National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

05 October 2018

NFYFC sprinkled a little bit of magic during British Food Fortnight in what judges described as one of the highest scoring years at the national Cookery finals.

A total of 36 teams from across England and Wales served up four course meals to a theme of magic and mystery at the Malvern Show but it was the Herefordshire FYFC team whose dishes dazzled the judges the most. 

Their four courses were inspired by an ancient Egyptian theme and included:

  • A  starter of smoked pigeon with beetroot cooked three ways, red hot tuile and garlic and fennel panna cotta
  • A main course of rolled goat parcels with a spicy stuffing and a pearl barley salad.
  • A fish course of tilapia with a spicy tomato and radish salad.
  • Dessert - Umm Ali, a traditional Egyptian dish with apricot puree and chocolate.

The winning trio of Hope Farndon, 25, Millie Jones, 17, and Harriet Hughes, 18, were all ecstatic to win the top award and have been doing a lot of rehearsals in Millie’s mum’s kitchen. 

“My mum will be so pleased that she can get rid of the temporary table we have been using to practice on in the kitchen,” said Millie who enjoys cooking. “We took inspiration for the presentation of our dishes from a friend who has a catering business and we used YouTube a lot!”

The judges, former Masterchef finalist Ben Axford and Hetty Ziegler-Jones, both watched the preparation of the dishes and tasted all of the food.

Both chefs were impressed with what was achieved by YFC members in such a short time frame and with only the use of a two ring gas hob! One team managed to cook a sponge cake, while another made intricate chocolate detailing that the judges said they wouldn’t even have attempted in the conditions and time they had to work in.

Ben said: “We loved the interpretation of the theme this year. And we were thrilled by some of the creation – people making starters look like cupcakes and desserts look like starters. The technical presentation and the execution of the dishes get better each year. This year, we have awarded some of the highest marks we’ve ever awarded. Competitors are really pushing themselves and raising the standards.”

Herefordshire’s winning dishes ‘wowed’ the judges the most on the day though and Ben added: “It was all really supremely balanced. It was a really interesting dish. If I’d have had that in a top restaurant I would have been thrilled by it but I had it by people who had made it in an hour on two little gas rings.”

All the results can be found on the website here.

05 October 2018

Winning the NFYFC national final of the Floral Arts competition felt even more magical for Emma Hawke after a difficult 18 months. 

An illness caused Emma, 24, from Cornwall, to stop working as a florist and after three years of making it to a YFC national final, she took time out from competing last year.

But proving that if you’re determined you can succeed, Emma decided to get back into competing again, while managing her condition, and was delighted to bring home the 26 and under trophy for her solar eclipse design.

“I am still in shock,” said Emma who joined Cornwall FYFC when she was 19, now representing Wadebridge YFC. “I was shaking when they called out my name. Winning at a County round is great but to win a national competition is a phenomenal feeling.”

Emma trained as a florist and says her passion for flowers was passed on to her by her grandad, who sadly died when she was 13.

“My grandad loved to grow flowers so whenever I am working with them I think of him,” said Emma. “He saw me doing flowers and he was very proud of me and so when I create arrangements I know he’s looking over me and it’s my way of always having him with me.”

The theme for the 26 and under floral art was A mysterious phenomenon of your choice. Emma’s arrangement included orchids, calla lilies, chrysanthemums and hypericum – all in shades of reds, yellows and oranges that were in keeping with a solar eclipse.

Emma has previously won a Bronze medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and says her experience there helped with her technique at the final.

“I bound the flowers, placed them in test tubes and used a lot of glue to get the flowers in the right positions on the frame. You need to use a lot of technique and discretion in your work though to achieve the right effect and I learnt a lot of that at Chelsea.”

Two other age categories competed at the Malvern Show in NFYFC’s national final. Mari James from Carmarthenshire won first place in the 21 and under category and Harriet Preece from Herefordshire FYFC won first place in the 16 and under category.

 For all the results from the Floral Arts finals please see here.  

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


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