National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 November 2019

YFC members across England and Wales have started planting thousands of sapling trees as part of NFYFC’s Protect Your Future campaign.

Clubs and counties have taken on projects in their local communities and planted trees that they applied for from The Woodland Trust earlier in the year. Many of the clubs have partnered with local organisations to find suitable locations.

In Berkshire, Bradfield YFC brought members together to plant 420 trees on land just outside their village. Taking part in the campaign helped the club feel like they could do something positive for the environment.

Club Chairman Hannah Waters said: “Like a lot of YFCs we are very attuned to what’s going on in the countryside and issues with plastics and global warming. The campaign has helped us do something positive and I hope it sparks enthusiasm for more environmental action.”

In Buckingham, clubs joined forces to plant 600 sapling trees – one for every member of the County.

Wedmore YFC in Somerset have set up their own @yfcfreetree Instagram channel to make regular updates about the locations where they are planting their 420 sapling trees. More recently they have been supporting an edible planting project in Worthington Wood, a Wedmore parish council project, which will provide produce for local villagers to eat.

Club member Jack Nicholls said: “Wedmore YFC have planted a mixture of their trees here as a boundary hedge and also individual specimens. We have supplied fruit and nut trees to be planted at a later date once plans have been drawn by the Food Forest Project.”

Other projects include planting on YFC members’ farms to create spaces to remember lost families and friends, encouraging habitation along riverbeds and providing trees for a large memorial garden.

YFC members have planting dates set for December too and sapling trees can still be applied for from The Woodland Trust for planting in 2020. 

27 November 2019

County Federations will benefit from stronger leaders after a weekend of training for new chairmen and vice chairmen, supported by the Henry Plumb Foundation.

The Equipped training weekend, is an annual event organised to give County Chairmen and Vices essential skills to support them in their new roles.

Dan Frost, Cambridgeshire County Chairman, attended the course last year as a Vice Chairman but says he found it beneficial to be there again in his new role.

“I leant more about how to run my County more efficiently – especially in terms of the right way to manage staff and how to use your volunteers’ skills sets,” said Dan. “It was good to network with the other County Chairs and I took a lot of ideas from other counties. I’d recommend the course to every county chairman –if you think you know everything, go on Equipped because you’ll learn a tonne more.” 

There were indoor and outdoor activities for members to participate in during the weekend. Formal sessions discussed NFYFC’s structure, and workshops focused on leadership and management as well as topics on AGRI, drugs awareness, inclusivity and equality.

Will Freeman, 23, Chairman of Staffordshire Federation, said he and his Vice Amy Boothby, found the drugs awareness session useful.

“The drugs awareness workshop made me and my Vice more aware of the issues and learn what actions we need to take,” said Will who had also attended the Equipped training last year as a Vice Chairman. 

“It was a very informative weekend and I definitely learnt a lot, even going back for a second year. It was good to catch up with Vices from 2018 who have now gone into the Chairman role and share some experiences from last year.”

Equipped is an annual training weekend for all County Chairmen and Vice Chairmen and will be advertised from September 2020 onwards. 

27 November 2019

NFYFC is calling for nominations and applications for a Chairman of Council and two Vice Chairmen from members of the 2020 NFYFC Council and YFC members are urged to encourage their representatives to stand for the roles. 

The elections will take place next February, where members of the Council will be able to vote, on behalf of their Counties, for those standing for the positions.

The primary responsibility of the roles is to act as one of the Managing (Charity) Trustees of the NFYFC and to represent the Board of Management to the NFYFC Council and membership.  The Board of Management safeguard the finance, risk and reputation of the organisation, a legal responsibility of every Managing Trustee of every charitable organisation.

Key attributes for the roles are:

  • personal authority
  • integrity
  • the ability to provide sound objective advice
  • well organised
  • resilient
  • knowledge/experience that will contribute to steering the strategic direction of the organisation
  • ability to champion, influence and support the organisation as it develops a new strategy.

Nominees for the posts should be able to contribute to the leadership and direction of the NFYFC and provide insight and perspective of the needs of YFC members. All applications for the roles must be from a county elected member of the 2020 NFYFC Council and be over the age of 16 by the date of appointment (16 February 2020).

YFC members who are not members of the 2020 NFYFC Council can encourage their County-elected representatives to stand for the positions. If anyone is interested in becoming a member of Council, the person should contact their County office to see if there are any positions still vacant or wait until the 2020-21 membership year to stand for a position.

All applications must be submitted by no later than 17.00hrs on Monday 6 January 2020.

For more information and to download the application forms, visit here.  

26 November 2019

Looking for stocking fillers or a luxury item to make someone you love smile this Christmas? Then check out NFYFC’s gift ideas that all come with some exclusive savings for YFC members!

Here’s a practical present idea for tractor owners. YFC members can save £40 on a Block Stem anti-theft locking device. Block Stem is a P3 Thatcham approved anti-theft device for tractors, excavators/mini diggers and earth movers.

Stuck for an idea for a farming family member who’s always losing or dropping their phone? Why not check out the hi-performance ROKK mini modular system that allows you to attach your electronics to boats, cars, off-road vehicles, aircraft and more! You get 15% off with your YFC membership.

If you’re buying for a YFC member or supporter then you can’t go far wrong with this fun stocking filler – a YFC car sticker (£2) or a YFC lapel badge (£2). Purchase in the YFC Shop.

For the adventurer or explorer, there’s 10% off at Bushgear for YFC members. Bushgear provide high performance outdoor clothing and equipment and are the exclusive UK distributor for Redback boots and Barmah hats.

Need an equestrian inspired gift? YFC members can get £5 off membership of Harry Hall’s Bronze One Club – which provides 30% off at all year round!

Want a fun stocking filler idea? Everyone loves an NFYFC key ring. Choose from a metal SuperMoo version (£2) or try the classic YFC welly that comes in a choice of three colours (£2.50) or a squidgy sheep keyring (£2.50 each). Purchase in the YFC Shop.

For the readers in your life, why not consider a subscription to Farmers Weekly (£26 discount on an annual print subscription) or Countyman’s Weekly magazine (10% discount and a free gift)?

Know a family member who could do with some new wellies? Save 10% on all products in the range from Ultralights Leon Boots company.

Is your mate always low on mobile battery? Get them a back up YFC power pack from the YFC Shop. (£10 +P&P) while stocks last. Purchase in the YFC Shop.

You can save 50% off BASC membership with your YFC discount so consider signing up a family member if you know they’d love to be part of this shooting association. Membership includes shooting opportunities, BASC insurance and other exclusive discounts.

And in case you’re really struggling to buy for a friend, consider the gift that keeps on giving for life – YFC membership! 

26 November 2019

Professional advice on business planning has been helping YFC members think about future entrepreneurial opportunities in the industry.

NFYFC and Savills hosted the first three of five business and tenancy training courses in Herefordshire, Oxfordshire and Derbyshire in November to help YFC members consider or enhance current and future opportunities.

James Jackson from Lancashire FYFC said he learnt how important a business plan was to securing finances.

“You can have the best business idea but if you can’t put it into a business plan you're wasting your time. I know a lot about looking after stock but not so much about how to set up a business so I thought this would be a good course for me to go on,” said James who also wanted to meet like-minded young farmers on the course.

“I have a greater understanding on how to put a business plan together now for either going into a share farming agreement or applying for a farm tenancy. Also I know the right paths to take and which to avoid when trying to get a future business off the ground when looking for financial support.”

The training was intended to offer essential support in a time of unprecedented change for British agriculture and the UK. The course included advice on post-Brexit markets and trading as well as insights on applying for a tenancy and share farming.

Two more tenancy and business training courses will run in 2020 to allow more members to attend. Dates and venues will be announced in the new year. 

James added: “I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of starting a farm business or applying for farm tenancy.”

26 November 2019

After nearly 60 years, members of the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs finally brought home the John Spear trophy after a joint win with Herefordshire at the national finals of stockjudging at the English Winter Fair, sponsored by Rutland Electric Fencing.

It was 1961 when YFC members from Yorkshire last won the overall trophy for the most points earned in both lamb and beef live and carcase stockjudging. This year, they claimed their victory alongside Herefordshire FYFC who scored the same amount of points.

Two brothers Charlie and Jacob from Farnley Estate YFC were delighted to be in the winning Yorkshire team with Jack Henshaw and Christine Lofthouse-Pratt.

“The reaction from the County was amazing because we haven’t won it for such a long time,” said Charlie, 12, who hasn’t done any formal training but picked up tips from his dad on the family farm and from going to auctions with his Grandad. “It was good as my brother was in the same team. My dad was impressed – he won a beef trophy when he was in YFC.”

Charlie, who has been in the national finals once before, encouraged other younger members to have a go at the competition too.   

“Don’t be scared – just give it a go. It was brilliant being at the national final. I met lots of members from other counties too and have made some new friends I’ll keep in touch with.”

Competition judges said the standard this year was impressive but reminded everyone to consult AHDB books and video guides prior to the competition.

Ed Albutt, judge of the lamb stockjudging, said: There was a lot of competent young farmers there and they represented themselves really well.

“The best competitors went through each carcase from the most expensive end to the cheap end. They talked for about 20 seconds and mentioned each point on each carcase. They didn’t just talk about the first two and forget the last two.

“My advice would be to look at the AHDB stockjudging books and videos as that will give YFC members the terminology and the extra points to look at on the carcase and ultimately improve their reasons,” added Ed.

Gareth Lewis from Dunbia judged the beef categories and was also impressed with the standard of competitors. He said: “A very talented bunch with great potential and a good understanding of the needs and requirements for the future of the agricultural industry.”

The national competition, which is sponsored by Rutland Electric Fencing, is also supported by AHDB and hosted by the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society. Carcases were provided by Bradshaws and lambs from Madders & Johnson. Exhibitors at the English Winter Fair kindly loaned their stock for the competition too.

To see all the results from the NFYFC finals at the English Winter Fair, visit here.


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