National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

21 August 2018

Motivating speakers, live music and a chance to network with 80 rural young people from all over the world has inspired one YFC member to be more open to new opportunities.

Amy Panton from Cumbria FYFC was one of two YFC members who attended the Rural Youth Ideas Festival in Scotland at the start of August, which was organised by Jane Craigie Marketing and supported by NFYFC.

Amy listened to speeches made by Paralympian Kendra Lancaster, Christy Macfarlane who works for Bruichladdich distillery in Islay and Matt Naylor who runs a successful flower business in Lincolnshire.

“A thought from Kendra that still resonates with me is 'say yes to every opportunity' because you don't know where it will lead and you may end up finding your passion,” said Amy who was chosen to attend the event after responding to a call out on social media inviting YFC members to the Festival. “Listening to the speakers made me realise that rural communities have helped so many people become who they are today but, whether we are in Europe or the wider world, rural communities face many of the same challenges – from connectivity to isolation. We cannot make change on our own but together we can, and our connections across Europe and the world are important now more than ever.”

The three-day festival also included workshops and live music. Amy attended a sausage making session as well as a mixology group and said both workshops were “great fun and had us all laughing and smiling.”

On the final day, attendees learnt more about the power of networking and the strength of your personal story.

“Having attended the networking session, I have a new found knowledge in how to approach someone at a conference that I want to talk to. Making the first step is always nerve racking but the other person is probably feeling the same! Your story is what makes you who you are and your key values. Everyone is unique and we all have a story to tell,” added Amy.

The Rural Youth Ideas festival was part of the Rural Youth Project – an international research study looking into the challenges and opportunities for rural youth.


21 August 2018

NFYFC is searching for YFC members to represent their counties' views on agricultural and rural issues. 

Are you passionate about agriculture and all things rural within your YFC? Do you want to ensure all YFC voices are heard? If your answer is ‘yes’, ask your county organiser to propose you as your county’s agricultural and rural link representative for the new YFC year.  You’ll join a network of fellow YFC members to share news, views and events.

What does this involve?

NFYFC invites your county office to nominate a county ‘AGRI link’ representative for the new YFC year in September who has the opportunity to:

  • Liaise directly with NFYFC’s Agriculture & Rural Issues (AGRI) department
  • Liaise with your AGRI Area representative 
  • Keep in touch with agricultural and rural issues in your county
  • Instigate (with help from NFYFC/county staff & officers) agricultural/rural discussion       groups or events
  • Link directly with relevant agricultural/rural organisations at a county level and find ideas and contacts within the NFYFC Source
  • Discuss national steering group work throughout your county and gain feedback from members
  • Feedback information, ideas and concerns to NFYFC    
  • Take part in NFYFC research for topics concerning young people and rural life
  • Be aware of training, resources and future events for YFC members

In return, AGRI members and staff will endeavour to:

  • Provide input to national and regional events to help AGRI link representatives in their roles
  • Supply information to link representatives to support their activities
  • Support link representatives with rural and agricultural discussion groups, workshops or training
  • Assist with relevant research projects pertinent for young people and rural life

This role plays a key part in the effectiveness of ensuring that all YFC members’ voices are heard and should be enjoyable and fulfilling for anyone who has an interest in agriculture and rural issues.

You can contact the NFYFC AGRI department on 024 76 857213 or email Sarah Palmer for further help or advice.


21 August 2018

The Love British Food campaign is working with young farmers to promote British food to consumers in the build-up to British Food Fortnight which this year runs from 22nd September to 7th October.

Founder of Love British Food, Alexia Robinson said, “Collaborating with the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) makes so much sense.  We are so lucky as an industry to have the most incredible network of inspirational young farmers, so many of whom are natural leaders with a strong voice in their communities and on social media, and who are the very best advocates for British food.” 

Young farmer and NFYFC AGRI Chairman, James Hutchinson, said: “The NFYFC is delighted to be working with Love British Food. British Food Fortnight is a great platform to remind consumers of the high standard of British farming and to appreciate the great taste of home produced foods.  Working together, our Young Farmers’ Clubs have a powerful anduk an influential voice nationally and I urge members to do what they can to support this campaign.”

Earlier this year Love British Food worked with 14 young farmers in a ‘#BritishFoodisGreat’ social media campaign in the build-up to the key food shopping period of Easter. Now the NFYFC is asking YFC members from across the UK to get involved in phase two of the campaign which includes a challenge to young farmers to do ONE thing during British Food Fortnight to promote British food.

What can YFC members do?

Contact info@lovebritishfood.co.uk and request your #BritishFoodisGreat foam publicity tool and of course visit the Love British Food website for further information. Then start planning any of the following activites:

  • Post a tweet #BritishFoodisGreat#TrueYFC or  #TrueYFC#BritishFoodisGreat
  • Display a banner (YFCs supporting British Food) and use your #BritishFoodisGreat foam prop!
  • Visit your local school to give a talk about your role in producing British food and YFCs
  • Talk to your local pub or local school caterers about sourcing British produce

Don’t forget to post your success stories on social media using #BritishFoodisGreat #TrueYFC and your #BritishFoodisGreat foam prop!

This is just another way of supporting the #TrueYFC campaign and NFYFC Chair Lynsey Martin’s challenge for YFC members to show their true colours and help ensure more British food finds its way to more tables.

Josh Dowbiggin, Love British Food Farming Ambassador (also Junior Agricultural Manager, Co-op and member of Co-op’s Young Farming Pioneers) said: “I am incredibly passionate about British food and farming, so am really looking forward to working with NFYFC and encouraging other young farmers to get involved with the campaign.  We should all be proud to be involved with British food and farming and this gives us the opportunity to promote what we do.”


13 August 2018

NFYFC has two scholarship places available for YFC members who can represent the Federation at the Oxford Farming Conference in January 2019.

The Worshipful Company of Farmers is continuing its support for NFYFC scholars at the 2019 Oxford Farming Conference, which is themed a World of Opportunity. YFC members aged between 20-26 now have an opportunity to apply for two scholarship places. Accommodation, food and training are provided within your scholarship package and all bookings are made by NFYFC.

Tom Wells from Brigg YFC (pictured) received a scholarship for the 2018 event and said: “I found the whole experience very enjoyable and I met lots of new people which has given me much greater professional connections and allowed me to ask tailored questions of these experts of industry.” Read about Tom's experience of the 2018 event here

Potential scholars should:

  • Be keen to learn and participate, represent YFCs and share your experience with the membership
  • Have practical or educational experience in livestock or arable farming
  • Be available to attend an Oxford Farming Conference scholars’ training day on Friday 9 November
  • Be available to attend the Oxford Farming Conference (2-4 January 2019).

To be considered for a scholarship, please submit your reasons on why you should be considered for this great opportunity, include contact details, your YFC membership number and your CV to Sarah Palmer.


10 August 2018

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) is launching a new five year plan called Vision:2023 to help shape the future of the largest rural youth organisation in the UK.

NFYFC wants to bring the 86-year-old organisation up to date and provide a programme of events and activities that meet the needs of rural young people today and in the future.

The Federation, which began in 1932, has launched a survey to kick-start the process and is inviting all of its members to share what they value about being a member.

Throughout the 2018-19 membership year, the organisation will be releasing more surveys and holding focus groups to gather feedback to take the organisation forward.

NFYFC President Charlotte Smith said: “The programme of events and activities at NFYFC has altered very little in the last 80 years but yet society and rural young people’s needs have changed dramatically.

“Now is the time to look to the future and Vision:2023 promises to be an exciting development for an organisation that plans to be around for the next 80 years and more.”

NFYFC will make incremental changes on their Vision:2023 journey, consulting members at each stage.

The first survey has been launched and YFC members are encouraged to share their views online.

NFYFC Chair of Council Lynsey Martin said: “This isn’t about forgetting the Federation’s heritage – no one can deny the incredible history NFYFC has – but this is a vision to improve this organisation and make it more relevant in today’s society.

“We need all YFC members to engage in this process as their voices are vital to make the right changes happen.”

The survey is available online here through Survey Monkey and YFC members will have until 19 September to complete the survey.


07 August 2018

Determination and teamwork were the key ingredients for the winning teams at the national Tug of War finals at the Tenbury Show in August.

It was a challenging pull for the YFC teams who were competing in the intense summer heat to chase a national title.

Waterhouses YFC from Staffordshire claimed victory in the men’s Tug of War, with Somerset FYFC winning the Ladies and Eardisley YFC in Herefordshire winning the mixed 12-17 year old category.

Waterhouses YFC beat a total of 10 other teams in the 680kg category without losing a single pull.

Club Chairman James Belfield said: “To say we’re pleased with the result is an understatement. The team have put in so much hard work this season, training twice a week, every week, and with a lot of us working in farming this is a massive commitment to make.

“We competed against some of the best YFC teams in the country – including last year’s winning team [Devon] so to be placed first is an amazing achievement. A huge thanks to our coach Keith Belfield who also gave up his time to train us and get us where we are today.” 

In the Junior category – which is a mixed team made up of 12-17 year olds – Herefordshire admitted their dedicated training plan had paid off.

Megan Philips from Eardisley YFC said: “We have put months and months of training into this. We have trained so hard and we deserve it. I am so proud of our team!

“I started doing Tug of War three years ago and now I compete for Hay on Wye and for other teams and on a national and international scale against other countries. It’s given me an amazing opportunity to branch out from YFC.”

The Tug of War is one of the most popular YFC competitions and many members who take part in the competition also compete in other Tug of War competitions outside of YFC.

NFYFC will be holding the Tug of War finals at the Tenbury Agricultural Show for at least the next five years thanks to an agreement with organisers.


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