National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

19 December 2019

Forty YFC members will experience life in different parts of the world after successful applications through YFC Travel, supported by The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust.

The choice of trips was as varied as volunteering in rural communities in Peru to working in New Zealand on a sheep, beef and dairy farm.

All applicants for YFC Travel destinations attended NFYFC’s Selection Day in November and were interviewed about their YFC experience and the country they wanted to visit. With more than 50 applications for places, it was a tough decision for the judges on the day.

Three members also earned a Young Farmers Ambassadors (YFA) scholarship. Bethan Anthony from Herefordshire who is travelling to Canada 4H, Elizabeth King from Pembrokeshire who is travelling to Australia and Polly Baines from Staffordshire who is travelling to Scotland all received £100 from the YFA towards their trip.

Polly, who will travel to Scotland in June 2020, said: “I’m chuffed to have been awarded a trip – never mind the scholarship! I was not expecting it, so I’m really happy to have been awarded it.

“I’ll be putting the money towards travel for the trip and I’m looking forward to seeing what Scotland has to offer and meeting like-minded people too.”

The YFA was set up more than 60 years ago by English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish YFC members who had travelled on international exchanges. There are around 500 members in England and Wales and every year there is a YFA reunion hosted in one of the four countries.

Membership of the YFA is £10 per annum and is open to anyone who has travelled with YFC and had an NFYFC or Wales YFC interview.  The subscription fee allows the YFA to support travel programmes in England and Wales and £3,600 was presented to NFYFC at the last Annual General Meeting for this purpose.

Bethan’s trip to Canada will be very different to the group volunteering experience she went on to Nepal in 2018.

“I had never been to Canada and I wanted to try a homestay this time so I could have more of an authentic experience of the country,” explained Bethan (pictured) who is a primary school teacher so also needed to choose a trip that would fall in the school holidays. “This trip is also for a longer period and I will host my exchangee too. I have hosted a Canadian exchangee before who I’m still connected to on Facebook. They were excited to see I would be coming over to Canada in 2020!”

As a YFA scholar Bethan will also receive £100 towards her trip. She said: “I was really proud to be given a YFA scholarship, which they said was because I was confident and keen about going away. I might use the money towards flights or to pay for me to take part in the YFA reunion. I didn’t realise the YFA existed and it will be great to meet up with other YFC travellers.”

James Greenfield from Cornwall was awarded the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust Scholarship, by panel judge Roger Campion, for his trip with Canada 4H. The scholarship will cover the cost of James’ travel insurance with a policy from NFU Mutual.

The C Alma Baker Trust also awarded scholarships to three YFC members to work in New Zealand on a 3,200 ha beef, sheep and dairy farm for three months each, as well as having an extra month to explore the country. 

Charlotte Heaps from Leicestershire, Thomas Huntley from Glamorgan and Sian Downes from Ceredigion were all given places on the trip and the scholarship will cover flights and insurance costs. As a working holiday, you will be paid as a member of the workforce whilst in New Zealand. 

Volunteering trips

The YFC Travel volunteering trips have proven popular in recent years and two destinations were available for YFC members to choose from this year – Peru and Vietnam.

Volunteers will be supporting projects in local rural communities in Peru or Vietnam, such as creating vegetable gardens or helping in local schools.

There are still four spaces available on each of these trips, which are organised with Projects Abroad for August 2020. Application forms are on the website and should be submitted to NFYFC by 10 January. (Please note, it is advised that if sending your application on email – please do so after 2 January due to a system upgrade at NFYFC over the Christmas period).  

19 December 2019

YFCs will have planted 10,000 trees as part of NFYFC’s Protect Your Future campaign and there are still opportunities for clubs to get involved.

By planting trees in rural locations such as on community care farms, along river beds and in schools, YFCs have helped to safeguard the environment for the next generation.

Other clubs that want to leave a legacy in their local area and get involved in the campaign can still do so by applying for trees from The Woodland Trust in 2020.

See the details on how to order your trees here.

The campaign has helped to showcase the work YFCs do to support the environment. It has also opened up connections with other organisations and industry partners that want to work with YFC. The campaign was originally launched as part of the #iwill4nature campaign for the Government’s Year of Green Action.

Personal Development Steering Group Chairman Marcus Bailey said: “It’s fantastic to see so many YFCs support this campaign and proactively doing what they can do safeguard the environment. It’s amazing that collectively we will have planted 10,000 trees so far.

“We have received a lot of positive publicity for the campaign and it’s opened the doors to working with other organisations in the future. We are really proud of what YFCs have achieved this year and we hope the tree planting and green initiatives continue into 2020.”

If your club has been inspired and is involved in an environmental project or would like to plant trees in the new year, please email Cath Sykes to let the Federation know. 

19 December 2019

‘Tis the season of goodwill and Young Farmers’ Clubs across the land have definitely been getting into the spirit of things by hosting fundraisers and supporting their local communities. We’ve pulled together some of the YFC highlights of a month of YFC Festive Kindness.


Inspired by their County Chairman Steph Watkins, clubs have been creating and donating care boxes for older people in Podsmead who are living alone or to families who are going through difficult times.

Steph collected all the boxes and delivered them to One Church Podsmead who distributed the boxes on their behalf. "This has been a team effort in clubs – but then clubs have worked together as a county too," said Steph who was delighted with the amount of boxes the clubs donated.

Well done to everyone who got involved! 

Purton and Cricklade YFC

So impressed with the junior and senior members of Purton and Cricklade Young Farmers in Wiltshire YFC who wrapped 74 shoe boxes filled with gifts the club had donated to children who are admitted to their local hospital over Christmas.

Their YFC Festive Kindness meant the boxes were donated to a charity called Brighter Futures, which is based at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, who will distribute them to the children.

Club Chairman Ellie Gassor said: "This is such a fun evening of organised chaos, but also one that has a lot of feeling and emotion behind it, especially at this time of year. Last year we managed an impressive 35 boxes and this year we have smashed that with an amazing 74 boxes!

"We are so proud of our members who insisted we did this for a charity close to home. For such a small club we’ve done an amazing thing and the hospital was very grateful for our donations." 

Isle of Man 

In the Isle of Man, members raised £7,500 (and counting) for two local charities through their annual Christmas Tractor Run. The event is only in its second year but has proven popular, and this year 49 tractors made their way around a 31-mile route, taking in the island's famous TT race track.

Isle of Man Chairman Ffin Creer was overwhelmed by the amount of supporters that lined the roads on 14 December. He said: “There is a very close knit community on the Isle of Man, and the public really support our events.” 

Butsfield YFC

Butsfield YFC in County Durham FYFC raised more than £500 for their club and brought the local community together by hosting a Christmas coffee morning earlier this month. Club members united by baking cakes and donating prizes to the tombola. After one former member donated one of his home-grown Christmas trees to decorate their club house, the club decided to sell raffle tickets for people to try and win the decorated tree. The idea helped to boost their total. Club member Olivia Ford-Senior said: “Like most Young Farmers' Clubs we are in a very rural area, it was lovely to see a lot of older past members come to the coffee morning and catch up with people. A lot of people commented on how nice it was t

o see everyone.”

The club raised £255 for RABI in December by touring the local farms singing festive carols.

Kingsbridge YFC

Kingsbridge YFC, in Devon, ran a refreshments stall at the town’s Christmas fair. 

They also did face painting and temporary tattoos for the children and took a life-size wooden reindeer for people to try and toss the hoops on the antlers. The club raised £160, which will be given to local charities, and they will top up their funds with carol singing in the local area.

This festive club has also enjoyed a Christmas meal and held a Christmas craft party for their junior members to make cakes and wreaths.

Ledbury YFC

Ledbury YFC has had a busy month fundraising for charity. They have sold holly and mistletoe in Ledbury and run a tombola at the 

county fair, where they raised £415 for the Midlands Air Ambulance and St Michael’s Hospice. They will be hosting one more raffle on 28 December with an aim of breaking the £500 mark for the total they have raised this month!

This community-minded club has also donated 20 bales of hay to Forage Aid too to help the farmers affected by flooding.

Jonathan Whitting from Ledbury YFC said: “We are super proud of our members' efforts this month.”



Staffordshire FYFC

You can't beat a festive tractor run and Staffordshire YFC's and South Staffs Water’s Christmas convoy of 84 illuminated vehicles on a 20-mile route was a cracker!

Working with South Staffs Water the County managed to raise £3,600 for WaterAid UK, RABI and the County. It was a brilliant act of #YFCFestiveKindness!

County Organiser Julia Taylor said: “We were completely overwhelmed by the amount of people who came out to support and give generously in the local villages as the convoy passed through and the feedback from the tractor drivers, general public and all those involved has been really positive which is very good for the agricultural industry.”

After the run was completed, the drivers and many supporters enjoyed an evening at Cowley Hill Farm, Hamstall Ridware by kind permission of the Roobottom Family. A band, Prosody, played some great Christmas tunes as well as classics and the awards for Best Dressed Tractor and Best Dressed Drivers were made.

Craswall YFC

Craswall YFC in Herefordshire has been busy hosting a pantomime, running stalls and will be carol singing in the days leading up to Christmas.

Their annual Christmas panto was the Wizard of Oz this year and received great support from the local community.

Emily Pritchard from Craswall said: “It brings the club together for a weekend of fun and laughter with it bringing us all together with practices held three times a week to keep us all going through the long cold winter nights!”

The club is hosting a Christmas meal to celebrate its hard work and will go carol singing on the 23 and 24 December to raise money for St Michael’s Hospice – a charity close to the many members’ hearts. Former and current members’ homes will receive a visit from the Craswall carollers, spreading Christmas cheer! 

Gelligaer YFC

Over in Wales Gelligaer have had a busy December planting trees for the Protect Your Future campaign as well as getting involved in festive activities.

They took part in their community Christmas fair and sold decoration that members had made and they had a craft stall for children to make items too.

They are also carol singing around local farms to raise money for the DPJ Foundation.

Clitheroe YFC

The club has organised a convoy of more than 60 tractors to raise money for the North West Air Ambulance, with a £200 cash prize for the best dressed tractor.

The tractor run will be around two hours and will run through the Ribble Valley on 22 December 2019.

Woburn YFC

This club has been busy hosting Christmas craft nights and raising money by carol singing. They held their all age Christmas party and have been sledging as well as helping other members in the County to plant trees! They’re also working on a Big Fat Quiz of the Decade too!

We’ll be re-posting your festive messages on our Instagram Stories over Christmas so make sure you tag NFYFC so we can re-post. 


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