National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 February 2020

Flo Giles from Warwickshire FYFC was one of 39 YFC members who was given the opportunity to attend the recent NFU Conference in Birmingham.

How did you get a place at the conference?

I was nominated by Luke Ryder (NFU Group Secretary for Stratford and South Warwickshire), after he gave a presentation at Shipston YFC. I was horrible and kept asking all the questions.

Why did you want to go?

I saw it as a fantastic opportunity to build up connections and find out about key areas for the year ahead in agriculture especially after Brexit.

Do you live/work on a farm?

I am a farmer’s daughter. I live on a farm as well but privately rent. I currently work for Meadow Quality Livestock Trading in the marketing department and do relief milking at weekends.

What were the major themes of the conference?

The conference title was ‘Farming Without Barriers’ and the main topics were around trade; seasonal labour; the flooding and whether the three crop rule would stand this year; and the government's support for flood victims. Trade, especially chlorinated chicken, and fighting to keep our meat where the welfare standards are lower than the UK’s.

Any highlights of things you heard that you think other Young Farmers should be aware of?

Young Farmers should be aware of everything that was discussed at the conference. We are the future of farming and if we are not aware of what is happening now it will affect our future in the industry – especially coming out of the EU.

Did you network and pick up any contacts while you were there?

I met representatives from YFC clubs in the West Midlands. I also met Dr Christine Kennedy while going to the meal and she was absolutely lovely! She introduced me to Minette Batters and we spoke for a while about issues of the day, which seemed a little unreal!

Did you have fun as well as gaining so much information?

Yes definitely! I met some lovely people and learnt a lot.

Would you recommend the experience?

I would 100% recommend going and I would love to go again next year.

YFC members (aged 16-26) across England and Wales can join the NFU for free. Find out more here.  


27 February 2020

Want a bit more input to land-based career and employment opportunities?

If you have completed or are currently completing an apprenticeship, or if you are an employer, you are invited to attend a workshop event hosted by Landex on behalf of IfATE (the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Information) to review the Agriculture, Environmental and Animal Care Occupational Route Map.

Links for registration for these regional events are listed below. These are free to attend and lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Sparsholt (South East)

Friday 27 March 2020 10.30-15.00

Devon (South West)

Friday 6 March 2020 10.30-15.00

Moulton (East Midlands)

Monday 30 March 2020 10.30-15.00

Askham Bryan (North)

Tuesday 31 March 2020 10.30-15.00

Reaseheath College (West Midlands)

Monday 23 March 2020 10.30-15.00




27 February 2020

After many years of promoting and encouraging his club and county, Dewi Parry is now planning to do the same on a national scale. Find out more about your new Chairman of Council 2020-21.

When did you join YFC?

I joined Betws-yn-Rhos YFC in 2008 after being told to by my sister’s friend, who was Club Secretary at the time.

Since then I have been a club chairman (five times!) a club leader, county chairman, won Clwyd senior member of the year (twice!) and been a council member for Wales since 2011 and NFYFC since 2016.

Three words to describe your club?

Fun, Diverse, Growing.

Best thing you have done with YFC?

Organised a 130-mile charity bike ride with members from every club, to visit every club in the county over a weekend when I was County Chairman in 2017. We did this to raise money for a restricted fund to secure Clwyd FYFC’s future.

Greatest achievement in YFC? 

Winning the Cookery competition at the County Rally.

Greatest achievement outside of YFC?

Breeding the female champion at the Bluefaced Leicester Breed Progeny Show in 2015.

Best thing you have ever 'made' with YFC?

Goat’s cheese and walnut ravioli in a sage butter sauce which I made from scratch inside an hour to seal victory in the Rally Cookery competition.

What impact do you want to have on YFC in your year as Chairman?

To make members feel a part of NFYFC. I want to break down any perceived barriers about what ‘national’ is and instead make everyone feel proud to be part of one large organisation representing rural young people. NFYFC belongs to every YFC member and we will be much stronger if we all work together with that understanding.

Coming from a very small club in Wales to now representing all YFCs across England and Wales is a major achievement but one that’s open to all YFC members. I hope I can play my part in making more members realise the opportunities available.

Who would you like to thank in YFC and why?

Everyone I’ve come across who cares about YFC. We all need people to encourage us and equally we all need people to challenge us to improve.

To be featured in a future profile or to nominate someone, please email media@nfyfc.org.uk 


27 February 2020

Every YFC member will receive a new Rural+ card that contains important contact information for mental health support services, thanks to funding from Tama.

The folded cards include telephone numbers and email addresses for national organisations that are available for young people to contact if they need someone who can listen to their concerns. There’s also space inside for members to include contacts for any local services that they might want to use.

The cards were first produced in 2014 and have been kindly reproduced thanks to funding from Tama, leading manufacturers of Twine, Netwrap and Stretchwrap. All of the cards have been sent to County offices for distribution to their YFC clubs and every member should receive a copy.

Designed to fit easily into a wallet or purse, the cards are ideal for YFC members to keep in case they face difficult times now or in the future.

Personal Development Steering Group Chairman Steph Watkins from Gloucestershire FYFC said: “These cards are a great reminder for YFC members that you are not alone. If you’re struggling and don’t feel like you can talk to a family member or friend, then the next best step is to speak to a confidential support service.

“Just knowing you have the contacts to hand, should you need them, is reassuring and the support at the end of those telephone lines could be the life-line some people need. We are very grateful to Tama for their on-going support of Rural+ and enabling us to re-print these essential cards for our members.”

Rural+ was launched in 2013 as a campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues in rural communities. The campaign evolved into a Rural+ awareness session that is now delivered during club meetings by YFC Trainers with the support of a professional mental health worker.  You can find out more about these sessions here.

The Rural+ cards have been sent to your County Office, so if you have not yet received yours, please contact your County Office. 



27 February 2020

Communicating with grassroots members was highlighted as one of the vital roles of a Council member during training at the recent Council weekend in February.

YFC Trainers told a packed room of YFC members, who had been elected to represent their Counties on the national Council, that their role was to make two-way communication happen. All YFC members should expect a detailed update about decisions and discussions made during Council meetings and they must also be aware that Council Reps can share their views at future Council meetings.

Understanding their responsibilities as Council members was the aim of the training session that was delivered by YFC Trainers Marcus Bailey from Essex FYFC, Polly Baines from Staffordshire FYFC and Cath Sykes, NFYFC’s Development and Training Manger.

The session outlined the full role and responsibilities of the NFYFC Council and also those of the Board of Management. While Council officers were there to help steer, create and promote the programme of activities offered by NFYFC, the Board of Management are responsible for governing the organisation.

All counties have a Council representative and your County Office can put you in contact with them. A Council Rep’s responsibilities include:

  • Making their role known to YFC members and county staff
  • Regularly speaking to county chairmen for feedback
  • Reporting back to the County Federation (at Exec meetings, through newsletters, email or talking to members and staff)
  • Leading discussions and involving YFC members in the debate
  • Informing members about NFYFC and keeping them updated on topics.

YFC Trainer Marcus Bailey said:

“The session aims to empower Council Reps so they feel confident about their role. The majority of people attending the session were in membership age and are actively involved in their clubs. It’s important that the messages from Council get passed on and equally that the Council Reps bring back their members’ views to future meetings. Council only works effectively if all members feel they have access to it and understand its purpose.”

For more information about the NFYFC structure, please see here.

 


26 February 2020

YFC members from Yorkshire learnt more about tractor safety thanks to a Machinery Maintenance and Safety Workshop organised by Massey Ferguson in February.

The evening session involved both theory and practice as the group learnt more about why farm safety matters, the importance of an annual tractor safety check and guidance on how to carry out daily checks on machinery.

Leading the group from Yorkshire was Lewis Marshall, YFYFC Development & Marketing Vice Chairman and Chairman of Went Valley District. "The training event was well attended by young farmer members who enjoyed analysing the faults on a young farmer’s tractor which was in for service. That caused some amusement!” said Lewis. “We learnt lots of hints and tips to keep our machines on the road including legalities and regulations. It is great to see large companies giving a bit back to the farming community. Many thanks to Massey Ferguson for supporting Yorkshire Young Farmers."

The evening was hosted by Peacock & Binnington’s Selby branch and Technical Support Specialists Richard Cox and Michael Butland from Massey Ferguson led the workshop. The event was supported by AGCO Parts and the Farm Safety Foundation. Those who came along to the evening also got the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win a £100 voucher to spend on Massey Ferguson branded merchandise.

“The correct use and maintenance of machines is a key part of the farm safety message,” said Richard Cox. “We had a very successful workshop at Selby with a great group of young farmers who were really engaged in the importance of the topic.”


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