National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

04 October 2018

Research findings by The University of Warwick’s School of Life Sciences’ research team shows that scald and under-running footrot cause 70-80% of lameness in sheep. 

The research team have been exhibiting at YFC events this year to help share messages about footrot to support young farmers.

Treating individual sheep within three days of becoming lame is the most important factor to reduce the level of scald and footrot.

Where farmers treat all sheep within three days of onset of lameness, lameness falls to less than 2% and the number of sheep requiring treatment reduces within six to eight weeks. Prompt treatment improves productivity by 10-20% and improves sheep welfare.

Advice for footrot includes:

  • The best treatment is one long-acting antibiotic injection recommended by a veterinarian (e.g. oxytetracycline), correctly dosed for weight of the sheep and antibiotic spray on all four feet.
  • Do not trim the feet, it doubles the time to recovery.
  • Using antibiotics only on affected sheep will minimise antibiotic use and the associated risk of antibiotic resistance. Long term use of antibiotics will be reduced with reducing lameness levels.

For more information visit and for further information on lameness, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) produce a “Reducing lameness for better returns” manual through their Better Returns Programme (BRP). The manual is available online and hard copies can be ordered through the AHDB BRP team via or calling 024 7647 8834.

Recognising and treating footrot in sheep

Footrot causes lameness

Nearly a million sheep are lame at any one time in England. Lame sheep are less productive and have poor welfare. Scald and under-running footrot account for 70%-80% of all lameness and are caused by the same bacteria and so need to be managed together as one disease - footrot. Control of footrot can reduce lameness levels to under 2%.

How to recognise footrot

It is important to name the causes of lameness correctly to make sure the treatment is correct and will be successful.

Avoid foot trimming when you inspect and treat footrot

Clear away mud and grass to see the skin and claws to see what is causing the sheep to be lame but do not use water or trim the foot. Your eyes and nose will tell you if a sheep has footrot.

Treating footrot

The best treatment for footrot is a long-acting antibiotic injection and antibiotic spray on all four feet. This treatment leads to 95% of sheep recovering from lameness in 2-10 days. Avoid foot trimming because it slows down recovery from footrot.Trimming also causes pain if you cut into living tissue and leads to misshapen feet.


If you show sheep and want to tidy their feet to improve their appearance this is fine so long as feet are not over-trimmed and the living tissue of the foot is not damaged.

Does using antibiotics to treat footrot cause antibiotic resistance?

Footrot is caused by a bacteria and so antibiotics are an effective and appropriate treatment. Only treating sheep with footrot within three days of becoming lame and using the correct dose of antibiotic minimises the use of antibiotics and so minimises the risk of resistance. Treating sheep within three days of becoming lame reduces the spread of footrot to other sheep and so minimises the number of lame sheep you treat with antibiotics.

Authors: Dr Emma Monaghan and Professor Laura Green, University of Warwick.

04 October 2018

The UK’s representatives of CEJA, the lobbying voice for European young farmers, are continuing to play their full role in representing UK young farmers until their membership ends in January next year.

Kate Wainwright (pictured right), from the NFYFC’s AGRI steering group, and Olivia Richardson, from the NFU Next Generation Forum, attended CEJA's General Assembly meeting in August. While in Slovenia, they were involved in discussions on common issues including risk management from extreme weather, creating links between towns and rural areas, and access to land for young farmers.  Kate and Olivia also attended an International Ministerial Conference where young farmers were encouraged to acknowledge diversity and share good business practice from their own farms.

Member states are keen for relations with UK young farmers to remain strong following the ending of the membership and for dialogue to continue.

Everyone in the organisation is keen for the current representatives to stay involved until the membership ends, including taking part in working groups and the forthcoming 60th anniversary celebrations.

Kate said: “We emphasised the close relationship we have with CEJA and that we envisage and hope for future communications regardless of our membership.

“Olivia and I are really grateful for the opportunity to represent NFYFC and NFU Next Generation.”

CEJA President Jannes Maes recently addressed the informal meeting of agriculture ministers in Schloss Hof, Austria regarding shaping the future of vital rural areas and quality food production in the European Union.

Mr Maes said: “If young people feel that they cannot make an adequate living as farmers, they will not remain in the sector. The youth in rural areas need to have opportunities if they are to stay in the countryside and work and live there. Without them the vitality of rural areas would suffer and their depopulation would be accelerated.”

CEJA is highlighting that a stable and competitive income for young farmers is at the heart of ensuring vitality in rural areas and that the role of the EU is to support young farmers through more ambitious measures in the future CAP.

“The CEJA President’s view is just as applicable for our own policy makers as we discuss further detail for the future Agriculture Bill,” commented NFYFC AGRI Chair James Hutchinson.

NFYFC CEJA reps will report back to the NFYFC AGRI steering group meeting on 20 October.

Forthcoming events:

8-10 November – joint CEJA seminar with SMA CR, Czech Republic

3-4 December – CEJA’s 60th anniversary, Brussels/Ypres

04 October 2018

A new structure for the Board of Management, which was agreed by NFYFC’s Council in June, means there are four new positions available for YFC members. 

A new structure for the Board means that a third of its membership must be YFC members (aged 16 to 26 years) and changes the way YFC members are selected for the Board. Previously YFC members were recruited to the Board to represent regions. The change in the nomination and selection process will facilitate the best experienced YFC members to be nominated and the NFYFC will make the Board appointments.

A shortlist of applicants that meet the selection criteria will be assessed by a working party, to be appointed by NFYFC’s Council, and presented at the Council meeting for election in February 2019.

The position for the Chair of the Board is also being advertised as the current Chair Heather Black has reached the end of her term of office.

Individuals that make up the Board of Management hold the legal duty and responsibility to ensure that NFYFC’s operations always meet its purpose and charitable objectives and also meet all regulation and legislation that apply to it.   Members of the Board hold ultimate responsibility for the organisation, the actions of its members and must safeguard and protect the organisation.

Anyone interested in applying for a position on NFYFC’s Board of Management should visit the Recruitment Area of the website to see the role description and to download an expression of interest form.

NFYFC October Council Meeting 

Council meetings are held three times a year and this is where your elected Council member represents you.  The October meeting is held on 20-21 October and if you have views, questions or concerns, make sure you contact your Council representative.  Details for your Council representative can be found from your County Office.


03 October 2018

County Chairs and Vice Chairs will get the chance to boost their leadership skills at a dedicated training weekend in November. 

Equipped promises to be a fun-packed weekend of learning, designed to support County Chairs and Vices in their new roles and includes key sessions and workshops.

Held at Mount Cook Adventure Centre in Derbyshire, from 23-25 November, YFC members will enjoy some outdoor team building activities as well as spend time understanding their new role.

Workshops will cover topics on time and people management, finances, YFC culture, club and county communication channels and coordinating county events.

NFYFC’s Chair of Council Lynsey Martin said: “This is a great opportunity for chairs and vice chairs to get to grips with their new role and to network and share best practice with others in a similar role to them.

“The training is positive news for Counties too as they benefit from having a confident and skilled leader in post to help guide them through the membership year.”

For more information and to book a place if you are a County Chair or Vice Chair, visit EventBrite

01 October 2018

Encouraging young people to start a conversation about succession of the family farming business is the aim of a new video by the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC).

The short film, which involves professional actors, and was supported by Defra and AHDB, will be launched on social media on 1 October 2018 and shows the conflict that many farming families face when dealing with succession.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that one in four farming families in the UK are not speaking to a member of their family as they have fallen out over succession issues, causing serious problems for relationships and the business.

Siân Bushell of Siân Bushell Associates – a trained facilitator who helps family businesses develop succession plans – narrates the film and says families just need to talk.

“In a lot of farming families, people assume that they know what the rest of the family want to do. This video from NFYFC will hopefully act as a tool to help young people approach the subject of succession with their family.

“Now’s the time to start planning as succession will happen. It’s incredibly important to start that conversation early.”

The film, which was recorded in Warwickshire, shows a farming family not speaking openly to each other, with their true feelings printed on the walls of the house. The film moves on to show how the family benefit from talking honestly to one another and how it can help to bring about a resolution for everyone.

NFYFC’s Agricultural and Rural Issues (AGRI) Chair James Hutchinson said:

“NFYFC is aware of the problems that a lack of succession planning can cause and the impact it can have on young people involved in the business. This short film raises awareness of the reasons why it’s important to start talking and to get a succession plan in place as soon as possible.

“We are grateful to Siân Bushell for the excellent advice she gives throughout the video and also to the funding support from Defra and AHDB that enabled NFYFC to create this film.”

The film, Succession… we need to talk, will be promoted on social media from 1 October and an advice guide will also be available for download from the NFYFC website.


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