National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

11 February 2020

Ruth Cooper, 17, from Lowick YFC in Cumbria is passionate about YFC and sharing younger members’ voices inside and outside of the Federation. As the new Chairman of the Youth Forum we found out a bit more about her plans for the year ahead.

Q. How do you feel to be the new Chairman of the Youth Forum?

A. I am very excited and honoured to take on the role. I’m looking forward to continuing my work with a group of individuals who are all very passionate about YFC. It really has been an honour to shadow Lucy Jeyes as her Vice-Chairman over the past year and if I only gain one thing in the role of Chairman, I hope it is Lucy’s passion for British agriculture.

Q. Why did you decide to stand for election?

A. Since joining the Youth Forum back in 2017, it has been great to work alongside like-minded young people who want to help change the face of NFYFC. I have achieved so much thanks to the skills I have gained from YFC and I want to give something back and ensure that younger members get the best possible experience from YFC.

Q. What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

A. I hope that throughout the year, we can continue to work on improving our organisation for younger members. Over the next year, we plan on supporting the motions submitted by the Forum to the British Youth Council back in 2019.

To do this, we plan to encourage clubs to deliver the Future Farming Curve module and also, as members, we plan on delivering it when going into schools or colleges to improve knowledge around food provenance.

We will also be continuing our work with LEAFEd to develop the Open Farm Sunday guidance for members. And we will maintain our work with all four steering groups and help them in delivering any projects for younger members.

Q. How important do you think the Youth Forum is?

A. It’s very important because it is a way for younger members to have their voices heard. YFC is an organisation run by its members, so it is vital for the younger generation to be listened to because they are the future of our organisation. We are very fortunate that the Youth Forum is able to feed into other steering groups as it means that we can represent our views at all levels of Council.

Q. How do you think this experience will help you in your own personal/professional life? 

A. It will help me to develop my leadership skills and further my presentation skills when delivering reports. Most importantly, however, this experience will help me to build on teamwork skills, both as a team leader and a team player.

To find out more about the Youth Forum, visit here.  

10 February 2020

NFYFC is supporting this year’s Mind Your Head campaign (10-14 February) organised by leading farming charity the Farm Safety Foundation, which will encourage the farming community to stop and think about how they are looking after their physical and mental wellbeing.

The award-winning campaign, now in its third year, was launched to raise awareness of the growing issue of poor mental health in the agricultural sector.

Following the campaign week NFYFC will re-issue its Rural+ cards, which are supported by Tama, to all YFC members by distributing them to Council members at the meeting in Coventry on 16 February. The cards, which were first launched when NFYFC created the award-winning Rural+ campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues in rural communities, are packed with useful contact information for organisations that members can call if they need help.

Rural+ has developed into a session that clubs can host during a meeting with the support of a trained YFC Trainer and a representative from the Farming Community Network (or a similar mental health organisation). The sessions raise awareness of mental health conditions and signpost where members can get support.

Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs is one of the counties that has been running the sessions throughout its County and believe the results are positive.

“WOW is all I can say regarding the Rural+ session! I feel this has really helped spread the word across our clubs here in Staffordshire,” said Gez Lowndes, Staffordshire’s Development Committee Chairwoman and also a member of Ashley YFC. “We have around 30 members out of over 100 that have received the training who have suffered with their own mental health. I am one of those who has received the training, suffered and been there to support others. I feel it has helped others and definitely helped me.”

During the Mind Your Head campaign, NFYFC will be helping to share messages from The Farm Safety Foundation and promoting Rural+ to counties and clubs as a positive way that they can support their members.

Farmers and their families face the same issues that everyone faces but there are a unique set of stressors in the industry; weather, market fluctuations, loneliness, long hours etc. that compound everyday pressures. Farming continues to have the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK and, given the hazards and risks faced by farmers every day, being in the wrong headspace when working on a busy farm can, in fact, lead to life-changing or life-ending accidents. 

For more information on ‘Mind Your Head’ visit or follow @yellowwelliesUK on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram

For more information about the Rural+ session, visit here


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