National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

23 May 2019

An opportunity to learn more about crop protection from leading industry figures gave 24-year old Chloe Lockhart from Warwickshire the chance to broaden her YFC experience even further. Chloe shares her experience of attending the Crop Protection Association’s Annual Conference in May.

Why did you want to go the Crop Protection’s Annual Conference? 

I saw an email from NFYFC AGRI offering a YFC member a sponsored place to the Crop Protection Association’s annual conference and general meeting. I sent a tentative email explaining my current job as a combinable crops adviser for the NFU, and how I felt the conference would be really interesting. As luck would have it the space was still available.

What happened at the conference?

The speakers were excellent and it was refreshing to hear positive attitudes at a time when things in the agricultural industry can be so challenging and uncertain.

The speakers came from completely different areas of agriculture ranging from novel work on slug patches at Harper Adams University to vertical ‘aeroponics’ – cultivating salad and herb crops via root irrigation stacked in sheds or underground. 

There was also a discussion about niche cropping methods and whether they would ever become commonplace on farms and how wide the farming system could reach. It was interesting to think how farming certain crops may change in the future, but there was broad agreement that broad acre field crops will always play a part.

It was fantastic to meet new people in the industry at lunch afterwards, as well as catching up with various people I had previously met.

What do you think about these opportunities that become available through YFC?

Being a part of a YFC has given me immense opportunity over the last ten years but, I didn’t realise what it has done and can continue to do for me in terms of personal and career development.

I joined young farmers when I was 13 and have enjoyed many years of socialising alongside committee roles and gaining associated skills from a relatively young age. I’m sure these experiences held me in good stead for when I moved onto university, then into a graduate role and now in my employment with the NFU. I now use all the skills I used to dread, such as public speaking and talking on the telephone.

YFC has given me so many incredible experiences, including being in the Ballroom Dancing competition finals in Blackpool a few years ago.

Would you recommend other YFC members get involved with industry opportunities like this one when they become available?

Keep an eager eye out for future events or places that YFC has the capacity to take you to - there are so many opportunities available to support young people’s development so grab them with both hands.

I can’t thank YFC enough for the years of friendship and laughter, but everyone should recognise the skills it also gives you in terms of your personal and professional development.

NFYFC's AGRI Steering Group has recently recorded a video about Crop Protection that you can watch here. 


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