National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

17 July 2019

Leicestershire’s Evie Tomlinson is on track for a clean sweep of Dairy Stockjudging titles after picking up the 21-and-under title at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Evie, from Melton YFC, has previously won the 16-and-under event, meaning there is only the senior category left.

“I don’t know about that,” she said. “I’ve still got a few years left at intermediate!”

Evie had been working at the Great Yorkshire Show showing cows all week before the YFC event on her last day. And the fact that the competition was using Ayrshires was good news for Evie.

“I was given two Ayrshire calves when I was born! We also regularly show a couple of pedigree Ayrshires and we’ve got a herd of Ayrshires on the farm.

“So it wasn’t easy, but I felt within my comfort zone.”

Despite being an expert in the breed, the win still came as a shock.

“I didn’t believe it,” said Evie. “They announced my friend in second place and I thought there’s no way I was going to beat her because I knew she’d done really well. So I couldn’t believe it when they read my name out.”

It was a YFC member from Uttoxeter that helped Staffordshire win the senior Dairy Stockjudging title for the first time since 1958. An outstanding performance from Johnathan Wilson from Uttoxeter meant he brought home the Harold Jackson Perpetual Challenge Trophy after winning against 33 other competitors.

Johnathan said: “Dairy stock judging has always been my favourite YFC competition. To win the NFYFC Dairy Stockjudging at The Great Yorkshire Show has always been a dream that I never thought was possible.  I am incredibly happy and shocked to win, especially in my last YFC year which made it ever more special.  I've learnt so much from doing this competition from trainers, judges and fellow competitors and have gained some incredible friends too.”

The 16-and-under category was won by Anna Morley from Cumbria and the overall team trophy was won by Yorkshire A - made up of Lydia Fairburn, Gemma Farrar and Rosie Throup.

Rutland Electric Fencing sponsor the Dairy Stockiudging competition and Natalie Marsh and Hugh Burnham both attended the event. They said: "We are proud to be assisting the next generation of farmers through our support of the Dairy Stockjudging Competition. Young farmers' Clubs and competitions such as this one are the perfect platform for developing young people’s key skills for a successful career in agriculture, plus there is a lot of fun to be had along the way!

"We were incredibly impressed by the standard of competition, so a huge well done from us to all of the winners. We’re already looking forward to the next one!"

17 July 2019

Henry Mayo was disappointed when he didn’t qualify for the inaugural Sheep Shearing competition last year.

But he had the perfect response by winning it this year.

The Sturminster Newton YFC member beat off stiff competition to take the top prize for Dorset at the event at the Great Yorkshire Show.

“It was overwhelming,” he said. “I was ecstatic when I found out I'd won it.

“I just went in to try and just do my best. I knew if I did my best, I’d be in with a good chance. I felt fairly positive about the whole job – I just gave it everything.”

Henry, a dairy farmer, has shorn for the past three seasons in England and for the last two in New Zealand.

And, while he hasn't yet had a chance to take advantage of any of the training discounts that British Wool offers to YFC members, he is delighted that they are involved.

“British Wool do a hell of a lot for the shearing industry,” he said.

British Wool provided a 50% discount to YFC members on training for a Blue Seal qualification in sheep shearing and also provided branded vests for the participants in the national final.

Richard Schofield from British Wool said:

"British Wool enjoy supporting this competition because it's very important that we encourage the young farmers of this country to learn this skill and to demonstrate the career opportunities available in shearing. It's a great way to travel the world and earn money while doing an enjoyable job.

"We were delighted so many YFC members took up the opportunity to have discounted training through British Wool and then continued to compete and represent their Areas at the national competition at the Great Yorkshire Show. The standard of entrants was exceptional and fantastic to see such high levels of skills being used even among many of the younger competitors."

It was an amazing achievement for all four of the YFC members who received a place cards as they battled through the many heats at the national final. Stuart Persey from Devon came second with Henry Crocker from Cumbria and Declan Gill from Yorkshire coming third and fourth respectively. 

17 July 2019

Twenty YFC Clubs and County Federations have applied for sapling trees from The Woodland Trust in support of NFYFC’s Protect Your Future campaign and six more are looking to apply soon.

It’s estimated that YFC members have applied for 7,000 sapling trees to be planted in November this year in locations chosen by clubs and counties.

There’s still time for your club or county to get involved and be part of this initiative, which was launched during the Government’s Year of Green Action and in support of #iwill4nature. The national campaign aims to get more young people involved in environmental social action.

NFYFC has chosen to encourage YFCs to plant trees in their local communities due to all the benefits it can bring to climate change as well as wellbeing.

The #iwill campaign is planning a UK-wide tree planting day on 30 November called Tree Charter Day. It is a call to action for everyone and anyone to engage with tree planting as a positive response to the climate and bio-diversity crises and also to demonstrate hope that, collectively, the worst effects of these threats can be mitigated.

Clubs have so far chosen a range of sites to plant trees this November – including schools, community centres and nursing homes.

The following clubs and counties have submitted applications to the Woodland Trust and if you haven’t done so and still want to, then please speak to your neighbouring counties for top tips.

  1. Bedfordshire
  2. Berkshire – Bradfield YFC
  3. Brecknock
  4. Buckinghamshire
  5. Cumbria
  6. Derbyshire – planting at the people’s forest
  7. Devon – Braunton YFC, Blackmoor Gate
  8. Gloucestershire
  9. Hertfordshire and three clubs
  10. Kent – Weald of Kent YFC
  11. Leicestershire
  12. Lincolnshire – North Holland YFC
  13. Norfolk – Swaffham YFC
  14. Northamptonshire
  15. Nottinghamshire
  16. Oxfordshire – Abington YFC
  17. Somerset – Wedmore YFC, Ilminster YFC
  18. Staffordshire – Ashley YFC, Abbotsholme YFC
  19. Warwickshire
  20. Yorkshire – Rathmell YFC

If your club or county have applied for sapling trees and your name is not on the list please email Cath Sykes with your club name so that The Woodland Trust can identify you when you apply. Please remember to complete the form below when you apply so we can keep a record of who is taking part in the campaign and promote your involvement

To get involved in the Protect Your Future campaign and to find out how to order your sapling trees, visit here. 

16 July 2019

Finding your rhythm is one of the essentials for being a successful auctioneer says the winner of NFYFC’s first ever auctioneering competition, sponsored by SAI Global.

Daniel Lynn, 21, from Cambo YFC in Northumberland, was awarded the trophy for being the best auctioneer at NFYFC’s national final. Despite being a semi-professional auctioneer at Darlington Farmers Auction Market, where he can sell up to 2,000 sheep in a week, Daniel was still surprised to win.

“It was a bit of a shock,” he said after he found out he was a winner during the Competitions Day awards ceremony in Staffordshire.  “I was grinning like a Cheshire cat! I couldn’t wait to tell everyone as I’d been given a lot of support.”

Daniel had initially set out to have a career in the army after he left school but just before his 18th birthday, after completing army training, he decided that he wanted to return to agriculture.

“I missed farming. I joined Cambo YFC when I was 14 years old and while training in the army, I still used to come back for rally days and so on. I had grown up on farms and I just wanted to get back to doing something with agriculture.”

After a successful interview at Darlington Market to be a trainee auctioneer, Daniel discovered a passion for selling. Despite being terrified the first time he got up to sell, he now loves the adrenaline of being in the box on market days.

“I have been stood in the box for three hours constantly selling – you get an adrenaline rush and you don’t want to get out!”

Although becoming an auctioneer has improved Daniel’s confidence, he confesses that the YFC competition rounds have been nerve wracking.

“It’s different getting up in front of other YFC members – even though this is my day job. I could barely speak before the national final I was so nervous.

“The key is to find your rhythm – everyone sells things differently.”

Daniel is currently in the second year of a Livestock Auctioneering and Management degree at Harper Adams, which will improve his skills in on farm valuations and basic animal welfare. He also owns 50 breeding sheep of his own, which he keeps on a friend’s farm.

“I am always practising my selling,” said Daniel. “I record all of my sales at market and listen to them on the way home to see where I made mistakes. It’s a fast-paced job but I love it.”

SAI Global, sponsored the competition, and Agriculture Manager Robin Levin said the company was delighted to support a competition that taught key skills.

“The ability to value something and the ability to sell it and try and maximise that value for people is so important in all aspects of farming, and in life.

“SAI Global are really proud to be part of the auctioneering competition and to help get it off the ground for Young Farmers. We hope people take it on board and prove to be successful later on in life.”

Robin is a former member (and past president) of Wormleighton YFC in Warwickshire and says the skills he learnt through the competitions programme have supported his career. 

“Young Farmers always meant a great deal to me. All of the competitions I have been involved in have stood me in great stead in later life. At SAI Global in my role heading up the Agricultural Technical team means I am using the skills from my days as a Young Farmer – ie.  presenting, debating, public speaking, crops & stock judging  etc – all really helpful.” 

16 July 2019

An opportunity to represent YFC at The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) Conference was snapped up by Nia Borsey, a Graduate Planner at Fisher German.

Why did you want to go to the conference?

I applied for the opportunity to attend CAAV’s Conference and AGM in June as I knew it would be an excellent opportunity and an insight into the workings of CAAV.

Fisher German (my employer) are actively involved with CAAV, and in the future I would like the opportunity to take my CAAV exams. Attendance was useful for me and to make contacts with other valuers (I actually bumped into a few of my colleagues at the event!)

What happened at the conference?

The day involved various talks from academics at Harper Adams and Keele Universities, industry professionals and those who work on a daily basis in the agricultural sector.

The most inspiring talk and one which I found engaging came from Philip Maddocks and how his business, PDM Produce Ltd, had grown over the past couple of decades. It is now one of the UK’s leading specialist lettuce and baby leaf growers and processors. The ambition, passion and drive they have for the business and its innovation is really encouraging for the sector.

The professional update from Jeremey Moody, Secretary of CAAV, finished the Conference prior to the AGM beginning, along with an electronic communications code update from Kate Russell and a ‘back to the future’ Post-Brexit farm support session from Alice De Soer.

What did you find most useful?

These updates from CAAV were useful in understanding the organisation and how the professional body supports its members. The Post-Brexit talk was very useful for me to understand the proposed new system of Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS) that will replace the British Payment Scheme (BPS).

The whole event was a good learning opportunity, which additionally contributed to useful CPD. I would like to thank NFYFC for allowing me to represent the organisation for the day

Representing NFYFC at NFU Council

Kate Wainwright from Derbyshire FYFC currently represents YFC members at NFU Council meetings and reports back from the June meeting.

Who was at the meeting?

We had some interesting discussions with Tony Juniper from Natural England and Chairman of the HSE Rick Brunt who were both very keen to listen to the NFU’s views.

Did you talk about YFC?

The evening is always a great networking opportunity and I have been lucky enough to be seated next to someone different each time I have attended. This time I was sat next to Guy Smith, Vice President of the NFU and we had some brilliant discussions about the educational work NFYFC is doing, which complements NFU’s work in this area.

Guy was pleased that NFYFC are represented at these meetings and is keen to keep links between the two organisations strong.

Is it good for YFC to be part of this?

It’s a great opportunity to go and represent all YFC members. If any one ever wants anything discussing or raising please do get in touch before the next meeting via Sarah Palmer.

A more detailed report will be available via the AGRI steering group minutes in October 

16 July 2019

As the winner of Junior Member of the Year 18–year-old Alaw Jones believes the organisation has given her the skills and support to succeed. Alaw will be studying Journalism and Welsh at Cardiff University from September but says she’ll still pop back to support Felinfach YFC in Ceredigion.

When did you join YFC?

I joined Felinfach YFC back in 2012 and have held quite a few roles in the club since then. I am also a member of the Youth Forum in Wales.

In our community, YFC is very strong. Once you come of age, it’s something that everyone joins. The fact there’s so many opportunities and experiences to benefit from the YFC is one of the main reasons I joined. I am not from a farming family but I am from a very strong farming community. It’s very much the backbone of our community in Felinfach.

Three words to describe your club?

Young, enthusiastic and friendly.

We’re the biggest club in Ceredigion at the moment with nearly 60 members. It’s a very young club. We have a lot of younger members from 12-15 years old.

Best thing you have done with YFC?

There are so many! I do love competing at County level at the Eisteddfod but the best thing is probably competing at Junior Member of the Year. I wasn’t expecting to win at Ceredigion so to then win at Wales and then national was a great experience. I am very grateful for it.

It’s great to be part of Ceredigion and Wales but to know the organisation broadens out to a national level as well is fantastic. I will definitely look forward to joining the national Youth Forum now.

Greatest achievement in YFC?

On a club level I was very proud to be a part of Felinfach YFC when we won the Eisteddfod this year but on a more personal level, winning the Junior Member of the Year at a national level was fantastic.

I was also proud to be part of an initiative in Ceredigion to boost our membership numbers. We introduced Young Ambassadors within every school in Ceredigion to help attract new YFC members. As an ambassador I did presentations about YFC throughout the year and also did activities every Wednesday to promote the Welsh language and YFC.

Greatest achievement outside of YFC?

Being elected as Head Girl for my school last year. I wanted to try and raise some money for the school to give back to them for the positive experience I’d received. I organised our first ever Christmas Fair and managed to raise £3,600 for the school. Along with school teachers and other officials I also helped to organise a concert for elderly people in Aberaeron and we performed pieces from our school Eisteddfod.

Has YFC helped you in your studies?

YFC has 100% helped me. The public speaking competitions have definitely helped– I would never have been able to compete on a national level or become head girl without those skills.

I’ve held jobs within YFC such as secretary, press reporter, chairperson – and you have to be organised, punctual and independent. I have definitely developed a range of skills that I will keep developing.

Best thing you have ever made with YFC?

I was quite proud of a cupcake I decorated for a competition we ran in club! We had someone coming in and I didn’t realise it would be as good. It was just a cupcake but then we had to do the icing and I did a tractor. I just cut it out myself – no cutters used – and I won!

Who would you like to thank in YFC and why?

I would like to thank Felinfach YFC as a whole as they have given me so many opportunities and we all support each other. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the support and the friends there. I feel part of a family.

I would also like to thank Ceredigion’s County Organiser Anne Jones for pushing me forward and supporting me on a Ceredigion level – and I think she’s absolutely fantastic at her job!

If you would like to take part in a YFC profile or want to nominate another YFC member, contact Cheryl Liddle.  


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