National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

20 December 2019

Volunteering with YFC members to support rural people in a different part of the world is an amazing experience that can develop life skills while supporting others in need.

There are still four spaces available on each of the YFC volunteering trips in 2020 to Peru and Vietnam and applications for these are open until 10 January 2020.

We spoke to Verenique Beviere from Abingdon YFC about her experience of a volunteering trip and how she funded her experience through trust funds in the county.

Where did you travel with YFC?

Costa Rica.

What attracted you to the destination/trip?

It was short enough to be able to take holiday from work (two weeks). It was also to a destination that I might not otherwise visit, for example, on a holiday. I was also interested in being a volunteer, as I hadn't done this abroad before.

What gave you the idea to get sponsored?

I think everyone in the Oxfordshire County Federation who has travelled since I have been a member has applied for funding through our trust. My own club has a trust too and we are also encouraged to use this.

How many potential sponsors did you contact?

Three trusts.

How did you raise money?

Applications for funding to local trusts and the rest I paid myself.

How much did you raise?

I received £500 from our County Fund, £500 from a local Agricultural Society and £700 from my club fund. This covered the trip and some of my flight. The rest I paid myself.

What advice would you give to travellers looking for sponsorship?

Do your research and apply anywhere you can! Take time over your applications and bear in mind that there may be requirements for you receiving the funding i.e. I had to write a report when I returned to get some of the money. Also they can take a long time to actually send the money so you'll probably need to be able to pay upfront before receiving the funding – I used a credit card.

To apply for the Peru and Vietnam trips, please download and return the application forms before 10 January 2020. Please note, it’s advised not to send NFYFC emails between 21 Dec-2 January while IT maintenance is taking place and emails maybe disrupted. 


20 December 2019

Maintenance and upgrades will be carried out on the NFYFC IT systems during the holiday period and it is advised to save emails for NFYFC staff until the new year. 

The work will start on Saturday 21 December and will be on-going until Thursday 2 January 2020.

During this essential maintenance work there may be a periods of service disruption, when the email servers will be out of action, to facilitate the work. 

As a precaution, we advise not to send emails during the holiday period – please save them to send on 2 January 2020.

Thank you for your understanding during this essential maintenance work.





20 December 2019

Agriculture is on the brink of major change and a new event is set to challenge young farmers about their future in the industry.

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) will be hosting its AGRI Forum, sponsored by KUHN Farm Machinery and supported by Defra, on 5 February 2020 with the provocative title Fit in or Fade Out!

The event will be held at Daylesford in Gloucestershire – one of the most sustainable, organic farms in the UK and will involve leading industry figures discussing the challenges and opportunities for a farming and rural future. Delegates will also see how Daylesford’s organic system operates, alongside examples from Agricology on agroecological practices in all farming systems to adapt to a resilient, sustainable model of food production.

The event is open to YFC members and those from the industry interested in taking part in what promises to be an insightful and engaging debate. The event will comprise a Daylesford farm tour, five themed discussion groups with industry, farming and the Agricology project leads as well as a panel debate.

David Goodwin, NFYFC’s Agirculture and Rural Issues (AGRI) chairman and Warwickshire mixed farmer, said:

“Young farmers will be able to hear voices that may well have different perspectives from their own. Our aim is to stimulate conversation and understanding of the considerations for future farming and rural policy.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with Agricology at Daylesford Farm, industry figures, lobbying leads and entrepreneurs to host the AGRI Forum 2020. We’re also grateful for the ongoing support of KUHN and Defra to enable us to develop and deliver the event.”

The new format for the forum was piloted this year in Derbyshire when NFYFC AGRI held an event called Take Control of Your Future. Following on from its success the AGRI steering group decided to host future annual forums at key agricultural sites around the UK so more young farmers can be part of the discussions.

NFYFC’s AGRI steering group’s vice chairman George Baxter said:

“It’s a time of change in farming and we really need to make sure that we are continually contributing to the on-going policy conversations. Not with all the usual suspects but with those who have different views and will challenge and communicate their ideas.

“We have something for everyone on 5 February including a farm walk, themed discussion workshops and a debate on future food and farming.”

Anyone interested in attending the event can secure their place for £10 via Eventbrite. The event starts at 10.30am and concludes at 6pm with supper.

Programme

10.30 am –  Arrive/coffee

11-12.30 pm –  Welcome and Daylesford Farm visit

12.30 pm  –  Lunch

1.30 pm –  Introduction – NFYFC, KUHN, Daylesford and Agricology. 
Daylesford Market Garden/Horticulture tour

2.30 pm –  Group workshops

  1. How can agroecology enhance your farm? - Agricology’s Katie Bliss and Ian Wilkinson.
  2. Integrate and innovate - National Sheep Association's (NSA) CEO Phil Stocker and and Sarah Carr, Farm491's Innovation Specialist. The future of the sheep industry - automation, adoption of technology, changing skills and an alternative workforce.
  3. What will the future bring? - Compassion in World Farming’s Senior Policy Manager, James West.
  4. Sustainable farming - How Now Dairy - Oliver Lee - young dairy entrepreneur
  5. Good practice - Robin Levin, Agriculture Manager UK & Ireland, SAI Global UK Assurance.

3.45 pm           Discussion groups’ feedback

4:15 pm           Tea

4:30 pm           Video

4:45 pm           Panel debate

5:45 pm           Summary of discussion and thanks

6.00 pm           Supper


20 December 2019

Expand your world as you learn about new technologies and production practices and connect with other future agricultural leaders during an intensive 18-day fellowship in the United States.

Based at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. Fellows will:

  • Observe U.S. agricultural production practices first-hand with an emphasis on the livestock, dairy and grain industries. Fellows will visit a variety of producers including family-owned farms, organic operations and large-scale commercial operations.
  • Meet with U.S. regulatory officials and trade groups, including representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and livestock and dairy producer associations.
  • Participate in cultural activities, including a homestay with a local family and social activities to build connections and explore rural life in the United States.
  • Visit U.S. national landmarks in Washington, D.C.
  • Develop leadership skills through programming with the University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.

The fellowship pays for the cost of airfare, ground transportation, visa fees, meals, all instruction and single-occupancy lodging.

Fellows will be selected from nominations of members between the ages of 18 and 26 by the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC), the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC) or the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU).

Successful applications will demonstrate active membership and involvement in the NFYFC, SAYFC or YFCU; experience or interest in agricultural leadership and policy; significant agriculture-related work or study activities, particularly in the areas of livestock, dairy, and grain; commitment to a career in agriculture; openness to international experience and cross-cultural exchange; and interest in international agricultural issues and comparative production practices.

APPLICATION:

To be considered, applicants must be nominated by the NFYFC, SAYFC or YFCU. Applicants interested in nomination must complete the application found at international.uga.edu/agricultural-fellowship, including uploading two letters of recommendation, no later than February 9, 2020 at 11:59pm GMT.

Questions regarding the application process may be submitted to oieapp@uga.edu no later than 7 February 2020.


19 December 2019

Could you be the 2020 YFC NFU Council (observer status) and NFU Next Generation Forum YFC representative? YFC member Kate Wainwright is stepping down from the role and explains what’s involved.

What do you need to be able to do this role? 

Ideally this role is for a YFC member with a strong interest and understanding of agriculture, a will to contribute, learn and represent fellow YFC members as: an observer at NFU Council and participant for NFU Next Generation Forum meetings. You need to be someone who is happy to report back and share your experience with the YFC membership.

What will I be expected to do?

It’s an amazing role and gives you the unique opportunity to be witness to some of the high-end discussions that take place at the NFU Council meetings and NFU Next generation meetings and events.

The governing body of the NFU is NFU Council, an elected body of farmer members which meets quarterly. You will be required to attend these meetings as an ‘observer’ which means you do not have any voting rights.

You can learn more about the Council on the NFU website. 

Dates and venues:

The dates for the NFU Council meetings in 2020 are:

Monday/Tuesday – 27-28 January 2020

Monday/Tuesday – 27-28 April 2020

Monday/Tuesday – 22-23 June 2020

Monday/Tuesday – 12-13 October 2020

Monday/Tuesday – 25-26 January 2021

The NFU’s Next Generation Forum is a group of 11 farmers between the ages of 26-40. The group consists of seven appointed members representing each of the regions in England as well as four co-opted members which address skills and knowledge gaps in the forum. Two members of the NFU Cymru Next Generation Forum also have permanent representation on the forum.

Together, they bring a host of experience from farming as well as from professions such as teaching, land agency and agri-food supply chain management. 

Forum members are appointed on a two-year period with the current term running from May 2018 - 2020. The Forum offers the next generation’s perspective on current policy developments. Forum members meet regularly with MPs and senior representatives from both the government and industry to represent the voice of the next generation of farming.

Dates and venues for 2020 meetings will be confirmed early in January and previous work has offered members the following opportunities:

  • influencing policy development
  • hosting conferences to provide the next generation of farmers across the UK the opportunity to discuss key emerging policy issues
  • engagement with the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA)
  • working towards an agri-food industry workforce skills and development strategy

Find out more about the work of the NFU Next Generation from the NFU website.

Is the role recompensed for travel?

Yes, NFYFC will pay for your travel.

Who do you share information with? 

You need to share a report with NFYFC and the AGRI regional and link representatives. NFYFC will also use your information to update YFC members through its communication channels. You can get involved in this by recording video messages about your experience, providing photos of you after the event or even updating your own social media about your experience too.

What did you gain from your experience in this role?

I can’t explain how much this role has been of interest and value to me. The contacts made at these meetings have been invaluable. I would recommend it to anyone that has the time to take up this opportunity!

Whilst you do need to dedicate time to this role, NFYFC understands how busy everyone is and that you may not always be able to attend every meeting. But – similar to YFC involvement – the more you attend the more you will gain from this amazing opportunity!

Having done the role for a few years, I feel the time is right to offer this opportunity to someone else who could benefit from it. The relationship between NFYFC and NFU and NFU Next Gen is a strong one and it would be great if someone can continue this for 2020.

If you are interested in applying for this role, please send a copy of your CV and reasons why you would be a great YFC NFU representative for 2020 to NFYFC AGRI after 2 January 2020. 



19 December 2019

The challenges of running their own business are multiplied at Christmas when Elwick YFC members Katie and Emma Sanderson have orders to complete ahead of the big day. Katie reveals more about their rural enterprise.

Name of business:

EK Handicrafts (ran by sisters Emma and Katie Sanderson)

When did you start the business?

We started in February 2017 after being inspired by making exhibition entries for YFC rally competitions.

Is it a full time business?

It’s part time. Emma works between jobs of dog grooming, waitressing and helping on the family farm, whilst I am a full time primary school teacher.

What do you sell?

Handmade sewn handicrafts for the home. These include cushions, oven gloves, tea towels, pot grabs, aprons, peg bags, tote bags, memo boards, draught excluders, door stops, Aga covers and we have also started making lampshades.

How do you market your products?

We mainly use Facebook as a way of promoting our business and products. We attend shows and craft events to get our name out there and sell our products.

Is Christmas a busy time of year for your business?

Yes, Christmas is the busiest time of the year for us. We attend so many events over the festive season selling our products and constantly playing catch up with orders. It's so rewarding to see our business being successful and the public wanting our products for presents.

What are your top selling products?

Lampshades have been crazy since we started them. Katie had to make 13 in one night for orders! We also sell a lot of aprons, cushions and oven gloves.

Where can people purchase your products?

We have a Facebook page that has all of our products on and people can contact us through there.

We also publicise the events we will be attending so that people can come along and see us.

Has your YFC helped your business?

YFC has helped us in a major way, as without it we probably wouldn't have decided to set the business up. Our club and county have held Christmas events and coffee mornings where we have also had a stand to sell our products. 


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