National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

19 April 2018

Advanced ticket sales to The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) Annual Convention in Blackpool are the highest recorded in the last decade, and organisers are anticipating a record number of young farmers to flock to the seaside town this May.

More than 5,700 tickets have already been sold to the annual event, which will be held at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool from 4-6 May for the 24th time, and organisers are predicting more sales on the doors over the weekend. Tickets are no longer available to be purchased in advance and members can now only buy a wristband on the door during registration times at the Winter Gardens.

A record number of YFC members attended the Convention in Blackpool in 2016 with 6,000 young farmers enjoying a weekend of entertainment, competitions and debate. It is now anticipated that this year’s event will be even bigger after impressive sales of the early-bird packages.

The flagship event has attracted sponsorship from leading industry organisations, including KUHN Farm Machinery UK, Isuzu and Massey Ferguson.

Farming Today presenter and NFYFC President Charlotte Smith will chair the 86th Annual General Meeting during the weekend. Smith will also facilitate at the AGRI Big Ideas Brunch on the Saturday, where three leading entrepreneurs will impart their advice on establishing a successful future career in the industry.

As well as national competition finals for Pantomime performances, Senior Member of the Year, Jump Rope and Disco Dancing, there are also guest DJs entertaining young farmers in the evening.

Weekend highlights include:

  • AGRI Big Ideas Brunch, sponsored by Kuhn Farm Machinery, involving guest speakers Rob Boole, qualified agronomist and owner of Boole Crop Specialists, Chris Cardell, successful tenant farmer and Sir John Campbell – founder of Glenrath Farms.
  • Chris Stark from BBC Radio 1 will DJ on Saturday night, and rugby union player James Haskell will hit the decks on Sunday night.
  • Three live bands will perform including Groovesonix, Ministry and The Tzars.
  • National competition finals of NFYFC’s Pantomime (which will be held in the Opera House on Saturday 5 May), Jump Rope, Disco Dancing and Senior Member of the Year will also take place throughout the weekend. 
It’s a welcome boost for Blackpool when YFC members stay in the town as it’s estimated that young farmers will contribute £4.3m to the local economy during the weekend.

The increase in numbers of members attending the Convention is also good news for a local charity as a donation from every ticket sale will be given to the Lancashire Air Ambulance.

This year, more than 100 Young Farmers are planning to cycle or walk a combined total of nearly 1,000 miles to get to Blackpool – all in aid of raising money for causes close to their hearts. YFC members from Essex, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Cornwall and Pembrokeshire are all training for their challenges, which should see them raise more than £10,000 for local causes.

NFYFC Chairman of Council Lynsey Martin said: “It’s great that so many YFC members are attending our Annual Convention weekend. It’s the highlight of the YFC calendar and a chance for many of our members, who live and work in isolated rural communities, to unite with friends from across England and Wales.

“The weekend is growing in popularity every year and it’s due to the range of activities on offer for members across the three days. It’s also a chance to acknowledge all of the amazing fundraising work our YFCs do throughout the year to support not only our members but also our rural communities.

“We have built strong working relationships with the police, the local authority and businesses in Blackpool to make sure this year’s event is entertaining and safe for young farmers and local residents. Our members really enjoy visiting Blackpool and all it has to offer.”

The Annual Convention starts at 1pm on Friday 4 May and closes on the evening of Sunday 6 May 2018. 

For more information and to see the full programme of activity about NFYFC’s Annual Convention, visit

08 April 2018

Members of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) will discuss their hopes and fears for a rural future post-Brexit with Farming Today presenter and NFYFC President Charlotte Smith at the organisation’s AGRI Brunch in Blackpool on 5 May.

Joining Charlotte will be a panel of industry stalwarts who have enjoyed successful agri careers. They will offer critical advice to the next generation of farmers on diversifying businesses and tackling the challenges ahead. 

The event, called the Big Ideas Brunch, which is sponsored by Kuhn Farm Machinery UK and supported by Defra, will be held on Saturday 5 May in the Pavilion Theatre at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool from 10.30am.  

The AGRI Brunch is an important part of the Annual Convention weekend for YFC members and representatives from the agricultural and rural industries. This year’s discussion will highlight any concerns that young people are having about working in the industry now that Brexit negotiations are underway.

The panel includes Rob Boole, agronomist, owner of Boole crop specialists and founder of Greenway Training, Sir John Campbell, founder of the multi-million pound business Glenrath Farms and Chris Cardell, a Cornish tenant farmer.

NFYFC President Charlotte Smith, who will be facilitating the session at the Winter Gardens, said: “NFYFC’s AGRI Brunch is a great opportunity for young farmers to get a load of insider advice from people who have been there, done it and succeeded! 

“NFYFC’s panelists will offer crucial advice about developing businesses and embracing change. I can’t wait to hear their stories and learn how they have managed their careers.”

The AGRI Brunch is organised by NFYFC’s Agricultural and Rural Issues (AGRI) Steering Group and a new topic is chosen annually.

AGRI Chairman James Hutchinson, from Wiltshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, said it was important to give young farmers the opportunity to discuss their rural futures with experts who had achieved plenty in the industry.

James Hutchinson said: “There’s never been a greater need for a highly-skilled and efficient workforce to keep the countryside thriving, producing great quality food, sustainable tourism and natural habitats - and boosting brand Britain!

“Any YFC members who are into technology and training, food, farming and the countryside should join us for this event to share their views and questions about their rural future. Our panel of experts are a great example of what can be achieved in this vast industry and we hope that everyone will be inspired by their ideas and wisdom.”

Kuhn Farm Machinery also sponsor the AGRI Steering Group as well as the AGRI Brunch event.

Siân Pritchard, Managing Director at Kuhn Farm Machinery (UK), said: “As an active supporter and sponsor of the NFYFC Agri and Rural Steering Group, the Big Ideas Brunch is understandably one of the highlights in KUHN’s year with NFYFC. It’s the perfect platform for young farmers to learn from industry leaders, but also gives them an opportunity to share their point of view on today’s post-Brexit environment. We look forward to a lively discussion!”
The AGRI Brunch starts at 10.30am with free bacon rolls and a chance to network with young farmers and industry exhibitors before the debate begins at 11am.
Follow the discussion on Twitter using #yfcagribrunch. To find out more about the event and to see biographies of the panelists, visit the Convention website.

03 April 2018

A huge charity fundraiser is being organised in Lincolnshire after news that its County Chairman Matt Denby needs a kidney transplant.

YFCs in the County are helping to support Matt by selling hundreds of tickets to a dinner and dance on 21 April at Lincolnshire County Showground – and some YFC members have even offered to give him their kidney as Matt searches for a potential match!

Matt’s father and uncle are currently undergoing tests to see if either will be a good match but Matt says he’s had at least five serious offers from Young Farmers too.

“I’m not at a critical stage of total kidney failure or needing dialysis yet,” said Matt who will need a transplant in the next couple of months. “The plan is to hopefully have the transplant from a living donor before I need dialysis.”

Matt’s failing kidney function made him want to use his YFC connections to raise money for Kidney Research UK. He is now organising the dinner and dance with an aim of raising £15,000 through a raffle and auction that includes a three-day holiday on a private yacht and a bottle of whisky signed by the Prime Minister Theresa May MP among the auction lots.

Matt said: “I quickly realised I would never have such an opportunity again in my lifetime to have the potential to raise as much money as hosting a Charity Ball as the Chairman of Lincolnshire FYFC, with all the communication methods and connections being County Chair brings.

“My personal circumstances triggered the idea of hosting the fundraiser for the great work Kidney Research UK do to increase organ donations and the research and development to cure kidney disease.”

Since Matt became Lincolnshire’s Chairman, he has been focused on raising awareness of the fundraising work all of the YFCs in the County do for a range of charities. He introduced a County Cup for the most charitable club and the YFCs are taking on the challenge to raise as much money as possible through events and activities.

And the local YFCs have certainly be doing all they can to support Matt’s event too with more than 700 tickets currently sold - and Matt’s expecting 1,000 by the booking deadline.

County treasurer and Wragby YFC Chairman Alex Olivant completed the #RunForResearch by running a mile each day in January and raised almost £500, the president of the newly reformed Laceby YFC is running the marathon for kidney research and a local Open Farm Sunday is raising money for the charity with YFC helping with games, tombolas, tractor trailer rides and the bar. 

“I would like to thank everyone who has kindly donated raffle prizes and auction lots,” added Matt. “Without their generosity the event wouldn’t have the capability of raising anywhere near as much money.”

Anyone interested in buying tickets should contact Lincolnshire FYFC by Saturday 7 April or you can donate to Matt's fundraiser here.


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