National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

26 June 2018

Young farmers have been learning essential safety skills thanks to a competition launched by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs in conjunction with the Farm Safety Foundation.

The national final of the Workshop Skills competition, which includes hazard perception scenarios for teams to tackle involving working at height and with machinery and power cables, will be held during the NFYFC’s Competitions Day on 30 June from 10am at Staffordshire County Showground.

NFYFC has formerly held an Efficiency with Safety competition but this year the competition has been relaunched to include even more safety assessments of key industry skills.

Teams have made it through to the national finals after competing in County and Area rounds across England and Wales.

The competition also includes assessments in key industry skills with tasks in Manual Metallic Arc (MMA) welding, hitching and leading a trailer with an ATV and First Aid. Local Staffordshire dealer B&B Tractors has kindly organised for Massey Ferguson tractors to be used for the tasks and have provided the use of a Honda ATV bike and trailer.

The Farm Safety Foundation has worked with NFYFC to develop the hazard perception team task, which is only being held at the national final. Competitors will not know what the task involves until the day of the final, meaning teams need to be aware of the correct health and safety guidance.

Stephanie Berkeley from the Farm Safety Foundation said: “We are delighted to work with NFYFC to develop this competition. It’s vital that the next generation are aware of the dangers of working in this industry and through competing we hope that these young people have also learnt life-saving skills.”

Competitions Day also includes a wide range of competitions in Public Speaking for members ranging from 10-26 years old. YFC members often credit these competitions with giving them confidence and skills that support their career development.

Other competitions include:

  • YFC Live, where teams will showcase a skill they have learnt while being members of a Young Farmers’ Club
  • Fence Erecting, supported by Rutland Electric Fencing and Betafence
  • Dream machine mood boards – new ideas for a piece of farm machinery, judged by Kuhn Farm Machinery UK
  • Clay Pigeon Shooting – supported by BASC
  • Situations Vacant – YFC members apply for a fictional job by preparing CVs, completing application forms and being interviewed, supported by JP Trett.

NFYFC’s Competitions Steering Group Chairman Fay Thomas said: “NFYFC’s national Competitions Day is a true showcase of all that is great about YFC. Our members often tell us that the skills they have learnt through our competitions programme last a lifetime. They help forge friendships, develop people’s confidence and give young rural people a chance to shine! We are very grateful for all the support we receive from industry partners to host these competitions.”

All winners of the competitions will be awarded with place cards and trophies in an awards ceremony held at the Showground from 4pm on the day. 

Competitions Day is on 30 June and will be followed by NFYFC’s Sports Day finals on 1 July at Rugeley Leisure Centre in Staffordshire, where teams will compete in Dodgeball, Hockey and Ultimate Frisbee.

26 June 2018

Two new national training awards are being launched by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) to help boost the level of training being delivered that supports the personal and professional development of rural young people.

The County Training Awards and the Top Trainers Award will celebrate the high quality training that is being delivered to YFC members and promote the opportunities for skills development available to them from NFYFC.

The County Training Awards recognise NFYFC’s 46 county federations who are delivering training at a bronze, silver or gold standard following a self-assessment that is verified by NFYFC.

Gold awards are given to YFC county federations that can prove they are delivering higher levels of training using internal and external trainers as well as regularly planning and reviewing their training requirements. 

It is hoped that the awards will inspire more YFC counties to raise their training standards by aiming for gold status.

As well as recognising county federations, NFYFC will also be praising individual trainers through its new Top Trainers Award. This award has been set up to reward individuals who have demonstrated exceptional skills in training others throughout the membership year. Nominations for this award are now open and a panel from NFYFC will choose a winner, who will be announced at the Annual General Meeting in 2019.

NFYFC has developed its own peer training programme called The Curve, which encourages YFCs to deliver training during club sessions using certified trainers – these are often YFC members who have been on an NFYFC Train the Trainer course.

There are currently 19 Curve modules, which are aimed at supporting clubs to run more efficiently and safely as well as helping to develop young rural people’s skills.

NFYFC has already exceeded its 2017-18 membership year training target for at least 2,500 members to attend a Curve training session.

The most popular Curve module this year is the Farm Safety training that was developed with the Farm Safety Foundation. So far more than 100 clubs have delivered this essential course during a club session, equipping more than 1600 members with potentially life-saving skills for when they are on the farm.

Charlotte Smith, NFYFC’s President and presenter on Farming Today, said: “Not a lot of people realise the amount of training and skills development work that Young Farmers’ Clubs are delivering on a weekly basis. These awards will go someway to recognising the hard work that YFC county federations and individual trainers put into developing rural young people’s skills and the positive impact they are having on the wider industry.”

Cath Sykes, NFYFC’s Development and Training Manager, said: “We are keen to ensure that all YFC members have access to the range of high quality training courses that are available.  We facilitate this through our network of peer trainers who are able to deliver the Curve modules to our 619 Young Farmers’ Clubs. These new awards have been created to reward the trainers and YFC county federations that go the extra mile in training delivery as well as to inspire others to reach those top standards. Ultimately, we want to ensure that even more YFC members benefit from the learning and development opportunities available to them.”

As well as Curve training, NFYFC also delivers ITOL accredited training courses for its Train the Trainer and Advanced Train the Trainer courses and runs a number of external courses in partnership with industry. More information about NFYFC’s training can be found here.

Top Trainer winners

Natasha Hoggard, 27, from Southwell YFC in Nottinghamshire (pictured above with fellow YFC member Alice Beckett) has been a YFC Trainer for three years and is part of Nottinghamshire County Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs that won NFYFC’s Top Trainers Award in 2017. Natasha works at Church Vale Primary School in Warsop teaching year one pupils but enjoys the challenge of training her peers during YFC sessions.

“We have five people on the training team in Nottinghamshire and we try to send out two people to every training course we deliver. This means that the person who is not leading the session can assess the impact of the training on the group.

I started off delivering training to my club, which was a nice, as I knew the personalities of everyone in the group. Sometimes teaching your peers can be difficult because you have a different relationship to an external trainer. But it can be advantageous too as you know which areas to focus your training on. For example, on a course such as farm safety, I was aware of incidents that had happened to people in the club so I was able to tailor the training to them.

Being a teacher certainly helps but it’s a completely different ball game teaching year one children to talking to a room full of adults! It has definitely improved my confidence and I have seen how my skills can be applied to teaching a different age group.

As winners of NFYFC’s training awards for two consecutive years Nottinghamshire is very excited about the new NFYFC training awards. Our County has a goal to deliver at least one Curve module to every club. We ensure that our clubs put training on to their club programmes during a planning evening that we host with each club’s programme secretaries and club chairs. Trainers attend these meetings and provide more information about the courses to help clubs decide what modules would be good for their individual clubs. We all get our calendars out and book this training in at those meetings. It’s a great way to get the ball rolling. We also use social media to promote the courses when we’re running them.

The Curve modules are really informative and fit for purpose. It’s a massive benefit of being a YFC member that you’re offered all of this free training. The modules cover a wide range of topics and equip young people with a greater awareness of certain issues as well as giving them skills that will help them to be more employable.”

25 June 2018

A debate about democracy over tea and cakes took place during NFYFC’s Council weekend to celebrate 90 years since the Representation of the People Act 1928.

The anniversary of the Act, which gave all men and women over 21 the equal right to vote, has been marked across the country with a range of EqualiTeas events. Communities have been encouraged to host debates over tea and cakes to share what democracy means to them.

NFYFC hosted its event during its June Council weekend where more than 50 members discussed the importance of equality and debated how important democracy was to them.

Vice Chair of NFYFC Council Laura Elliott said: “Within a YFC setting, democracy to me is being able to be part of the decision making in the organisation and contributing to all of the decisions that affect me as a member. Every member has that opportunity to share their voice.”

EqualiTeas, which is a UK Parliament initiative, supports the 100 years since women and all men were given the right to vote.

YFCs are being encouraged to host an EqualiTeas event with their club between 18 June and 2 July. For more information and to register your event, visit



22 June 2018

Being a Rally Chairman in 2018 has been a rewarding experience for Charlotte Garbutt and one that has given the Lincolnshire FYFC member a whole load of new skills to boot! If you're stepping into the role of Rally Chair in 2019, be prepared for what's in store with this top advice!

How many people attended the Lincolnshire FYFC rally?

Approximately 800 people with members competing in 93 classes on the day.

What did you learn from the experience of managing a team?

There were 20 individuals on the rally committee alongside our County officials who helped to organise the day. You have to adapt your management style for different people. Some individuals would just get on and do what they need to do with very little guidance whereas others needed a gentle nudge every now and again – and I'll admit I did too!

How far in advance did you start planning?

I was elected as Rally Chairman in July 2017 and we began putting the committee together in October. Things such as sorting the venue, I did early on but nearer to the event there were lots of things that were being sorted weeks before. We tend to use the same companies year on year as they understand young farmers and are competitive in price too so there was that ability to rely on suppliers.

How did you feel the night before the rally?

We had just about everything sorted and everyone seemed fairly relaxed and excited. I didn't know what to expect, I just prayed it wouldn't rain!

What was it like on the day?

I’m currently the President of the Students’ Union at Harper Adams and I was definielty able to build on the skills I have gained in that role while being Rally Chair. Life doesn't go without a hitch and you have to accept that it’s normal, particularly when it is being run by volunteers. Perseverance is a very important skill and having patience as there will always be someone who wants to test it! Problem solving is also essential as no matter how much planning goes into something, you always have to have an alternative solution if things don't work out or if problems arise. Remaining calm and providing a solution is very important.

Would you recommend the role of Rally Chair to others?

Absolutely. Being Rally Chair allows you to organise the biggest event of the Young Farmers’ calendar and it is so rewarding. As well as improving managerial, event management and people skills, it also allows you to witness the enjoyment from all those taking part as they compete and fly the YFC flag and it’s a fantastic feeling to know that you contributed to that.

The Rally was held at Beeswax Dyson Farming, Carrington by kind permission of Beeswax Dyson Farming and was sponsored by Chandlers Farm Equipment. 

08 June 2018

In a joint-bid to help promote native breeds and brand Britain, the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) have collaborated to produce a new guide to help youngsters get a taste for showing livestock.

‘A guide to showing’ will be launched with Adam Henson at the RBST stand within the Ask the Farmer marquee of the Three Counties Show on Saturday, 16 June, to demonstrate a new resource for all would-be livestock showmen and women of the future.

The Defra-funded project aims to help encourage more young people to take an interest in showing native breeds and the part they can play in sustaining rare and endangered breeds. The Royal Three Counties Show champions both the NFYFC and the RBST with special features held at the show including Ask the Farmer supported by the RBST and the Young Farmers’ Village. It supports youngsters in their first steps of showing through the Young Handler classes held each day of the show.

RBST’s President Jimmy Doherty has stated in the guide’s foreword that he is pleased to see the two organisations teaming up on a project encouraging more young people to show livestock. 

Both organisations and their respective members are keen to encourage the younger generation to get involved with keeping and showing livestock and help promote the future of British agriculture.

RBST Chairman Gail Sprake, NFYFC AGRI Chair James Hutchinson, NFYFC’s Vice Chair of Council Katie Hall and YFC members will be at the Three Counties Showground for the launch to highlight the importance of our native breeds and opportunities for young people in agriculture.

RBST Chairman, Gail Sprake said: “We are thrilled to be working with NFYFC, and by producing this booklet together, we hope to increase the numbers of young people showing animals across the UK. Showing is a fantastic first step in a young person’s journey to becoming a full-time farmer and we are confident that this booklet will encourage more youngsters to compete in the show ring.  

NFYFC AGRI Chairman James Hutchinson said: “We are delighted to continue collaborating with industry partners and Defra to help promote ‘brand British’.  Our farming industry has a lot to be proud about and we want to share future opportunities, not only with our younger members, but with all young people who are passionate about food, farming and the countryside.”

The new online guide is now available from the NFYFC website


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