling further afield to Australia, Canada and the USA.

Owen Watkins, 19, from Clun Valley YFC in Shropshire was “over the moon” to hear he had been awarded a place on the Colorado trip.

“I went along to the open evening about YFC Travel and saw it was a fantastic opportunity so applied. The interview process at Selection Day was brilliant - quick and easy.”

There were also volunteering trips available for members in South Africa and Nepal.

Laura Gascoyne, 21, from Oxfordshire FYFC is excited to be chosen as one of the members who will help out in the townships with agricultural projects.  

“I’ve always wanted to go to South Africa. It’s exciting,” she said.

There are still spaces available on the two-week South Africa trip. The adventure will involve helping to improve nutrition, provide a sustainable source of food and educate underprivileged community members about proven gardening techniques for their location.

If you are interested in applying for the South Africa trip, contact Erica Attwood.

06 December 2017

NFYFC met with young farmers from across Europe in early December to discuss the European Commission’s communication on the future CAP.

NFYFC’s AGRI Chairman Harriet Wilson joined the CEJA (European Council of Young Farmers) meeting in Warsaw to represent UK young farmers, who are facing major change in light of Brexit.

The CEJA meeting came at a time when UK young farmers are sharing their views on a future British Agricultural Policy with Defra. A series of regional and county discussion events have been taking place across the country to gather young farmers’ views on the future of farming in the UK after the country moves out of the EU.

The meeting gave Harriet a first-hand opportunity to talk to European young famers about their concerns and issues for their farming future. NFYFC's attendance was important to help with considerations not only about the CAP but the consequences of Brexit for all farmers in the UK and Europe.

CEJA believes that a more concrete vision for the future of the agricultural sector has to be included in discussions on the CAP. The organisation, of which NFYFC is currently a member, is calling for there to be a level playing field among member states to ensure young farmers across the EU receive the same opportunities.

In particular, CEJA believes that young farmer schemes and generational renewal measures need to be mandatory and set out at EU level while encouraging member states to fully support young farmers through national policies such as taxation.

CEJA also welcomed the mention of a succession model to facilitate generational renewal and access to land. The reference to “those who are actively farming in order to earn a living” is also a good starting point but a more ambitious and strong definition of active farmer must exist for supports to be better targeted.

CEJA also called for: 

  • A modernisation of decoupled payment system with the aim that direct payments should not only be linked to land
  • Greater efforts to define and implement risk management tools 
  • A range of environmental measures to be installed that are financially attractive and accessible only to active farmers
  • The focus of generational renewal must be exclusively on young farmers and dealt with across the entire CAP.

The UK will be subject to EU requirements during a transitional arrangement from operating under an EU Common Agricutlural Policy to developing and implementing a new British Agricultural Policy. A proposal for NFYFC and NFU Next Generation Forum to host a CEJA working group on post-Brexit trade and relationship opportunities next March is currently being devised.

05 December 2017

An assault course proved to be a practical way to learn how to navigate the challenges that can be thrown at you during a year as a County or Area Chairman or Vice Chairman. 

40 new Chairs and Vices joined together at Condover Hall in Shropshire in November for leadership training to help them in their year in office. 

The training involved workshops and training sessions covering finances, communications and leadership development.  Louise Willis-Keeler, director of Learning and Development at Psych Logical, helped the Chairs and Vice Chairs to equip themselves for good leadership, management and relationship building. 

The weekend training also included some adventurous outdoor climbing activities and karaoke in the evening!

Eleanor Smale, Sussex’s County Chair, said she had a great time at Equipped as she was able to share experiences with others. 

“We’ve chatted a lot about what we struggle with and find positive – from fundraising to membership, events and competitions; it has all been really useful.” 

Staffordshire’s County Chairman Richard Mottershead and Vice Chairman Polly Baines also found the weekend useful and both were surprised by how much they had learnt. 

Polly said: “There was no death by PowerPoint, which I was really worried about to start with – we’ve been outside and kept very busy. It’s not what I expected from a training weekend, it has been really good and I have enjoyed it.”

Richard added: “All Counties do similar things but we do it all in different ways. It’s definitely worth coming, I wish I had come last year when I was a Vice Chair.”

Equipped is an annual training event for all Area and County Chairs and Vice Chairs. You can see all the photos from the weekend on Facebook.

05 December 2017

More than 500 YFC members have benefited from NFYFC Curve training since September – an increase of nearly 30% on this time last year.

The Farm Safety Curve training module, which was developed with Yellow Wellies to raise awareness of the dangers on farms, has proven to be the most popular course so far. A total of 15 different YFCs have delivered the course, with Devon delivering it five times and Nottinghamshire three times.

Counties and clubs pledged to deliver the training module during the 2017-18 membership year after NFYFC ran an awareness campaign during Farm Safety Week.

Many of the counties and clubs that pledged to deliver the potentially life-saving course have done so or have planned their sessions for the new year.

Malmesbury YFC in Wiltshire pledged to run the farm safety course for its YFC members and invited Chairman Ed Ford to deliver it to them in November.

Liz Hutchinson, Malmesbury YFC’s Club Chairman, joined 29 other members from her club and Purton and Cricklade YFC for the training session. She said: “I had a great evening on the farm safety course. It was a great meeting for both junior and senior members to get together and talk about farm safety in a relaxed way. We shared our experiences of safety on farms and ways to improve personal safety – and to stop and think before carrying out a task!”

The Curve is a series of fun, interactive workshops that explore everything from organising the best money spinners to strengthening relationships in your clubs.

Each training session is around 1.5 hours long and must be delivered by a certified NFYFC trainer and registered with the training officer at NFYFC.

Find out more about Curve training sessions, including the Farm Safety course. 

05 December 2017

Get the most out of your YFC membership and make savings with NFYFC's Christmas Shopping guide. Fill your stockings with our pick of the best money savers your YFC membership can buy:  

  1. Stuck for an idea for a farming family member who’s always losing or dropping their phone? Why not check out the hi-performance ROKK mini modular system that allows you to attach your electronics to boats, cars, off-road vehicles, aircraft and more! You get 15% off with your YFC membership. 
  2. Know someone who loves horses? Perhaps a 25% discount at Harry Hall will help you purchase the perfect gift and have you riding high in their list of favourites this season. 
  3. Need a fun stocking filler? Then look no further than an NFYFC key ring. Choose from a metal SuperMoo version (£2) or try the classic YFC welly that comes in a choice of three colours (£1.50) or a squidgy pig, cow or sheep keyring (£1.75 each)
  4. For the readers in your life, why not consider a subscription to Farmers Weekly (35% discount), Fieldsports magazine (20% discount) or Countyman’s Weekly magazine (10% discount)? 
  5. Tweed high on someone’s Christmas list? Then check out the new styles at Timothy Foxx and save yourself 5% with your YFC membership. 
  6. If you’re buying for a YFC member or supporter then you can’t go far wrong with this fun stocking filler – a YFC car sticker (£2) or a YFC lapel badge (£2).  
  7. There’s a range of fab outdoor clothing and equipment available from Cotswold Outdoor – and you get 10% off with your YFC discount.
  8. A back up battery for your mobile is critical when you’re working solo out on the farm – or even when you’re on a night out and have been sharing too many photos with your mates! Get a back up YFC power pack from the YFC Shop. (£10 +P&P). 
  9. You can save 50% off BASC membership with your YFC discount so consider signing up a family member if you know they’d love to be part of this shooting association. Membership includes shooting opportunities, BASC insurance and other exclusive discounts. 
  10. And in case you’re really struggling to buy for a friend, consider the gift that keeps on giving for life – YFC membership! 

Don't forget you can purchase YFC Christmas cards in the YFC Shop too - they're £5 for a pack of 12 cards, individual designs by YFC members. 

02 December 2017

Switzerland is proving to be an inspirational destination for YFC travellers as for the second year running a presentation about the country has been chosen as the Best YFC Travel Multimedia Campaign.

Elin Harvard from Brecknock YFC is this year’s winner after creating a Powerpoint presentation with photos and facts about her homestay experience in Switzerland in June this year.

Elin’s active involvement in the farming activities on her trip was one of the reasons why she was chosen as a winner.

Judge Gary Vizard, from NFU Mutual, said: “After having viewed all the videos I judged Elin Harvard's to be the best on the basis that it seemed to encapsulate more of the ideals of the programme and she seemed to engage with the farming activities and everyday life the programme looks to encourage.”

Everyone who gets the opportunity to go on a YFC Travel trip is asked to create a presentation detailing their experience. Elin will win a trophy and a YFC goody bag, which will be presented to her during the Annual General Meeting in Blackpool next May.

Elin said she enjoyed putting the presentation together and encouraged others to take part in YFC Travel.

“It's so important that YFC travellers document and share their fun and findings. I had a ball sifting through my photos and putting my presentation together, though squeezing two weeks' worth of incredible experiences into a short PowerPoint was not easy,” explained Elin. “The YFC Travel Programme is jam-packed full of priceless opportunities to see the world in a very unique way - don't let them pass you by!”

Watch Elin's winning presentation here: 


Designed by Kevyn Williams