National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

13 May 2019

YFC members have voted to safeguard the future of their national federation by agreeing to an increase in the national subscription fee.

The original motion, put forward by NFYFC’s Chairman 2019 Katie Hall, was to increase the national membership fee by 50% (equivalent to an £8.96 increase per member). Five amendments to the motion were put forward and each was debated before it was concluded that the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (FYFC) amendment was passed.

Yorkshire’s amendment will increase the national subscription fee by 20% from September 2019 with a further 20% increase each year for the following two years. The amendment also includes that from September 2022 the national subscription fee will be increased by the Retail Price Index (RPI) for the subsequent two years.

Stephen Jarmuz from Boroughbridge YFC proposed the motion, which was seconded by Rob Beale from Rillington YFC.

Stephen said the 50% increase would ‘ruin grassroots young farmers” but said it was no secret that “NFYFC has a massive funding deficit.”

In response to the amendment, members gave passionate speeches from the floor both for and against the motion. The amendments included one amusing speech from Ed Dungait County Chairman of Northumberland FYFC, which won the Sidney Fawcett trophy for the best speech given during the 2019 AGM. 

Ed shared his experience of the first AGM he attended eight years ago where the levy was also being debated.

“A few guys did some speeches and one of them was really good, so I thought I’d vote for that one. Then one of the senior members in Northumberland shouted down the line – ‘Ed put your hand down.’ 

“I’ve been looking forward to this day ever since. I’m finally now County Chairman, I’m in charge and I’m going to tell the young’uns how I want them to vote. But I couldn’t get any of them to come. So my message is, don’t just vote for whoever someone above you told you to vote for, make your own mind up today and vote for whoever you want to vote for.”

Among the arguments for an increase to the levy was Katie Court’s from Wales FYFC where she revealed she was saddened to see people not valuing YFC to its true extent. She said: “I urge you to all support an increase today because YFC means a lot more to us than any price we could put on it.”

After all amendments had been debated and voted on, Yorkshire FYFC’s amendment was formally passed. Stephen Jarmuz thanked all the proposers and seconders for presenting their motions.   

Stephen added: “Looking at the finances, yes there are cuts to be made but the amount of money needed to be found to close that deficit is huge. I think the support for Yorkshire’s amendment is tremendous to see and I think it will really help to cement the future of national young farmers but also our young farmers at a club level, which is really important to me.”

In response to the motion being passed, NFYFC Chairman Katie Hall said:

“The membership of the NFYFC has now laid down what it is prepared to pay as its subscription to the national body this year, next year and the year after. The levy increase means the national Federation can plan the future knowing what the membership will pay, and the debate today gave clear signs of where the membership would like to see spending efficiencies to be made.

“This planned approach, approved by the membership at the AGM, will build a more secure financial base for the Federation. This decision does mean the NFYFC will need to make further spending efficiencies to close the budget gap.

“It was positive to see so many young people speak passionately about their organisation and I hope we can now work together to safeguard its future.”

10 May 2019

A bank holiday weekend of fundraising activities has helped YFC members in Staffordshire raise an impressive £9,000 for charity.

The fundraising started on Saturday at the County Rally, where members of Uttoxeter YFC went for the chop to raise £1,100 for Cancer Research UK. Club Chairman Mark Whitehurst had his head shaved by the High Sheriff of Staffordshire Ashley Brough while four of the clubs’ female members had their long locks cut off. The hair was donated to The Little Princess Trust so it could be used to make wigs for children living with cancer.

Mark said: “A massive thank you to those that took part in our fundraiser and to everyone who was so generous to donate. It was fantastic to raise so much for this worthy cause!”

It proved to be a successful day for Uttoxeter as they also won the overall rally trophy for the fourth year running.

More than 250 members, sponsors and supporters joined in Staffordshire’s rally, which was held at Blore Farm near Market Drayton. There were more than 30 competitions including a bungee challenge and potato launching as well as the more formal floral art.

Building on their fundraising for Cancer Research UK, County Chairman Polly Baines hosted a charity lunch called Give Cancer the Boot on the Sunday after the Rally and raised a further £8,000.

The lunch, which was inspired by Polly and her family, included canapés and a delicious meal of roast beef followed by apple pie or pavlova. And for those that could still move after their Sunday roast, there were five races sponsored by local companies for people to place bets on as well as a raffle that helped to boost funds.

Polly said: “This weekend has been a true representation of everything YFC! From teamwork and competitions to multiple incredible skills and best of all, fundraising for Cancer Research! Having been directly affected by my mum having the disease, it made the urge to raise funds for Cancer Research even more important.

“Being a part of the Staffordshire YFC is fantastic, the support is amazing and I cannot thank everyone enough for their hard work, time and backing throughout this weekend!”

09 May 2019

  • Essex FYFC recognised for raising nearly £40k for charity in 2017-18
  • Berkshire to receive award for largest increase in membership (41%)
  • Cumbria recognised as champion County for competitions

YFC Clubs and Counties will be recognised for their outstanding achievements during The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday 12 May 2019.

The meeting, which is being held at Stareton Hall, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, will celebrate the achievements of the past 12 months with ten trophies being presented to clubs, counties and individuals by NFYFC President and Farming Today Presenter Charlotte Smith.

Essex Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (FYFC) will be recognised for raising the most money per member for a charitable cause – with a total of £106.56 per member raised, making a grand total of £39,106.08 in the 2017-18 membership year.

The County will be awarded The Prince of Wales trophy at the meeting on Sunday and Essex County Chairman Jack Garwood said: “We all have a great time as young farmers and are pleased to be able to put a little back into something else we love. All the clubs choose a mixture of national or local charities – causes that are close to their hearts.”

This year 14 county federations submitted their fundraising totals to be in with a chance of winning The Prince of Wales trophy and the total amount raised from these counties was £489,478.84. It is thought that if all 46 county federations declared the details of their charity fundraising, the YFC could claim to be raising in excess of £1.2m a year for charity.

As one of the smallest YFC Counties in the Federation, Berkshire FYFC is delighted to be collecting The Merrick Burrell trophy for having the largest increase in membership over the past three years. The County has reached out to younger members and seen a more than 41% increase to its membership.

Club Chairman for Shefford YFC Henry Graham, who will collect the trophy at the AGM, said: “We know that YFC in general is appealing to more younger members and so we have publicised the clubs in the local parishes and schools in very rural areas, which seems to have paid off.”

For Cumbria, receiving the NFU Trophy for being the highest scoring County during the Competitions year 2017-18, will be a proud moment for County Chairman Eamon Monaghan. An idea to film all of the competition finals in the County and then to share them with every club has helped increase participation.

“It has made people feel more confident about giving it a go. Being able to see a competition in action is much more powerful than someone trying to explain what’s involved – especially some of the YFC competitions!”

The trophy awards will take place during the meeting alongside the presentation of the Annual Report and a review of the year by five steering group chairmen and the national chairman for 2018-19.

President Charlotte Smith said: “These trophy winners are what YFC is all about – supporting local communities, developing skills and having a lot of fun while doing it. Congratulations to each of the trophy winners for excelling in 2018 and demonstrating the great things that are being achieved by rural young people through YFCs.”

A tenth trophy will be awarded at the meeting – The Sydney Fawcett Trophy – to the YFC member who makes the greatest contribution to the democratic proceedings at the AGM 2019.

Two motions and amendments will also be proposed by YFC members at the meeting and these will be debated and voted on by representatives from each YFC Club present.

AGM motions include:

A proposed 50% increase in the subscription fee (levy) that is paid by each member to the national Federation.

A proposal that “the main body of a public house (pub) is not an appropriate space for YFC business meetings”.

The NFYFC Council, comprising YFC members, has proposed a 50% increase to the national subscription fee, which at the current rate represents an increase of 18p per week (bringing the total NFYFC membership fee to 52p per week).

YFC members are proposing the increase due to the Federation’s growing deficit, which has been caused by minimal increases to the subscription over previous years, external income that is no longer available to the NFYFC and also because of the increased demand in services provided by the NFYFC to its 615 YFCs and 46 County Federations.

The outcome of the motion will impact the future of the national organisation and the services it provides.

NFYFC’s Chairman of Council Katie Hall said: “I am proposing a 50% increase to the membership fee because we need to invest in our national organisation if we want it to thrive.

“The support services NFYFC provides to our YFC Clubs and County Federations is incredible and if we, as members, can not pay an extra 18p per week to ensure we continue to get this support then we are damaging our own futures. It’s time to look to the future and ensure we have a YFC for years to come.”

Five amendments from County Federations have been put forward to the subscription motion and these will also be officially proposed and debated by YFC members during the meeting.

YFC members will also be given the opportunity to debate meeting spaces. Due to there often being a lack of local rural venues for clubs to meet, YFCs regularly organise meetings at the local pub. While meeting in a function or private room of a public house is very acceptable and supportive of local rural businesses and the community, the NFYFC Council would like all clubs to debate whether meeting in the ‘bar area’ (the main body of the pub) is appropriate when nearly half of all members are aged under 18.

Following the AGM, five teams will compete in the national Performing Arts finals at the Spa Centre, Leamington Spa from 2.30pm and seven YFC members will compete in the Senior Member of the Year competition.

The AGM will be held at Stareton Hall, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth on 12 May 2019 from 10.30am.

The full agenda for the 87th Annual General Meeting is available here. 

09 May 2019

Alberbury YFC has been announced as one of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Top 100 Heroes following their epic fundraising success last year.

The Shropshire club raised over £25,000 after completing a mammoth cycle challenge taking them around the entire perimeter of Wales. In recognition of their achievement club members have been invited to attend Birmingham Children’s Hospital 100 Heroes' Afternoon Tea on Sunday 19 May.

It took the club seven days to complete their charity fundraiser last year, where they covered around 100 miles a day during one of the hottest weeks in June on record.

The mission to raise money for the hospital pushed the riders both physically and mentally as they took on some of the most challenging terrain in the UK.

Melissa Evans from the club said "jelly babies, countless costal tyre changes and the support of family and friends" saw them through the challenge. She added: "It’s an honour to support Birmingham Children’s Hospital, a charity that couldn’t be more deserving.”

The Afternoon tea event will pay tribute to the wonderful fundraisers who have challenged themselves, exceeded expectations and been an inspiration to many, throughout 2018. Alberbury YFC's achievements will also be commemorated on a special red balloon at the front of the hospital for the next 12 months.

01 May 2019

The NFU has officially launched its new Student & Young Farmer Ambassador Programme, which offers the chance for 8-12 young people to put their own stamp on the future of British farming as they represent the organisation for one year.

The programme is designed to give the upcoming generation an opportunity to build their knowledge and become an influential part of the industry, all while receiving the core skills they need to promote themselves and British farming.

The ambassadors will be representing the NFU at various events over the course of 12 months, including the Lord Mayor’s Show, NFU Conference and a #StudentFarmer magazine trip.

Application criteria:

  • Be an NFU Student & Young Farmer member (Sign up to the free membership here)
  • Aged between 18 and 26 years
  • Have a vested interest in farming and rural affairs
  • Are available to attend all events
  • Have an interest in speaking to the media or writing content for #StudentFarmer magazine

NFU next generation forum chairman Simon Gadd said: “The Ambassador Programme is a fantastic opportunity for young people, from both farming and non-farming backgrounds, to get stuck in to an industry that is both incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding.

“With new technologies constantly changing the farming landscape and with Brexit on the horizon, it’s never been a more exciting time to think about the future of British farming.

“I urge all students and young farmers with a vested interest in farming and rural affairs to apply, and experience whole new aspects of the agricultural industry.”

Applications are open until 1 July 2019 and you can click here to apply and find out more information about the programme and its benefits.


01 May 2019

YFC members are being invited to share their views about plans to modernise and update agricultural tenancy legislation at a dedicated NFYFC event with Defra representatives.

The event, on 11 June at Staffordshire County Showground, seeks to gather feedback from new entrants and next generation farmers which will feed into NFYFC's response to Defra's public consultation and call for evidence.

Defra's proposals aim to remove existing barriers to productivity improvements and help bring about structural change, improving the overall competitiveness and sustainability of the tenant farming sector. The plans build on the work of the Tenancy Reform Industry Group (TRIG) - NFYFC is represented on this industry group - which has provided advice on the key policy priorities for the tenanted sector as the UK leaves the EU.  TRIG Chairman and former NFYFC Chairman Julian Sayers will join Defra representatives at the event to help gain feedback from young farmers.

AGRI Chairman and tenant farmer David Goodwin urges YFC members to attend the event organised by NFYFC on 11 June at Staffordshire FYFC’s county office.

“We have a small window of time to ensure that we feedback our thoughts on Defra’s proposals for tenancy reform.  As we’ve been active in working with industry and government to represent the next generation during this time of policy change, we hope to see as many YFC members as possible at the Staffordshire YFC office in June."

The options that are being explored include:

  • Enabling tenants of Agricultural Holdings Act (AHA) agreements to hand over their lease to new tenant farmers on their retirement, encouraging earlier succession planning.
  • Incentivising more landlords to let new Farm Business Tenancies of 10 years or more, giving tenants greater security to invest and grow a sustainable businesses.
  • Removing barriers which may currently dis-incentivise landlords and tenants from investing and making improvements to their AHA rented holdings. For example, there is currently the risk that agreed tenant interest payments made on investments can be lost during the rent review process.

As the existing legislation on agricultural tenancy applies to England and Wales, two consultations will run for 12 weeks in both countries.

If you would like to attend the NFYFC AGRI event on Tuesday 11 June at Staffordshire FYFC County Office, Staffordshire County Showground, 6.30- 8.30 pm, please visit the NFYFC Facebook event page.


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