National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

23 March 2018

YFC members who have taken on either the role of Chair or Vice Chair at a national or Area level have been learning how to be great leaders.

The training session, run by JJ Lynch on behalf of NFYFC in March, was set up to inspire and equip young people who are new to their leadership roles.

The course is ideal for anyone starting out in a leadership or management position and the 12 members who attended all learnt about the key skills and characteristics of a good leader.  

Lucy Stowell, the new Vice Chair of the NFYFC Events and Marketing Steering Group, decided to go on the course so she could learn new skills, meet others in similar positions and start to share ideas.

“I learnt about the type of leader I am and how to deal with difficult situations which is something that I have struggled with,” explained Lucy. “I liked that there was a mix of individual work and group work too and JJ Lynch was such an inspirational and passionate trainer. This is possibly the best course I have been on since being a member of YFC.”

The YFC members on the course, which included the new Chair of Council Lynsey Martin, all learnt more about the different styles of leadership, the core issues for leading teams and personal action planning, among other topics.

Lucy added: “I have been able to implement the skills I learnt from the course not only into YFC life but also into my work life. I feel more confident in leading a team and being in a team. I came away from the course completely refreshed for all things YFC and I am really pleased that I went on the course.”

NFYFC offers lots of support and training for YFC members who want to take on roles in their club, county, Area or at national level. All County Chairs and Vices as well as Area Chairs and Vices are also offered a weekend training course in November called Equipped to help them prepare for their year in office.

22 March 2018

Oakham YFC in Leicestershire held its first Rural+ training session in February and invited BBC film crews in to find out more about the mental health awareness course.

BBC’s Inside Out programme in the West Midlands brought along former Herefordshire FYFC member and star of Channel 4’s First Time Farmer Ally Hunter Blair to speak to the YFC members.

The film crew filmed the club during parts of the session and interviewed members afterwards to find out how helpful they had found the training. The programme showed the positive efforts that NFYFC was making to raise awareness of mental health among rural young people.

“I learnt all about mental health and the issues surrounding it. I feel it made me think about my own life and how it affects people in the real world,” said Emma Garlick from Oakham YFC.

The Rural+ Curve module is a one-and-a-half-hour session where YFC members can learn more about mental health conditions, can discuss concerns in a confidential and trusted environment and find out where they can seek further support, if needed. All sessions are run by a YFC Trainer who has received specific training to run the Curve module and are delivered in conjunction with a specialist organization such as The Farming Community Network (FCN).

The Inside Out programme was aired in March and can be seen on iPlayer here.

Find out more information about Rural+.

22 March 2018

An initiative by Worth Valley YFC to help reduce rural crime has been shortlisted to win Rural Youth Europe’s Rural Youth Project 2017.

Worth Valley’s Fields of Vision project is shortlisted against two others and the judging is now open to a public vote on Facebook. People are invited to vote using emojis to indicate their chosen winner. To vote for Worth Valley YFC, Facebook users need to like the post with a heart emoji.

The Yorkshire club’s Fields of Vision was launched in 2017 following a spate of crime in their local area. The club set up a local WhatsApp group to help be the eyes and ears of the countryside and to put a stop to rural crime. The plan is to roll the scheme out nationally and have a network of WhatsApp groups operating.

Worth Valley YFC’s project has been shortlisted against Armenia’s Vardavar International Festival 2017 and a handicraft book created by rural young people in Braunau. 

The deadline for voting is 30 April 2018 so show your support for Worth Valley YFC here.

22 March 2018

Rural young people are being encouraged to take part in a new survey to help others better understand those aged 18-28 that live in the countryside – and participants could win festival tickets.

The survey is open until 30 April and those taking part could win a pair of tickets to the TRANSMT Festival in Glasgow on 8 July or a pair of tickets for ButeFest 2018.

The survey is part of the Rural Youth Project that includes year-long in-depth video logs (vlogs) of 15-20 rural young people and a Rural Youth Ideas Festival. NFYFC is supporting the project which aims to develop a better understanding of the current situation for rural young people, including aspirations, opportunities and challenges.

The target countries for the research are: England, Scotland, Wales and, internationally, Austria, Australia and the USA. The initiative is a social enterprise venture and has the support of partners interested and engaged in the rural youth space.

The 2018 Project culminates in a three-day Rural Youth Ideas Festival on 20-22 July in rural Scotland and an action plan developed by the project partners.

Complete the Rural Youth Project survey and share your views.

12 March 2018

Young farmers from across Europe visited the UK in March to discuss the impact of potential trade and policy changes post-Brexit at a seminar organised by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) and the NFU Next Generation Forum.

The two-day event, supported by Massey Ferguson and the Crop Protection Association involved members of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) debating and establishing the next generation’s position on Brexit.

A special seminar called Brexit and Beyond gave YFC members the opportunity to discuss issues and concerns with young farmers from across Europe. The UK’s decision to leave the EU will have a major impact on young farmers and the session highlighted that 79% of those in attendance thought that free and frictionless trade is ‘very important’ to the future of the UK-EU agri-food sector.

In an opening address from Tom Keen, NFU’s EU Exit and International Trade Adviser, he outlined that the NFU’s objective was simply to encourage competitive, profitable and progressive farm businesses that are central to a dynamic UK food chain.

Andrew Clark, NFU’s Director of Policy told the packed room that they needed to speak with ‘one clear voice’ to government and forge strong relationships. He stated: “we may be politically walking away from the EU but we are not physically.”

Topics discussed in working groups focused on trading, the environment, productivity and risk management.

NFYFC Chairman Lynsey Martin said: “It was interesting to see that we have got pretty much the same set of worries, concerns and hopes surrounding Brexit. It’s great to talk to other European young farmers and see that we are all hoping that we will be trading in as free and frictionless way as possible. We’re still working towards the same goals in terms of the environment and agriculture in general.

“I’m so proud that NFYFC members were involved in the seminar and working alongside the NFU and CEJA to make sure we’re getting our voices heard in Europe. We want to all move forward together and hopefully have some influence and input into discussions surrounding Brexit.”

The main areas of concern raised by young farmers at the seminar were around a lack of stability and the impact on trading.

President of CEJA Jannes Maes said: “The main worry that our young farmers have is the lack of stability. Farming is a long-term commitment and the lack of stability or the risk of losing stability is the biggest fear. We want the change to the new situation to be as smooth as possible and for trade relations to be as smooth as we can have them.”

Supporters of the seminar Massey Ferguson also attended the session to hear the views of young farmers.

Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson, Director Marketing Services and PR, Europe and Middle East said:  “We’re very confident that the European young farmers will rise to the challenges of the future and we think that coming to a session like this will bring some good ideas as to how this incredibly important subject of Brexit should be tackled.”

CEJA is due to announce its position statement on Brexit very soon, following ratification from members of Macre Ne Feirme in Ireland as they were unable to make the seminar due to the bad weather.

NFYFC and the NFU Next Generation Forum are in discussions with CEJA about the potential to be associate members of the organisation when the UK leaves the EU. 


Emilia Astrenius Widerström, President of Swedish Young Farmers

“It has been beneficial because it is a big problem for every country in the EU to figure out how to resolve the future and how to get together and discuss solutions for the impact that this will have. It will have a big impact on us because we are big exporters to the UK so we have to figure out how to do business with them later on.”

Richard Bower, Chairman of the NFU Next Generation Forum

“As a young farmer – like most young farmers – you have to be positive and look for the opportunities as the industry is constantly changing and evolving. But we have to be aware of the current situation. People want to listen to what young farmers have to say and if we stand together and go to government together, go to our customers together, I think there is a massive opportunity out there for us.”
James Hutchinson, NFYFC’s AGRI Steering Group Chairman. Wiltshire FYFC

“Brexit is going to be a challenge for everyone, especially young farmers. But we feel that working together and making positive sensible comments to politicians that put forward young farmers’ views is the way we need to work."

David Goodwin, Vice Chair of AGRI, Warwickshire

“I think none of us really knows what will come out of it and we’re still a long way off knowing what the final deal will be. So I can’t say whether I’m positive or anxious about it yet. But we need to be looking for the opportunities and trying to move forward in own businesses and embrace what comes next. There’s no point in forcing our way against it because it is coming.”

Iris Bouwers, CEJA Vice President, Netherlands

“I’ve seen the data on what could happen to Dutch exports to the United Kingdom, and also the other way around. The Dutch economy is one of the ones that will be most affected in some scenarios, especially a hard Brexit.

I am worried but I also think we have a bright future in front of us. I believe that if we work together, that if we keep on talking when it comes to trade and workforces and the future CAP, we can create a beneficial situation for British young farmers and European young farmers. “

Luca Gaddoni – Policy Advisor, Coldiretti, Italy

“From our perspective, one of the biggest concerns about Brexit is about trade and the possibility that the UK could leave the single market and customs union. So it will be really important to prevent any possibility for the United Kingdom to become a platform for trading goods and products coming from third countries not respecting EU quality and production standards. The UK should be able to maintain the same standards as the EU."

George Lane, Young Farmer from Leicestershire

“As an agricultural business consultant working in East Anglia, a lot of my clients are very worried about how we go forward with trade deals and also what’s happening with subsidies. I think we need further clarification – at the moment it’s all very speculative, which could change from today or tomorrow. We just need to get on with it now and find out how can go forward so that we can plan for our business.”


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