National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

29 March 2019

Public Speaking teams from across England and Wales are celebrating making it through to the national competition finals in Staffordshire this July after succeeding in the Regional Finals of the competitions.

Teams competed in Junior Public Speaking, Brainstrust and After Dinner Speaking in both the Northern and Southern finals in March.

In Lincolnshire, the winning After Dinner Speaking team are hoping their success will encourage other members to take part in the competitions programme.

“I think the whole team would say that it has been a great experience for us,” said Charlotte Garbutt from North Holland YFC. “Not only in the competing and getting a lot of out of it that we can apply in the world of work, but also how we have come together from different clubs to form a team to represent our County. It’s brought us closer together.

“Hopefully, it will have inspired some of our other members who might not have considered taking part in a competition, particularly a speaking competition.”

Charlotte says that the secret of their success has been that they have been able to inspire and motivate each other – even using a Facebook Messenger Group to keep each other going.

“We use it as a platform to bounce ideas off, and share any thoughts we’ve got,” she said. “But it’s also a good tool to keep things alive and keep things buzzing. When you’ve got five people in there and someone says they’re really looking forward to the competition, it really enthuses you.”

Charlotte sees no reason to change the approach that has been so successful for them so far.

“We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing, making little tweaks where we need to,” she said. “The good thing is everyone in the team brings their own individual stamp – everyone has their own strengths. Together, we make a good team.”

Charlotte’s Lincolnshire team will join second place County Durham FYFC and, from the Southern Regional Finals, Devon FYFC and second place Cornwall FYFC. They will also be joined by Ceredigion FYFC in the finals.

Katie Sanderson from County Durham FYFC was named the best speaker in the Northern finals and Matt Darke from Devon FYFC was the best speaker in the Southern finals.

After coming third in the Junior Public Speaking National Finals in 2018, Jacob Ryder is hoping to reach the top spot this year.

His Yorkshire team have just secured their place at this year’s showpiece event after coming first in the Northern regional finals alongside the second placed team Cumbria FYFC.

Jacob, from Farnley Estate YFC, won the best speaker award after picking a subject close to his heart for his topic – his grandpops.

“We had one night about two weeks before the competition to go through it all,” explains Jacob. “Then leading up to the competition, I just went through my speech and practised questions with my mum and dad.

“For the National final, I think we’ll leave it for a little while and then we’ll have a few group practices nearer the time – we’ll just keep doing what we did this time.”

Other winners in the Junior Public Speaking competition Northern finals included Best Chairman Charlotte Booth from Yorkshire A, and Best Vote of Thanks Ella Berry from Cumbria.

In the Southern finals Devon FYFC won first place with Somerset YFC also getting through to the finals by coming second. The best speaker award went to Molly Clist from Devon and Best Vote of Thanks went to Rose McCombe, also from Devon. The best chairman was awarded to Zoe Stanbury from Somerset.

The weekend also included the Brainstrust competition and Lancashire FYFC came first in the Northern finals with Cumbria second place. In the Southern finals, Dorset FYFC was the winning team and Herefordshire FYFC also got through to the national finals in second place. They will be joined by Brecknock YFC from Wales.

To see all the results from the Public Speaking competitions see here 

29 March 2019

Five YFC teams have made it through to the national final of the Performing Arts competition after ‘entertaining’ regional finals.

Winning teams Eardisley YFC, Caldbeck YFC and Guilsfiled YFC celebrated first place positions in the regional rounds and will be joined by Cornwall FYFC and Buxton YFC who both came second in the Southern and Northern finals respectively.

Eardisley YFC learnt from veterans of the team that came second in the national Drama final in 2016 – but this year’s cast is a whole new team.

“We’re a really inclusive club,” said Zoe Whittall. “We all muck in and help each other and past generations like to help us.

“It’s an original script that has been written by past members and all of the costumes and set are hand-made by past members. Nothing has been bought in. But we’ve got a lot of new members and this is a completely different cast.”

The club didn’t hold any auditions for their production – anyone who wanted to take part was welcome to join in, resulting in a cast of 31 people between the ages of 10 and 24.

“We’re really excited about the national finals,” said Zoe. “We can’t quite believe it!”

The national finals of the Entertainments will take place on Sunday 12 May in Leamington Spa at the Spa Centre. Tickets for the finals will be on sale from Monday 1 April and can be purchased via the NFYFC office by calling 02476 857200. 

28 March 2019

How do you secure a club meeting space for future generations? Buy the land your club hall is on, say Threemilestone YFC!  Natalie Brown, Social Media and Communications Officer for the 72-year-old Club, reveals all about their £52k challenge.

Why does your club want to buy the site where your club house is based?

This has been our home for 57 years and the Club has seen generations of YFC members have fun here and it’s at the root of our club and it’s history. The site is situated in a prime location and is local to the Threemilestone and District surroundings, which forms the name of our club and it’s in the heart of the community.

How much money do you need to raise? 

The total amount we need to raise is £52,000.

Have you got a deadline by which you need to raise the funds?

The club aims to raise this within three years from the start date. The hope is that by December 2022 the club will own the land and the club hall.

What plans have you got to raise the funds?

As well as writing letters to current and former members to ask for donations to the campaign, we officially launched in January 2019 with a tea party for generations of members to give donations.

So far we have held a comedy night with more than 100 people joining us and a coast-to-coast tractor run with 65 new and vintage tractors.

Future events include an Auction of Promises with 100 lots donated by individuals, local and national companies. These will be auctioned off by local auctioneer Ed Harris from Lodge and Thomas at Griggs restaurant on Friday 5 April at 7:30pm.

We are also planning a murder mystery evening and an annual clay pigeon shoot as well as hiring out our bar and bar staff for functions.

We have introduced a supporters draw too so that supporters have a chance to win back some money with 50% of the pot being donated back to the club and 50% to be shared between three winners in each quarterly draw.

The club members are very keen to actively work on events and put the effort in to raising the funds. The club treasurer is also looking to identify any potential grants or community schemes that we may be able to access. 

Is your club house owned by your club and how did you go about purchasing this? 

Club Chairman Andrew Oatey in May 1958 recognised the club was thriving and was becoming too big for the local school classroom. In July 16th 1960 the club purchased the club hall costing £200 from the Fire Station at RAF St Eval after it was facing closure. It took the members 10 weeks and 15 lorry loads to safely dismantle the building and transfer it to its new home. The Queen Mother visited the hall on Wednesday 25th April 1962 to officially open the Hall and give it the Royal blessing. The same day the Tamar bridge was opened.

What's it like inside and what makes it special?

The club hall comprises male and female toilets, a kitchen, a large hall and a staged area. The walls are a mix of blue and white with a wooden floor. The original wooden beams are a real feature of the roof. The toilets are rather dated and will be improved in the future.

Local firm Howdens donated a brand new kitchen to us which was fitted by three club members Ben Brown, Andy Holden and Toby Rickard in 2012. The hall is regularly painted and maintained by the members.

Why would you recommend other YFCs consider having their own building and land?

We have been extremely lucky to have our own club house. It’s not just our club that has benefited it has been widely used by other clubs and the county team as we are the only club in Cornwall with our own Club Hall.

Local community spaces can be rare to find and book for regular club night meetings and the cost of this is ongoing. The club hall provides us with a home and hub for all our activities, including home for cubicle when it comes to Royal Cornwall Show time.

Having your own club hall does not come without some challenges but the sense of pride of the building being your own really does make it something special.

Has everyone in the club got a role to help raise the funds?

It really is a team effort as all current members voted unanimously in 2018 to purchase the land. Club members past and present help to run and organise events and also attend to support and have fun. The club members are vital for helping with the success of the campaign.

With a thriving club and not underestimating the challenges the club were going to have ahead of them over the next few years a separate Fundraising For Our Future team was created.

This team consists of Chairman Toby Rickard a previous club chairman, Secretary Julia Burley current club leader, myself and Treasurer Lucy Rafferty the clubs current Treasurer.   

Has it helped bring the club together?

The club is thriving more than ever with a large intake of younger members which is fantastic to see as part of securing the future of the club.

With a wide range of activities and calendar of events for the campaign it really has brought the club together and younger members have heard from past members and their stories.

With rural isolation and mental health being high on the agenda it’s fantastic to see the club pull along with the local community. 

28 March 2019

Young farmers in Lincolnshire have been taking their tractors into schools to help build relationships and teach young people about agriculture. 

Tractors Into Schools 2019 was the brainchild of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society to “spread the food, farming and countryside message”. Lincolnshire FYFC has been working with the Society and the NFU to help them meet their aim of getting a tractor into every school in the county.

YFCs have taken the opportunity to talk to children about the role the tractor plays in bringing food to our tables and how British food is produced. Members of Lincolnshire FYFC have so far visited nine schools, and in one afternoon saw over 200 pupils.

Kate Knight, Strategic Development Manager for Lincolnshire FYFC, said: “It was a great opportunity to share the message and shout a bit about Young Farmers’ Clubs too!

“We did a variety of activities including Farming Facts ‘True or False’, buckets of grain and the food it turns into, guess the farming objects, and lots of other fun things!

“We were really grateful to all the farmers and dealers that lent us shiny, clean tractors and to the Agricultural Society and LEAF for helping us with the preparation and planning.”

NFYFC has developed a new Future Farming training module and materials with LEAF Education that YFC trainers and clubs can deliver in schools to year 9 pupils. The module helps to share positive messages about careers in agriculture as well as explore living in the wider world, whilst encompassing economic and environmental wellbeing and aspects of agricultural, food and retail careers education.

For more information about the Future Farming module, see here. 

26 March 2019

NFYFC’s Council, comprising of county elected YFC members and associate members, has proposed a 50% increase in the subscription fee (levy) that is paid by each member to the national Federation.

The motion will be proposed at NFYFC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday 12 May at Stareton Hall, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

At the current rate – this is equivalent to an increase of 18 pence per week that each member would pay to NFYFC, bringing the total NFYFC membership fee to 52 pence per week (increased from the current 34p per week).

The Council is putting the motion forward in response to the Federation’s growing deficit.  This has been caused by minimal increases to the subscription fee over previous years, external income that is no longer available to the NFYFC and also because the services provided by NFYFC to the YFCs and County Federations are in great need.

NFYFC Chairman of Council Katie Hall said: “It will be damaging to reduce the support services and programmes provided to YFC clubs and County Federations by the NFYFC but this will happen if YFC members do not get behind their national Federation and back a 50% increase to the subscription. Our membership fee is cheaper than other youth organisations and we have to be realistic about what services we can continue to provide on minimal increases.”

NFYFC provides support to the 46 County Federations that are affiliated to NFYFC in England and Wales. Local funding cuts have caused reductions to staffing hours in many County Federations and the workload has therefore increased at a national level as County Federations seek more support from the national body.

The outcome of the decision about the subscription fee that is made at the AGM will have an impact on the services and benefits that NFYFC can continue to offer (such as competitions, training and travel). Council Officers warned that the decision would ultimately have a serious impact on the future viability of the Federation. Materials and support information have been sent to all club and county chairmen.

NFYFC Council is now asking YFC Clubs and Counties to start meaningful debates about the proposed subscription fee and to discuss what NFYFC means to them.

Each YFC Club receives two voting cards to use at the meeting and every YFC Club is encouraged to attend the AGM to share their views.

For more information: 

For help with understanding more about the motions, visit here.

For help with holding a YFC meeting on this topic in your Club, visit here: 

22 March 2019

Statement about planned road blockages by protestors on Friday 22 March

NFYFC is aware there is a road blockage by protestors planned from around 5pm this evening until the early hours of Saturday morning on main arterial routes including but not restricted to the M1, M6 M25, M62, A1, A55, M5, M4, M42, M55, M61, A66.

This may have an impact on journey times for competitors travelling to NFYFC’s Public Speaking finals in Cheltenham and Retford on Saturday 23 March.

The Public Speaking finals will still be going ahead as planned from 10.30am in both locations and competitors are advised to set out in good time to reach the venue and to have an alternative route in mind should major roads be affected.

If you are held up due to the blockade, please keep in contact with your Chief Steward (telephone numbers are in your Competitors Notes). Stewards will aim to be as flexible as possible on the day.  

For information and booking in times for the Public Speaking finals, visit here.  


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