National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

30 December 2017

Check out NFYFC’s pick of some of the best things that happened in 2017 throughout the Federation and raise a cheer to a very successful year. Here’s to 2018! 

New look communications

At the start of the year a new look for the YFC Buzz was launched, followed by a new focus for the Ten26 magazine. Feedback has been positive so far with members loving the new approach to learning more from each other. 













New President

At the Annual Convention in Torquay, we welcomed Charlotte Smith – presenter on Farming Today and Countryfile – as NFYFC’s new President. Charlotte has already been helping to raise NFYFC’s profile – including writing a great article in the Sunday Telegraph about the organisation! 







Charitable status

At the Annual General Meeting in Torquay, members voted for NFYFC to progress with its move towards becoming a charity rather than a Friendly Society. The wheels are already in motion. 






Farm safety pledges 

NFYFC ran a successful campaign during Farm Safety Week in July to encourage YFCs to pledge to deliver the Farm Safety Curve module during the 2017/18 membership year. There were loads of online pledges to show the world how committed young farmers are to working more safely. Better still – so far 15 YFCs have delivered the training!







Growing Safer Farmers

Out of tragedy came a safety idea that could help to reduce the number of faulty PTO shafts. Devon Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs Growing Safer Farmers scheme is working with machinery dealers in the south west and has now extended to Essex with a view to being rolled out nationally. 











Community Service

NFYFC members put in more than 5,000 hours of community work through the Countryside Challenge, which was supported by Pears and the Cabinet Office. The campaign encouraged YFCs to start a community project and promote their good work. In return YFCs received £400 towards their projects or to help their club. 








Smart Farming Guide 

NFYFC launched a new business guide with Savills to help rural entrepreneurs. Visit 








Training rockets

More than 500 YFC members benefited from NFYFC Curve training from September to December – an increase of nearly 30% on the same time in 2016.









National Young Farmers’ Week (NYFW)

NYFW was an even bigger success this year with the number of new members up on the same time last year. Loads of clubs took part in the YFC Selfie competition, which was judged by NFYFC's Ambassador Chris Stark from BBC Radio 1 and President Charlotte Smith. Well done to the winning club Whitchurch YFC!









AGRI voice 

NFYFC ran a series of discussion groups in November and December to give YFC members the opportunity to share their views about a farming future post-Brexit with Defra. 

These are just NFYFC’s highlights but our YFCs have many of their own. Share your stories on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #yfchighlights2017

11 December 2017

Get your Christmas off to the best start with these festive tips for having a much safer and happier time. 

06 December 2017

Looking for a last minute Christmas present idea or want to kit yourself out in some new winter gear? We have the perfect competition prize for you! 

Cotswold Outdoor is giving away a £25 voucher to one lucky YFC member to get your festive season off to a good start.

With over four decades of experience in outdoor retail, Cotswold Outdoor offer one of the most extensive and comprehensive ranges of outdoor clothing, equipment and accessories. Selecting from over 250 top quality brands allows them to bring you the latest in outdoor technology and styles. From hiking to camping trips, walking boots to waterproof jackets, wherever your adventures take you Cotswold Outdoor have the right kit.

All YFC members receive 10% off at Cotswold Outdoor in-store and online using their code (get your code online here) – so there’s no reason why you can’t start your shopping now!  

To enter the competition, just email before Monday 18 December with the name of Santa’s infamous reindeer that has a red nose! Please give your full name in the email and the name of your YFC. 



  • You must be a current member of NFYFC to win the prize.  
  • No cash alternative is available.  

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.


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