National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

18 February 2018

The new Chairman of leading rural youth organisation The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) wants to see more food and farming education in schools.

Lynsey Martin, 29, a member of Ashford and District Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) in Kent, was elected by members at the Council meeting on 18 February in Coventry. Lynsey is a self-employed livestock worker and wants more young people to consider the career opportunities available to them in the agricultural sector.

Lynsey will be supported in her role by calf nutritionist and Regional Sales Representative for Bonanza Calf Nutrition Katie Hall from Gloucester YFC in Gloucestershire who will serve a second year as Vice Chairman. Laura Elliott from Gower YFC takes on the position of the second Vice Chairman alongside her role as a Project Officer for Specific at Swansea University and as Wales YFC’s Chairman.

The three women, who have all taken on roles throughout the Federation at local and national levels, are keen to promote food and farming in schools.

During her year as Chairman of NFYFC, Lynsey Martin is working with LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming and FACE (Farming and Countryside Education) on an exciting new initiative to help inform young people about how and where their food is produced as well as open their eyes to the breadth of career opportunities available in the farming sector.

The project involves the development of a new training module about food and farming which will equip YFC members with the necessary skills and know-how to deliver informative and inspirational lessons around farming and food production. Working alongside LEAF-FACE Regional Education Consultants, the initiative will be rolled out in schools across England and Wales.

Lynsey Martin, Chairman of NFYFC said: “The need for more food and farming education in schools is vital to help improve awareness about where produce comes from and how it reaches our dinner tables! Learning about food and farming from a young age will ultimately help our future generations make informed food choices.

“It's also important for young people to be aware of the many career opportunities within the industry. I am excited that in my new role as Chairman, I will be able to help promote these on an even wider scale and provide memorable learning experiences enabling young people to explore issues around food and farming and how it impacts on their everyday lives.”

In the week leading up to the Federation’s Annual Convention, which is this year being hosted in Blackpool from 4-6 May, Lynsey has set a personal challenge to visit a number of schools on the way. She has been given a Honda ATV to take into schools and so she can talk to children about the career opportunities available in the industry.

Lynsey added: “You don't need to have grown up on a farm to have a passion for this exciting sector – thousands of new entrants are needed, for example, to help fulfil technology and research roles associated with agriculture.

“You also don’t need to be currently involved in farming to join a YFC – many of our members don’t live or work on farms, they just share a passion for the countryside and a respect for the industry. I have been very fortunate to be a member of a successful YFC in Kent that has been a source of support, friendship, education and fun over the last 11 years. I am delighted to be able to give back to the organisation and help others take advantage of the amazing opportunities YFC can offer.”

Lynsey and her two Vice Chairmen will be responsible for leading the Federation’s Council, encouraging members of the Council to continue the development of the clubs that make up the NFYFC, to help them to meet the needs of YFC members and to further enhance the image of YFC.

More than 100 members gathered in Coventry over the weekend to pass motions that affect the running of the organisation and to elect the new Council. Five steering groups represent the views of the members and include: Competitions; Events and Marketing; Personal Development, Agriculture and Rural Issues and the Youth Forum. 

The National Council is made up of 63 members, associate members and co-options from across England and Wales and is elected by YFC members to represent their views.

Through steering groups, the National Council also decide and shape the programmes of work at NFYFC - planning events, competitions, campaigns and training for members.

Steering Group elections:

Agriculture and Rural Issues (AGRI)

Chairman: James Hutchinson, Wiltshire FYFC, Vice Chairman: David Goodwin, Warwickshire FYFC

Competitions

Chairman: Fay Thomas, Herefordshire FYFC, Vice Chairman: Dewi Parry, Clywd FYFC

Events and Marketing

Chairman: Michael Wood, East Riding of Yorkshire, Vice Chairman: Lucy Stowell, Norfolk FYFC

Personal Development

Chairman: George Goodwin,Staffordshire FYFC Vice Chairmen: Fred Allen, Shropshire FYFC

Youth Forum

Chairman: Megan Watkins, Herefordshire FYFC, Vice Chairman: Charlotte Scott, Somerset FYFC



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