National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

11 July 2019

Young Farmers showed their commitment to farm safety during The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) Competitions Day in July when teams competed in a Farm Safety Skills competition.

The national final of the competition was hosted one week before Farm Safety Week (15-19 July).

County Durham’s team of four YFC members from Butsfield YFC proved that its ability to handle machinery correctly, knowledge of first aid and awareness of hazard perceptions were the greatest out of all the finalists on the day. Team member Matthew Watson, 25, works on a livestock farm and won the Best ATV Competitor on the day too. 

“We were really surprised to have won as we’re one of the smaller counties,” said Matthew who has been a YFC member since he was 12 years old and has competed in the national final of this competition before. “I can’t believe we beat Pembrokeshire as they have won it for so many years.  I think I was just lucky on the day. The judges said my ATV driving was good and I wore the correct PPE.”

Matthew competed alongside team members Ashley Lambert, Matthew Bradley and Michael Moralee and attributes the County’s success to their first aid scores.

“I think we did really well at the first aid this time, which is where I think we have fallen down before. Ashley practises first aid a lot because of her job in a children’s nursery and so she knows it well.”

All competitors were interrupted during their practical exercises to deal with a mock ‘medical emergency’ that was staged by Arley Medical Services – complete with fake injuries on the patient.

“It was pretty good role play,” said Matthew. “It definitely made you think about the consequences if something like that really did happen on the farm.”

Matthew believes the competition helps YFC members think twice about farm safety and it has made him consider situations more when he’s working on the farm. 

“Competitions like this help make members more aware. It’s hard to not take on the advice when you’re practising for these competitions. I have started doing more risk assessments at work. I step back and think about what I’m doing before I do it and approach it in a safer manner than perhaps I would have done. Our club is thinking of having a first aid course one night and we’re looking at the Farm Safety Curve module too.”

As well as tasks with ATVs and tractors, YFC members were given hazard perception scenarios focused on working at height, with machinery and power cables that were set by The Farm Safety Foundation (Yellow Wellies).

Stephanie Berkeley, Manager of The Farm Safety Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the safety element of the Farm Skills competition. It is so encouraging for us to see so many young farmers with a great attitude to farm safety. They know their stuff and they’re telling us that. They’re giving us the answers we’re looking for and that can only bode well for the future.”

All the Farm Safety Skills winners received a Massey Ferguson goody bag and cufflinks and lapel badges from The Farm Safety Foundation. 

EASI Skills Test 

During the day Honda and EASI held a Skills Test for YFC members (and supporters) to take part in with the chance to win VIP tickets to a British Superbike or British Touring Car race day with hospitality included. Pembrokeshire’s Farm Safety Skills team members Rhys Griffiths and Berwyn Warlow picked up the top prizes.

Both members work on farms and are familiar with driving ATVs but Rhys said they still learnt some new skills: “Finding faults at the start after we had done the questionnaire was quite handy. It made you look for more faults than you normally do.”

Berwyn added: “We’ll probably end up going to the British Touring Car championships. It was good to have something different to do at Competitions Day – we’ve never had anything like this before.”

A huge thank you to NFYFC sponsors Honda for providing the EASI Skills Test and also to B&B Tractors for providing the machinery for the Farm Safety Skills Competition. Also thank you to Kuhn Farm Machinery and Massey Ferguson for their support and The Farm Safety Foundation.

Find out more information about Farm Safety Week. 


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