National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

26 April 2019

What are you doing this May bank holiday weekend?

I’m really excited about it as there are County Rallies and Competition Days taking place across England and Wales where thousands of members will be celebrating what’s great about your YFC clubs.

I’m also aware that some people are planning on heading to Blackpool for the weekend. The message from the organiser appears to be about representing young farmers in a ‘good light’.

Are the bars of Blackpool really the right platform for doing this?

There will be no support from NFYFC in Blackpool during the bank holiday weekend as this 'event' is not organised or sanctioned by the national Federation, and therefore those who choose to attend do not represent YFC.

The Federation is still feeling the repercussions from the incidents last year. Industry will be watching during this critical time for agriculture and especially following last year’s disappointing publicity. 

At a time when all YFC activities are being reviewed as part of Vision:2023, any actions that bring the YFC or NFYFC names into disrepute could jeopardise the potential for a new official national event.

So, this bank holiday weekend all I ask is that if you are proud to be part of YFC think carefully about the actions and decisions you make.

Personally, I will be at Somerset’s County Rally on 4 May. I will be surrounded by hundreds of YFC members – watching them compete, perform, fundraise and celebrate with their friends at an organised YFC event. What will you do this Bank Holiday to show the #trueYFC?

Katie Hall
NFYFC Chairwoman 2019-20

To see more information about NFYFC’s position about unofficial events in Blackpool please visit here.

25 April 2019

From decorating floats to meetings with electricians – being a County Rally Chairman is an epic responsibility as six of this year’s hardworking members confess.


Somerset FYFC Rally

4 May, Frogmary Green Farm, South Petherton

Rally Chairman: Guy Dibble 

1. Is your Rally open to the public?

Yes – day and night events but any non-members have to be over 18 if they are attending the evening. It’s £1 to park your car for the day and the evening event is for over 18s only and is £10 for non-members.

2. How many people are you expecting?

Anywhere between 400 and 900 – all depends on the weather!

3. Any unusual competitions?

Traditional competitions you would see at our rally are stockjudging on the Friday night for all ages, calf and sheep show on the day, tug of war and 78 handicraft classes are always good! This year our theme is Run Away with the Circus – so there will be activities themed around this, such as a stilts relay, clown it up and many more!

We will also have clay and air rifle shooting, fence erecting and male and female welding – all good fun!

4. How are you preparing?

I have got a brilliant committee behind me, who all have their own roles and sub committees pulling together to organise the event! As chairman, I have had to make executive decisions and ensure that everything has been completed in a timely manner ahead of deadlines.

5. Any new skills?

The role has helped me to develop my public speaking skills at fundraising events in the run up to the rally. We have a couple of meetings left to put the final touches together, before a busy week setting up prior to the day of the rally which we hope all goes to plan! I can’t thank all the committee enough for all their hard work they have put in, especially my secretary Suzy Reed!


Leicestershire and Rutland FYFC’s 74th Annual County Rally

18 May, Flaxlands Farm, South Croxton, LE7 3RN

Rally Chairman: Elizabeth Charles

1. Is your event open to the public?

Yes and I believe we are the largest non-commercial Rally in the Federation so we’re always happy to have people come and see what we get up to in Young Farmers! We charge £2 per person for members and £4 for non members.

2. How many people are you expecting?

Around 500 people – participating members and the public.

3. Any unusual competitions?

We always have some weird and wacky competitions! This year some of the highlights include; Best Fry Up, Blindfolded Stilton Cheese Tasting and the Pimp my Pedal Tractor Grand National.

We have lots of things going on throughout the day, including open competitions for members of the public to have a go at on the day. And we have a trophy up for grabs for the winner of our open competitions too.

4. How are you preparing?

We’re in the midst of Rally Committee meetings at County level to get the event organised and ready to go, and the event wouldn’t be possible without our great committee working behind the scenes.

Clubs have also been busy with Rally prep and practising competitions. Fastest time to eat five Jaffa Cakes has proven to be the most popular competition to practice!

5. Have you picked up any skills?

Teamwork is the most important in organising such a big event. And being Rally Chairman has really helped make me feel more confident in running meetings and public speaking.

Bedfordshire FYFC Rally

18 May, Walducks Farm, Stewkley LU7 0DL

Rally Chairman: Richard Heady

1. Is your rally open to the public?

Yes and we find it is a fantastic showcase for YFC, and great for attracting new members. We charge £8 per person on the gate and under 10s are free.

2. How many people are you expecting?

If the weather is kind we are expecting about 3,000 people.

3. Any unusual activities?

The big finale of the day is the decorated floats, which are packed with members in costume as they play music and drive around the main ring for judging. After the judging all the floats line up for a flour and water fight!

We have all bases covered at our rally: cattle, sheep, pigs, showjumping, dressage, flower arranging, cookery, handicrafts, tug of war, skills e.g. welding, sports, team challenges, assault course, gymkhana and so on.

4. How are you preparing?

The job of rally chairman seems to be all about people management, getting everyone working as a team, and drawing on the best of everyone's experience.

5. Any new skills?

I am definitely learning new people and time management skills on the lead up to Rally day.

Worcestershire FYFC County Rally

25 May 2019, Park Farm, Kerswell Green, WR5 3PD

Rally Chairman: Ellie Hodgetts

1. Is your rally open to the public?

Yes – there is a £5 entry fee.

2. How many people are you expecting?

We are hoping for 6-700 people – we are having a big push on advertising this year.

3. Any unusual activities?

All our competitions are used as qualifiers for the Three Counties Show in June. We have one new competition this year – a computer generated banner for our summer party ‘Defford.’

4. How are you preparing?

I am very lucky to be supported massively by our County office and office staff.

5. Any new skills?

The biggest skill is trying to keep my work and the work for the Show separate. I’m making lists so I can work on them when I get home. I’m also learning to delegate/ask others to help do things that they are able to do more easily than I can. 


Brecknock FYFC County Rally

1 June 2019, The Pentre Farm, Merthyr Cynog, Brecon, LD3 9SD

Rally Chairman: Vicky Healey, Pontfaen YFC

1. Is your rally open to the public?

Yes, competitions start at 9am.

2. How many people are you expecting?

We are expecting 800 people on Rally Day and around 800 to the Dance.

3. Any unusual activities?

Quite a few. Our YFC nail and hair art; a competition for the quickest time to set up and dismantle sheep handling systems; face painting, shearing, handwriting, identification of children’s TV, car wheel changes, cupcake decorating and a pedal tractor obstacle course.

Then we have all the usual traditional competitions – dancing, singing, cooking, stockjudging, dressing up, Generation Game, a fashion parade, woodwork, A Twist on a Nursery Rhyme, pallet recycling, sheep shearing, wool handling, floral art, RTV, tug of war and main ring display.

4. How are you preparing?

This year is extra special as we host the Rally at The Pentre and this will be the fifth time the Davies family have held the Rally and the whole community is helping us prepare. We are very lucky to have excellent Club Leaders willing to help when needed as well.

We have 42 members of which only 12 are over 18. As a club we have grown over the past few years and last year won the Rally for the first time in 37 years! We are busying making our Rally Promotional sign, which I have designed and it has been drawn by a few of our junior members.

It is now all hands on deck to paint and cut out the letters as we always have a double-sided sign and we are the reigning champions for the past two years.

On top of preparing for the Rally we are organising a charity concert to take place at the rally site on Friday 7 June where we will be raising money for Wales Air Ambulance – the Wales YFC Chairman’s chosen charity.

5. Any new skills?

I am big believer that the more you put in to YFC the more you get out of. I lead by example and I am always willing to give anything a go. At the rally this year I am Shearing (as long as I get my blue seal have a 2 day course booked in May).

A lot of work goes into administration, site planning and preparation for rally competitions. As lambing draws to a close and the cattle can be turned out, the club will focus its efforts on helping the rally hosts prepare the yards, sheds and fields. We will be busy sweeping, painting, strimming and power washing.

Hosting the Rally is a proud moment for all clubs and a big responsibility for the host farm and community involved. We are deeply grateful for their support and will endeavour to muck in with all sorts of manual labour to reflect this! 

 County Durham FYFC County Rally

 1 June 2019, Green Acres Farm, Elwick

Rally Chairman: Katie Sanderson

1. Is your rally open to the public?

It isn’t advertised to the public but it’s also not a closed event to purely YFC.

2. How many people are you expecting?

I would like to think the majority of the County will be competing and bring along family and friends for support, so around 200+.

3. Any unusual activities?

This year we have brought back some traditional competitions that the older members have praised us for! Rally Day in County Durham is purely Rally Day but one of the most popular days of the YFC calendar, with all members pulling together in their clubs, showing great competitive spirit in the hope of being Rally Day Champions!

4. How are you preparing?

Preparations are well underway with all competitions set and judges and stewards being sourced. It has been key to talk and work with past Rally chairmen in the County to draw on their knowledge!

5. Any new skills?

I have held committee chairmen positions before when hosting Area events, so I have drawn on my skills gained from these such as organisation, time management and good communication, to help me organise the 2019 Rally!

25 April 2019

YFC Clubs across England and Wales are being asked to host a new activity session about the future of the Federation during their club nights. 

The new activity session called Are you Vision:2023 Ready? has been created by the members of the Vision:2023 strategy group and is aimed at seeking feedback about the Federation from clubs. The information will be used to help the Vision: 2023 group develop the five-year plan for the organisation.

The sessions contain a number of activities for clubs to do that will encourage discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation, what members want to see in the future and how it should be funded.

There are also activities included that will help clubs to think about their own five year plans and guide them in setting future goals.

At the end of each session, the club is then asked to complete an online survey to feedback on the discussions they have had as a club and to put forward their recommendations.

The small Vision:2023 group, made up of 10 YFC members, has already delivered pilot sessions and clubs have been giving their feedback.

Parbold YFC in Lancashire found that by taking part in the session, many of the members learnt more about the wider opportunities available through YFC.

Parbold YFC member Janie Hodge said: “It was really good to see the junior members getting more involved and make suggestions about the future of YFC – after all it is their federation that is being discussed and changed so their feelings are vital in making it into an organisation that they will love.”

Croft YFC had a similar positive experience from their activity session – and it has even helped them form a future plan for their own YFC.

“Our club members really opened up on the night and expressed things that would make Young Farmers even better,” said club member Ryan Neve. “We are so glad we’ve done this meeting now as we have a lot to grow on and a five year plan for Croft!”

Over the coming year, the Vision:2023 group is responsible for drafting a five-year strategic plan for NFYFC. This is a significant moment in the development of the organisation and the strategy will ensure it is fit for purpose and has clear objectives to achieve as it develops in the future.

The plan, which will draw on feedback from internal and external sources, will need to be agreed upon and adopted in 2020.

Each YFC is encouraged to run the activity session in 2019 so their views inform the new strategic plan and every club is being asked to appoint a Vision:2023 rep who can liaise with the Vision:2023 group.

You can sign up for a club session by emailing the Vision:2023 team or by filling out a short contact us form here. 

For more information about Vision:2023, visit here.

25 April 2019

YFCs in Cumbria will be better informed about the impact of alcohol and drugs thanks to a new initiative. 

Cumbria FYFC has received a £10,000 grant from the Cumbria Community Foundation to support its initiative over a three-year period. The project aims to deliver drugs and alcohol awareness sessions to 900 of the County’s YFC members aged 12–26 years of age.

Cumbria is working in partnership with The Well Communities, a not-for-profit community service provider specialising in supporting people with addictions and mental health issues.

Spearheaded by David Higham, founder and CEO of The Well, sessions have been designed specifically for young farmers and address the mental, emotional, physical and legal consequences of abusing drugs and alcohol, how to deal with peer pressure and where to get help. Recovering addicts are also part of the session and speak about their personal experiences.

The session has been rolled out to 145 young farmers in the last two months with further sessions planned.

As well as improving members’ knowledge and encouraging them to make informed choices to keep themselves and their friends safe, the County hopes that the initiative shows their local communities how seriously they are taking the issue of alcohol and drug abuse.

The informative sessions are also meant to encourage members to think of different ways to raise money for charity rather than resorting to social events.

Eamon Monaghan, Cumbria’s County Chairman, is leading on the project. He said: “Cumbria YFC is very proud of our proactive approach to drug and alcohol use in our County. In modern day society it is a very naive attitude to think that drugs aren’t around you and it is important that everyone is aware of the effects and how to deal with them. It’s important that County Federations take a pro-active stance against drug and alcohol abuse.”

YFCs wanting to raise awareness about the effects of alcohol can also run NFYFC's Know Your Limits Curve module.

25 April 2019

This is only Harry Madin’s first year as a YFC member – but he’s already managed to work his way into a role that will help shape the future of the Federation! As a member of the Vision:2023 team, Harry is meeting with YFC members, gathering views and working with the team who are leading the new strategy for YFC. Let’s find out more about this Hill Shepherd from Cumbria who joined Lamplugh YFC 

When did you join YFC?

I joined in September 2018, so not long really. I’ve always wanted to join but it was a case of fitting it in with living away for college, but as soon as I got the chance, I joined straight away.

What made you want to join?

I was new to the area and wanted to meet new people, as well as wanting to get involved in competitions and events.

Three words to describe your club?

Really good craic.

Which activities have you got involved in since becoming a member?

I have taken part in a few events when I have had chance, including stockjudging and have taken part in the Situations Vacant competition. However the biggest YFC thing I’ve been involved with has to be the Vision:2023 group.

Why did you want to help progress YFC?

I wanted to help improve YFC members’ experiences. Everyone has an idea about what YFC should be – it is great to be part of the team trying to make those ideas a reality.

What is the best thing you have done in YFC?

Winning the one game of pool as a club was the best thing so far. We were rubbish but we didn’t finish last, so for us that’s as good as a win! Being part of the Vision:2023 group is the highlight though. I’m really looking forward to getting to meet new people and travelling around to shows and events, then taking the views of members back to the group.

Your greatest achievement outside of YFC?

Taking part in the Farmers Weekly Apprentice 2018 competition final is up there! I was one of nine finalists that went to Harper Adams for the week and took part in a number of competitions each day. At the end of the week we went into a primary school to give a presentation about the dairy food chain as an example of where their food comes from. It was great – the kids knew their stuff and kept us on our toes. I didn’t win the competition unfortunately but a good mate of mine did so I am proud of him.

A personal achievement for me is working with the collies I’ve trained on the fells – it’s not much but it’s good to see all the time and effort was worth it.

What do you hope to achieve through YFC?

I’m hoping to get my name on a few of the club’s trophies and possibly compete at a County level in something. Mostly I want to help achieve a positive outcome for YFC that everyone can be proud of.

Is there anyone in YFC you would like to thank?

I’d like to thank everyone in Lamplugh YFC for welcoming me into the club. But I would mostly like to thank anyone who has been willing to drive to and from club meetings, it’s a long drive and it’s often late with early starts the next day, so they deserve a big shout out.

To find out more about Vision:2023 and how you can get involved visit here

25 April 2019

NFYFC has changed the wrapping on its membership magazine Ten26 to potato starch to improve its green footprint and to show the organisation’s commitment to the #ProtectYourFuture initiative.

The 32-page membership magazine is sent out to more than 20,000 members, three times a year, and the spring issue has been wrapped for the first time in potato starch, making it fully biodegradable.

The new wrapping is compostable and recyclable in council garden bins or home composts.

The starch is sourced from the food industry’s waste stock and is processed to release the starch before being manufactured into granules. The paper Ten26 is printed on is also FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved.

Lucy Stowell, the Events and Marketing Steering Group Chairman, from Norfolk FYFC said: “It’s great news that Ten26 will now always be sent out to members in biodegradable packaging. In the spring issue we are sharing information about our Protect Your Future campaign so it’s even more important that this message is being delivered in an environmentally friendly way.”

To see the latest issue of Ten26, visit here. For information about advertising in Ten26 contact Sophie Willingale.


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