National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

30 January 2019

Meet Jacob Anthony – a Young Farmer from Bridgend YFC in Wales in the first of our monthly membership profiles! He may not know how to 'make YFC things' but apparently he does know how to throw some moves. Oh and he's got a pretty impressive trophy under his farming belt.

When did you join YFC?

I joined Bridgend Young Farmers club in 2007 at the age of 14.

Why did you join?

As my family have historically been heavily involved with Bridgend YFC (father, grandfather and grandmother are all past chairs) it was inevitable that I was going to want to follow in their footsteps and become a member of this fantastic club.

Why have you remained a member?

Once I joined there was never a fear of me not staying a member. I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of different competitions and appreciate the life skills they have taught me but to me the most important thing has been befriending likeminded individuals from across the county/country and being able to socialise with them at YFC functions/events.

Greatest achievement in YFC?

My greatest achievement in YFC was being Chairman of Bridgend when it was our family's turn to host the County Stockjudging competition and we welcomed members from across Glamorgan to our family farm. The day was a great success and ran like clockwork thanks to the army of friends and family of Bridgend YFC who kindly gave up their time to steward. The icing on the cake was when Bridgend won the overall Stockjudging shield – needless to say I was one very proud Club Chairman!

Greatest achievement outside of YFC?

My greatest achievement outside of YFC came in October 2018 when I was named the Farmers Weekly Young Farmer of the year, something I still have to pinch myself to believe, even to this day.

Top skill you’ve learnt from YFC?

Apart from the amazing dance moves that come in handy on a night out I would have to say that the top skill I have learnt in YFC is the ability to stand up and speak in front of people. The many public speaking and stage competitions that I have been lucky enough to participate in over the years has allowed me to gain the confidence to do this. It's a skill I don't think I would have gained if it wasn't for Young Farmers.

The best thing you’ve ever made with YFC?

Most people who know me, I am sure would say that 'making stuff' has never been my strong point in YFC competitions. I have entered the woodwork comps in the past just to help get entries for our club when needed, but with little success. So with that in mind I would have to say the best thing I have ever actually made in YFC is an hors d’oeuvre when I helped out two of our junior members to make up a team for the cookery competition. And even that was only a cherry tomato and piece of mozzarella on a stick! The judges must have been impressed though as they put us through to the next round. I think that decision was probably more to do with the delicious food the girls cooked up for the other courses though.

Three words to describe your club?

Hospitable. Enjoyable. Passionate.

Has YFC helped you in your career?

As a farmer I believe that YFC has helped me in my career by allowing me to meet people from across the agricultural industry who I have learnt many things from. I’ve taken these insights back to the business at home and some of these contacts have proved invaluable. Young Farmers has also given me the opportunities to engage with politicians and decision makers about the future direction of agriculture, something that I think all of us farming members should try and to do whenever the chance arises. 

Someone you would like to thank in YFC and why?

I would personally like to thank Robert and Gwyneth Williams, two members of Bridgend YFC's Advisory Committee, who always go that extra mile to help the club in any way they possibly can. Rob and Gwyneth have provided expert public speaking training for the full gambit of YFC competitions and not to mention always supplying copious amounts of tea and cake! If it wasn’t for people like Rob and Gwyneth giving up their time then YFC would be a very, very different organisation.These volunteers are the backbone of the best rural youth organisation in the world!

 If you would like to be profiled or you want to nominate a member of your club to be profiled by NFYFC, send an email request to Cheryl Liddle.  


30 January 2019

The next generation of farmers came out in force to support their place in the industry at the NFYFC’s and Rural Youth Project’s Fringe event at the Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) in January.

It was the first-time that NFYFC had held a fringe event during this high profile conference and it provided the perfect platform for young farmers to get their voices heard.

Sponsored by KUHN, the session was chaired by Farmers Weekly columnist and farm businessman Matthew Naylor and included presentations from the Rural Youth Project’s (RYP) Jane Craigie and NFYFC’s Sarah Palmer. Both outlined achievements of their organisations, including the Rural Youth Ideas Festival and research from 2018 and NFYFC’s role in representing YFC members over major agri issues such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and next generation considerations for the new Agriculture Bill.

Opening the session Sian Pritchard, from sponsors KUHN, emphasised her pride in the industry, the career opportunities available and KUHN’s commitment to supporting young farmers.

Young farmers from England, Scotland Ireland and Wales, including OFC scholar Lee Pritchard, a livestock farmer from Glamorgan, shared their stories about the challenges involved in progressing a career in the industry today.

Lee said: “The NFYFC fringe event opened my eyes to just how bright our future is when you saw how full the room was with people – and not just young people – wanting to see the younger generation getting on.”

There was standing room only during the session, which attracted OFC scholars, emerging leaders, industry CEOs, university principals, farmers young and old, NFU Next Generation Forum chair, vice and NFU economist and politicians. 

Ben Thorley travelled to Oxford from Derbyshire to explain how he had achieved success without a farming background. College, work experience and a lot of hard work helped him to become a farmer – but not without sacrifices as he confessed his wife Dawn is often ‘a single parent’ due to his work schedule.

There was also opportunity for young farmers from Radnor FYFC to air their future policy wishes via a video they had recorded to show their passion for farming and food production.

AGRI Chair James Hutchinson said: “Coupled with NFYFC’s work from the EU Referendum result to the present day, young farmers’ opinions, concerns and future policy requests have been shared far and wide. This fringe event, supported by KUHN, has provided another way for young rural people to get their views heard. Young people living and working in a rural environment have been well-represented, but there’s a lot still to be done.”


30 January 2019

New resources from AHDB will help YFC members share positive messages about the food industry. 

Understanding how to respond to the latest consumer trends and campaigns can be difficult for those that want to support the industry.

NFYFC has teamed up with AHDB to provide information, social media assets and videos that can be used to help YFC members celebrate the industry. The information guide includes popular hashtags and shares advice on the dos and don’ts of how to respond to negative posts.

You can also download dairy social media assets, information and links to videos on the NFYFC website to use and share to support the industry. Or you can retweet or share any of NFYFC’s posts that the Federation make using these assets.

NFYFC’s AGRI Steering Group Chairman David Goodwin said: “It’s important to have positive, consistent and accurate industry messages to share to help support the industry. The information pack and assets provided by AHDB are a great resource and back up NFYFC’s social media Curve training too.”

There’s news and there’s fake news and you can get to grips with the reality of consumer trends better by visiting the AHDB Consumer Focus page that contains facts and stats to back up your posts. 

And if tackling social media issues is becoming a hot topic of debate in your club, why not update and train your YFC members, leaders and supporters on social media using the NFYFC Curve module The Power of Social Media?





30 January 2019

NFYFC is encouraging its members to read and watch advice from the government to help them be as prepared as possible should there be a no-deal Brexit this spring. 

The government has prepared leaflets and short videos to help individuals and businesses to get ready for the changes. There is also specific advice for those working in agriculture.   

The information from the government prepares traders for the possibility of a no-deal EU exit at the UK border and includes detailed information on the government website.   

The short video below sets out the points government is calling on businesses to consider ahead of Brexit on 29 March 2019.

NFU members can also access a Brexit toolkit to help them navigate the UK's departure from the EU. 

AHDB has also created a dedicated area of its website for Brexit offering advice and information to help people through the process.


30 January 2019

Two YFC members are feeling optimistic and proud of agriculture since attending the Oxford Farming Conference as NFYFC’s scholars in January. 

Lee Pritchard, a livestock farmer from Glamorgan FYFC, and Amy Panton, a Technical Manager and Livestock Procurement Manager for Dunbia Cumbria and a member of Cambridge FYFC, attended the three-day conference in Oxford after successfully applying for an NFYFC scholarship sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Farmers (WCF).

The conference – this year titled ‘A World of Opportunity’ – included speeches from leading figures in industry, including the NFU President Minette Batters and Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove.

Lee, who along with Amy also attended an OFC Scholars Day in November last year, said: “It was an honour to be chosen as a scholar and to represent the YFC movement at the biggest farming conference in Great Britain. I will take this experience with me through the future of my farming career.”

Amy found plenty of optimism at the Conference in the wake of Brexit and is inspired to do more to promote the industry.

She said: “I feel passionate, energised, inspired and proud to be involved in the agri-food industry. I am delighted to have attended and would urge other young farmers to apply for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Both scholars also took part in the NFYFC’s and Rural Youth Project’s Fringe event – titled Will There be a Next Generation?, which was sponsored by KUHN.

Chaired by Farmers Weekly columnist and farm businessman Matthew Taylor, the event included presentations from Jane Craigie about the Rural Youth Ideas Festival and research and from NFYFC’s Sarah Palmer who outlined the AGRI work the organisation is involved in.

Young farmers also discussed their farming experiences. These included a presentation from Lee who told his story about how helping and working on a farm led to him being part of the farm business – with help from Welsh Connect’s Venture matching service.

In answer to the question ‘will there be a next generation?’ that was posed during the fringe event Amy said: “There is most definitely a next generation. We are here and learning and embracing the opportunity to collaborate with our older counterparts because we can learn a lot from them."

Every year the Worshipful Company of Farmers sponsors two YFC members to attend the conference and any YFC member can apply for these places. Master of the Worshipful Company of Farmer’s Rosie Carne expressed her enthusiasm:

“Amy and Lee were excellent delegates and perfect examples of the profile we’re looking for in our sponsored scholars. They are enthusiastic young people who are engaged in the wider farming industry. As enthusiastic mixers, they will benefit hugely from the Oxford experience.”

For more information about future scholarship opportunities at the Oxford Farming Conference, contact Sarah Palmer. 

 


17 January 2019

A winter wonderland awaited YFC Skiers when they arrived in Belle Plagne this January for a week of action in the snow. 

The trip attracted seasoned skiers as well as those who have never seen a salopette before but were eager to learn. Sophie Tamblyn from Pelynt Young Farmers in Cornwall strapped on her skis for the first time and said the lessons that were part of her package helped her fully enjoy the break away and learn new skills.

“The lessons at the beginning were really enjoyable, the instructors were fun and made you do everything, so there was no holding yourself back. This then allowed us to explore more of La Plagne and by the end of the week we could ski with other YFC friends who already knew how to ski.

For Marcus Bailey from Colchester YFC in Essex, as he hadn’t skied for six years, he decided to get a refresher course and book on the lessons too.

“I picked up the basics pretty quickly again. The good thing with so many Young Farmers on this type of trip, there is always someone that is your ability to ski with and there was lots of slopes of varying difficulty.”

As well as skiing and boarding activities, YFC members enjoyed some dedicated YFC events too – including two fancy dress opportunities.

There was daily après-ski fun, a comedy night and opening and closing entertainment for YFC skiers to enjoy during the six-day snow break in France.

Marcus said: “The events didn’t disappoint and were a good laugh. Over the trip I got to know many members from every corner of the Federation and made many new friends along the way.”

Sophie also enjoyed the opportunity to make new friends on the trip. “Belle Plagne only had one main nightclub, which meant everyone ended up at the same place every night making it ideal to meet other young farmers.”

When it comes to considering a future skiing opportunity with YFC, both Sophie and Marcus said they would definitely book again.

Sophie said: “I would definitely recommend this trip and especially if it’s your first time skiing as your lessons are with other younger farmers with the same ability and same interests as you – making lessons really fun!”

Marcus added: “I’m already looking forward to next year.”

The YFC Ski trip went to Belle Plagne in France from 5-12 January 2019.  The Events and Marketing Steering Group will discuss future ski trips at the Steering Group and Council meeting in February. 

 



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