National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

30 May 2019

At the start of National Volunteers Week (1-7 June), NFYFC's President Charlotte Smith says thank you to all the YFC volunteers. 

"Whether you spend your spare time planning YFC club activities to keep 10 to 26 year olds entertained, informed and inspired or plough your energy into balancing your club’s books – YFC relies on its volunteers. Our 615 YFCs are run by YFC members who volunteer their time to help develop their club, their members and their wider rural communities.

From the bake sales to the County rallies – we’re indebted to those ‘can-do’ people who never fear a challenge.

They’re the people who are sweeping out barns and painting rally boards at 2am. They’re the ones who deliver training to hundreds of rural young people to help develop skills. They’re the dedicated lot who write the scripts, make the costumes and encourage their club to take part in competitions such as the Performing Arts. They’re the organisers who plan the club programmes, book the farm tours, arrange the transport. 

They’re the marketeers who share their club’s updates on social media and communicate with the press. They’re the fundraisers who collectively throughout the YFCs across England and Wales raise in excess of £1.2m for charity each year.

They’re the Chairmen, the Secretaries, the Treasurers, the Trainers, the Programmers, the Trustees, the Advisory, the leaders, the parents – and the list goes on. 

Volunteers – they are the lifeblood of YFC – and for that commitment and generosity I say thank you. Thank you for sharing and caring. Without you, YFC simply wouldn’t exist.

Charlotte Smith
NFYFC President 2019



30 May 2019

YFC members are invited to attend a Sunday Lunch with The Henry Plumb Foundation to celebrate its seventh year as a positive influence shaping the lives of young farmers.

‘Sunday Lunch with a difference’ is open to all supporters and friends at Harper Adams University on Sunday 30 June and YFC members are being offered a 50% discount on the ticket price – making their attendance only £25.

The lunch will include a traditional Sunday Roast of matured Longhorn Beef as well as time to meet and speak with people who have a similar outlook on the world of farming, food production and looking after the British countryside.

There will also be presentations from a number of Henry Plumb Foundation scholars who have benefitted from funding and mentoring provided by The Henry Plumb Foundation, providing a source of inspiration for those looking for a way to get started.

The day includes:

  • An outline of the work of The Harper Adams University by Dr David Llewellyn, Vice Chancellor
  • An update by Lord Plumb and some of the trustees on the progress of The Henry Plumb Foundation
  • A recital by Ruby Howells, an award winning young flautist; accompanied on the piano by Ellis Thomas a top prize-winning pianist; who will also give a solo recital during the programme
  • Traditional and modern singing by Cantorion Cognati. Angharad and Esther are two cousins who sing duets; and Llansilin  Welsh Choir of Mixed voices.
  • An ‘Auction of Promises’ – in which you can bid on items donated by friends as part of the fundraising effort.
  • Sunday lunch of matured Longhorn beef and local lamb.

The key aim of the event is to raise funds to help the Foundation continue its work of supporting young people to become established within the British food and farming sector.

The closing date for registering for a place on the Sunday Lunch is 7 June. For more information, or to register for the event, please contact Mags Barrow or call 01684 899255. 


30 May 2019

Want to hear more about the future for farming and our countryside? Defra is coming to an agriculture show near you.

Defra will have stands at the below shows in June where policy officials will be happy to chat and take any questions.

Show list 

5 June – NSA Sheep North. North Yorkshire

12-13 June – Cereals. North Lincolnshire

14-16 June – Three Counties Show. Malvern, Worcestershire

18 June – NSA Sheep South West. Devon

26-27 June – Groundswell. Weston, Hitchin

YFC members can get discounts on entry tickets for some of the shows listed. See here for details. 

Defra will be attending additional shows in July and August with more details to be announced soon. 


30 May 2019

A dry wit and a love of YFC helped Northumberland's County Chairman Ed Dungait win the Sidney Fawcett trophy at NFYFC's Annual General Meeting in May. When he's not leading his County Federation, winning awards or spending time with his club Tritlington YFC, 26-year-old Ed is busy working on his family's arable farm near Morpeth.

When did you join YFC?

10 years ago

Why have you remained a member?

Because it’s the best organisation ever. I’d have been lost without Young Farmers.

Greatest achievement in YFC?

Winning Northumberland YFC Male Party Animal of the Year 2015. A close second would be winning Best Male Actor 2019, or Trit winning Club of the Year 2017 – or being asked to be County Chairman after everyone else turned it down!

Greatest achievement outside young farmers?

Getting one of the top 10 marks in the country for my Physics A Level. It comes in really handy day-to-day on the farm.

Top skill you have learnt through YFC?

Acting – making people laugh (usually at me, sometimes with me).

I’d never been on stage before until two years ago when Trit joined with Coquetdale YFC to scratch a panto together. We were told by the judges it was “the funniest thing they’d ever seen”. It brings out talents that we never knew we had, and confidence comes with that.

The best thing you’ve ever made with YFC?

Friends.

Three words to describe your club…

Small, Mighty, Oneclubonelove

Has YFC helped you in your career/studies?

Yes, making contacts, and communicating with people.

Someone you would like to thank in YFC and why?

Peter Howie & Jack Kelcher. They joined on the same night as me 10 years ago and have taken the club from strength to strength, making the Trit Trojans a force to be reckoned with. Not forgetting all the other members too!

 

If you would like to feature in our YFC profile or want to nominate someone to be profiled, email magazine@nfyfc.org.uk 



30 May 2019

More than 2,000 sapling trees have been ordered from the Woodland Trust by YFCs in support of the #ProtectYourFuture campaign and clubs are being urged to place final orders before the end of June.

The campaign, which was launched in February, is calling on YFCs to plant a tree per member in 2019 to show their commitment to safeguarding the environment for future generations.

Four counties and two YFCs have officially applied for trees so far, and many more are working on their applications. The advice for clubs and counties though, from Personal Development Chairman Marcus Bailey, is to hurry and apply.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for YFC members to show how committed young farmers are to protecting the environment,“ said Marcus. “The Woodland Trust only has a certain amount of sapling trees available so clubs wanting to get involved need to place their orders before the end of June.”

Among those County Federations that have ordered sapling trees are Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

Jack Nicholls, an arborist from Wedmore YFC (see photo of Wedmore YFC right), has encouraged his YFC to get behind the campaign in Somerset and the club has applied for 420 sapling trees.

“I work as an arborist but I'm passionate about wildlife conservation, tree planting and climate change, so I am really trying to push this project to the max. I have found multiple sites to plant our trees including local playing fields, parish council land and The Orchard Vale Trust – a centre supporting adults with learning disabilities,” said Jack who has recently visited the Trust to discuss how the club can help with planting the trees in key areas.

While the sapling trees won't be planted until November, clubs need to leave enough time to find suitable sites for planting warned Jack.

“I received a lot of interest from the local community and organisations when I publicised the fact we had the sapling trees, but you need to set aside enough time to investigate the leads and make the arrangements for planting,” said Jack who said he has been able to dedicate the time to the project as he doesn’t have a role in his club this year.

“It’s best to give this project to someone in your club who doesn’t already have a role. Our Chairman is very busy with the day-to-day running of the club so this would be an extra pressure. I am passionate about it and have the spare time to make it happen.”

In Gloucestershire, NFYFC Chairwoman Katie Hall has ordered 315 sapling trees from the Woodland Trust and has also found multiple sites for planting. 

“This is a great initiative and can really help to promote YFC positively in your local community,” said Katie. “Not only are you doing the work of applying for the trees, but it’s a great opportunity for you to get together with other YFC members to plant the trees this November – we are really excited about it in Gloucestershire. We are also getting our local community groups and the NFU involved in our project. It’s worth making sure your club or County has ordered your tree so you can be part of this campaign.”

Jack has also found that the project is bringing Wedmore YFC and its local community closer together.

“There’s a massive movement that wants to get involved in supporting environmental projects and our local community is really passionate about working with the club to plant trees in the playing fields. There will be a mix of people getting involved in the planting too – not just YFC members  – which will make it a real community effort,” added Jack.

If you and your club or county want to support the Protect Your Future campaign and plant trees in your local community – see here for more information. 



23 May 2019

YFC members are being encouraged to get involved with #FarmingFortnight to help encourage primary and secondary schools across the UK to have a fortnight’s focus on British farming and food production.

The two-week campaign, from 3-14 June, is the brainchild of LEAF Education and Brockhill Park Performing Arts College. (who also have a YFC school club). With young people often being disconnected from the origins of their food and the people behind the story of their food, the fortnight has been developed for students and their teachers to engage with and understand farming and food production.

It follows the teenager research programme, which LEAF Education and Rothamsted Research developed during 2018. One of the main outcomes of the research with 1,200 12-18 year olds and 60 teenagers on farm was that over 35% of young people would like to find out more about where their food comes from and how it is produced; and another 32% would consider a career in this sector.

A theme that these young people highlighted was: ‘Let’s Connect,’ where they wanted short activities to engage with in school settings, using their peers to help them understand. This is why the partnership between LEAF Education and Brockhill Park Performing Arts College’s students has been key.

How can YFC members support #FarmingFortnight

YFCs can work with a YFC Trainer to engage a local school in the Future Farming module that was developed by NFYFC and LEAF Education. Resource packs can be requested from Josie Murray at NFYFC.

Individual YFC members can also support the campaign by using the relevant hashtags for each day during Farming Fortnight or by recording simple videos recorded on their farm during the fortnight, tagging @LEAF_Education and using the #s in their posts. 

The topics covered during Farming Fortnight, and the # for social media developed by the students at Brockhill, are:

Week 1:

  • Introduction to the British Countryside and food production #MarketMonday
  • Arable - wheat and oats #TractorTuesday
  • Sheep #WoollyWednesday
  • Pigs #Oink
  • Chickens (poultry) #FeatheredFriday

Week 2:

  • Cows – beef and dairy #MooingMonday
  • Fruit and Vegetable production #TastyTuesday
  • Woodland #WellyWednesday
  • Jobs/careers #FutureFarming
  • Programme summary to recap on what has been learnt #FarmingFriday

 

 


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