National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

26 September 2019

Helping a rural community in Nepal was a two-week YFC Travel trip with Projects Abroad that Hazel Stansfield from Lancashire will never forget.

Why did you choose a volunteering trip to Nepal?

I’ve always wanted to travel but I’ve recently bought my own house so I couldn’t go for a long period of time – the two weeks was perfect for me.  I liked the fact that it was split – it was half farming and half school work.

Where did you stay on the trip?

We stopped at the Edu Farm in Kathmandu. We worked there half of the time. It was really nice actually but it was like going back in time. It was all made of mud and bamboo huts.

What activities did you get involved in?

All sorts – it was ram-packed for the two weeks! We worked in the rice paddies – that was good fun, but there were lots of big spiders!

We got to work with the animals, so we washed the cows, and hand-milked them. We did a lot of planting, lettuce planting and lots of digging as well. And then we spent three days in schools teaching the children about agriculture in England, and also English games, and they taught us Nepalese games.

Another activity we were involved in was creating a hedge for a local school to help keep them protected when they were playing outside. This was particularly rewarding as we knew it would help keep them safe which was a nice feeling!

Then at the weekend they took us to the city of Pokhara where we did a lot of sightseeing. There was always something to do.

What was it like doing this kind of volunteering experience with YFC members? 

When we were digging and planting stuff, it gave us a lot of time to get to know each other. I was with eight other girls and they were all absolutely lovely. We did have a lot of time together to bond. At night, we’d have tea all together and then we’d just sit around together for hours and chat. It was really nice and I got really close to them – we are looking to see each other again.

We all had a lot in common. We spent a lot of time talking about Young Farmers, but we also had a lot of different things in common, hobbies and interests – we were all like-minded, so we got on really well.

What did you enjoy about your experience?

The whole two weeks was incredible, I really am grateful I got to go on the trip.

When we were working in the school, we were teaching them about farming back home. The children were amazed at how big our machinery is over here as a lot of them had never seen anything like that before. It was so rewarding teaching them and I really was sad when it was our time to go!

The locals were really happy and impressed with the work in which we carried out, which was such a lovely feeling!

Would you recommend doing a volunteering trip through YFC?

I’d definitely recommend it to anyone – it’s so good to get out and see a different country. I would never have dreamed of going to a country like Nepal for a holiday, so it was really interesting to see the culture and to see how they farm differently. It was very different to the UK.

YFC members can apply to go to Vietnam, Peru and Ghana on volunteering trips in 2020. All YFC Travel trips for 2020 are now open for applications until 1 November 2019. Find out more here. 

25 September 2019

Michelin-starred celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli will be judging the ‘dish of the day’ at The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) Cookery finals at this year’s Malvern Autumn Show (28 September 2019).

The flamboyant Frenchman – who has picked up four Michelin stars in his 40-year career – will choose from the top dishes that have been cooked by Young Farmers during the competition.

The national competition is being held at the start of NFYFC’s National Young Farmers’ Week (30 Sept-4 Oct) and during British Food Fortnight to celebrate the best of British produce and producers.   

Masterchef finalist and Chocolatier Ben Axford will be joined by Jay Halford – an experienced chef who caters for events and businesses all over the world – to mark the teams’ overall performances throughout the day. The competition includes marks for practical cookery skills, appropriate clothing, display and interpretation of the theme as well as taste.

While Ben and Jay will choose the overall first, second and third place winners – they will ask Jean-Christophe to choose the ‘dish of the day’ from a selection of six finalists.

Teams consist of three YFC members and they will have just one hour to prepare, cook and display four courses, including at least one sweet course and one savoury course, that would be fit for a Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) Gala Dinner. As part of the competition, teams must also promote a rare or native breed in their displays as listed in the RBST Watchlist 2018-19 and RBST Conservation Coordinator Hannah Knowles will also award a certificate for the best promotion of RBST within a display.

YFC members have competed in County and Area rounds to make it through to the national final – all coming up with innovative ideas to impress the judges. It is a difficult challenge as each team will only have two butane gas stoves to cook on.

NFYFC’s Chairman Katie Hall said:

“We are so excited that Jean-Christophe Novelli has agreed to judge the dish of the day at NFYFC’s national Cookery finals. This will be such a reward for all the hard work of our Young Farmers competing in the final. It’s also an amazing way to start National Young Farmers’ Week, which celebrates the contribution YFCs make to their rural communities and the countryside.”

Alongside his restaurant empire, Jean-Christophe also runs a renowned cooking academy from his Hertfordshire home. He came to the UK in 1983 and went on to become head chef at Keith Floyd’s Maltster’s Arms restaurant in Devon before launching his own restaurants in London in 1996.

The aim of NFYFC’s national cookery competition is to provide an opportunity for YFC members to demonstrate their ability at preparing and cooking a nutritional meal whilst adhering to health and safety and food hygiene procedures.

YFC members will be cooking in the Wye Hall at the Three Counties Showground at the Malvern Autumn Show from 10am on Saturday 28 September 2019. 

20 September 2019

NFYFC and Savills have teamed up again to offer YFC members the chance to gain professional advice for future farming ventures.

The NFYFC business and tenancy training events are back by popular demand and will be essential support in a time of unprecedented change that British agriculture and the UK are facing. The training includes advice on post-Brexit markets and trading as well as insights on applying for a tenancy and share farming. 

The training will be held at five regional locations to help YFC members prepare for their farming future.

Hundreds of YFC members have gained plenty from past training sessions with Savills and enjoyed the benefits of professional tips and expertise from their business consultants.

YFC members will meet like-minded people and be able to take advantage of some valuable advice.

The training will help YFC members to:

  • Be prepared for a farming business future
  • Take advantage of professional advice
  • Benchmark existing skills.

Refreshments will be provided and there is a £10 participation fee. A maximum number of 20 YFC members can attend each event, based on a first-come, first-served basis.

Events (first three of five)

Secure your place at one of the Tenancy Training events by booking through the following EventBrite links:  

Friday, 8 November NFYFC/Savills Business and tenancy training, Mount Cook Adventure Centre, Porter Lane, Middleton, Matlock, DE4 4LS

Tuesday, 12 November NFYFC/Savills Business and tenancy training, Savills Oxford, Wytham Court,11 West Way,Oxford, OX2 0QL

Friday, 15 November NFYFC/Savills Business and tenancy training, Hereford FYFC, Beech Business Park, Tillington Road, HR4 9QJ 


3.30 pm Arrive/registration

4.00 pm Introduction to training: NFYFC and Savills

4.10 pm Business Overview -

  • Business plans
  • Finance
  • Legislation - Agricultural Bill, future support for public goods, tenancy review, ELMs

4.30 pm Post-Brexit Markets and Trading

5.00 pm Case Studies

5.30 pm Refreshments/break

5:45 pm Applying for a tenancy, share farming, future finance, public goods and Natural Capital

6:30 pm Workshops and group feedback

7:15 pm When to take professional advice

7:30 pm Smart Farming Guide

7:45 pm Questions, Depart

10 September 2019

Can you help industry by sharing messages to reduce the spread and impacts of the devastating bTB disease?

Defra is currently analysing the effectiveness and awareness of information and tools available to help farmers protect their livestock from TB. The animal disease bTB needs to be eradicated due to its devastating consequences. YFC members can help to raise awareness and highlight the impact of this disease on farmers and their families and share information on what they can do to protect their herds.

There’s lots of relevant information available on the biosecurity section of the TB Hub and if you’re busy thinking of ideas to fill your club programme, bTB prevention could be a topic to cover. The website has a wealth of information, videos, podcasts and as well as highlighting useful advice which can also help to stimulate conversation for those affected by or working with the threat of bTB outbreaks.

You’ll find information ranging from statistics, practical guidance such as the interactive bTB map- ibTB and other useful links.  Inviting an appropriate industry speaker and using the topic for speaking and debating competitions would all help the effort to raise awareness and tackle the effects of bTB.


10 September 2019

NFYFC's Agriculture and Rural Issues (AGRI) Steering Group AGRI is submitting ideas for a new National Food Strategy.

Defra is currently calling for evidence to gather inspiration to help transform our food system and YFC members are encouraged to share their views.

Defra wants to hear from anyone who has a good idea: producers, processors, retailers, consumers, academics, policy specialists, inventors, farm labourers, factory workers, health care practitioners, charity workers, or simply interested citizens.

From government policies to simple practical things that make a difference in your community or your business, Defra is open to hearing all ideas. These might be things that are already working well, here or abroad, and that could be scaled up or used differently. Or they might be new ideas: things that haven’t been tried yet at scale, but which you think have the potential to improve the system. Defra would like to understand the rationale for your proposals and study the accompanying evidence.

The scope of the strategy is within England, but Defra would also like to hear from people in the devolved administrations or abroad.

If you would like to add your ideas to NFYFC's AGRI submission, please contact Sarah Palmer or make your own submission via the Defra website. Closing date for submissions is 25 October 2019.

10 September 2019

The National Farmers Union (NFU) is offering 39 YFC members the opportunity to attend the 2020 NFU Conference in Birmingham free of charge.

The 2020 conference will be held on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 February 2020, at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham.

YFC places will be allocated on a regional basis, but each county must be represented. Your chosen representatives’ details should be submitted to the appropriate regional NFU contact, as listed in this document.  (NFU branches must contact the NFU regional offices if they want to take up the places).

To obtain a place, please follow the procedure below:

  • Check the NFU regional allocation of places and decide which members you will put forward to represent the counties listed within the region.
  • Nominate a county representative who will be responsible for submitting names, addresses, contact details and YFC membership numbers to the regional NFU contact.  Representatives should liaise with the relevant YFC chairman before the regional submission is made.
  • When you have selected the appropriate regional representatives from the listed counties, find the relevant NFU regional contact (listed in this document) and submit your information.
  • Further conference details will then be sent from the NFU regional office to the successful YFC nomination.

The deadline for submission is 31 October 2019 and must be adhered to – late submissions cannot be accepted.


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