National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 May 2020

Understanding the key issues affecting rural young people today and their views on what needs to change post-Brexit, is the aim of new research that is being launched by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC).

The survey, which is funded by Defra, will be launched on 10 June during an online breakfast reception at 9am at Cereals LIVE2020. YFC AGRI Chairman George Baxter from Cambridgeshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs will host the reception, which is supported by KUHN Farm Machinery UK. 

This new research, led by Rose Regeneration and NFYFC, aims to ensure young people living and working in rural areas, next generation farmers and land managers have the opportunity to highlight their key concerns around accessibility of skills and services. The results of the survey will help to ensure rural young people’s needs are recognised in post-Brexit rural policies and life beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

YFC AGRI Chairman George Baxter said: “If you’re a young person living or working in a rural environment, do you have access to the essential opportunities, skills and services you need both now and in the future? These are important questions I’m proud that YFC AGRI is playing a key role in, giving rural young people the opportunity to have their say at such a critical time in all our lives. The survey will complement our AGRI Ambition paper and help us to share the concerns and aspirations of our many YFC members and supporters.”

“As we have had to change this survey launch to a ‘virtual’ breakfast reception at Cereals, I’d love to see as many people as possible share their photos on social media of their breakfasts made using British produce and use hashtags #BritishFoodisGreat #CerealsLIVE2020 #YFCAGRI.”

NFYFC’s breakfast reception was due to be held at Cereals in Cambridgeshire but has now moved to an online platform for a virtual event due to the Covid-19 crisis. YFC AGRI has been working with the organisers of Cereals to help develop an exciting young farmer programme and YFC members will play an active part in the online sessions.

Cereals LIVE’s young farmer programme offers a range of seminars and events including exploring future business opportunities and careers, business innovation and building your route into a tenancy.

The event is free for members to join and they can even visit exhibitors virtually.

Winding up the show on 11 June at 7pm, George and fellow agronomist and Somerset FYFC Chairman Tom Pope join farmer and columnist Joe Stanley and RABI’s Suzy Deeley for an interactive talk - What's on your mind?  You can share questions with the guests beforehand and take part in a frank discussion about physical, mental and financial wellbeing – particularly pertinent during the current pandemic.

For more information about Cereals LIVE 2020 and to register for the event, visit here

28 May 2020

It’s show season – or at least it should be… But Young Farmers’ Clubs around the country are still showing off their skills in a socially distant way by competing in virtual County events. 

In the week that should have been the Staffordshire County Show, the highlight of the rural calendar in Staffordshire, members have been entering virtual competitions – including a creative take on the annual Floats Competition – using decorated shoeboxes instead!

Liv Larsson from Ashley YFC won the shoebox challenge, out of 17 entries, with her ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get me out of here! entry, which included familiar faces superimposed on the contestants.

In total Staffordshire hosted five competitions on its Facebook page throughout the week and involved NFYFC Chairman Dewi Parry to assist with the judging of the shoebox challenge.

Dewi said: “The competition standard has been immense, all 17 entries were fabulous and everyone made a great amount of effort!”

Elsewhere, Devon FYFC managed to move their annual Show and Sale to an online format – within just a couple of weeks.

“We are so lucky to have a great team working at the Devon YFC office, including Dan Grist and our competitions chair Michelle Batting,” said  Devon AGRI Chairman Helen Bellew.

“The Kivells agricultural team at Exeter Livestock Centre usually host the event, but still judged all the classes and provided prize money for the champion classes. Showing online required just as much time and effort from members to prepare stock before photos were taken and entries submitted. A lot of work goes into selecting the right stock, feeding and halter training which certainly showed.”

The new format attracted just under 100 entries and was sponsored by Mole Valley Farmers.

Helen added: “Winning the supreme champion Mole Valley Farmers Cup is always a huge honour and congratulations to Honiton YFC’s Mark Pearce.”

Meanwhile, Lincolnshire FYFC have also used their Facebook page to hold a series of competitions throughout the week, including carpool karaoke, scrapbooks, ‘best club memory’, Youth Forum posters and yearbook cover designs.

Well done to all the County Federations that are coming up with innovative ways to keep YFCs connected. Please keep telling us about your activities by emailing

28 May 2020

Helping others in a time of need has been a priority for members of Wragby YFC who are helping to ensure that everyone in their local community can put food on the table during Covid-19 by being part of a local food bank. Wragby YFC Chairman Beth Alford explains.   

Q. How did your support of the food bank start?

The food bank was set up specifically for Covid-19. I was contacted by the operators of Wragby ChEF (Children Eat Free); a charity providing free lunches for kids in Wragby during the school holidays. They had identified a need for a food bank in the community but needed volunteers to help run the service and thought Young Farmers might be able to help. The service operates every Monday and Thursday from 11am-2pm and is open for people to drop off donations or to collect an essentials package that lasts a few days.

Q. Has the Food Bank seen an increase in the numbers of people needing support?

As more members of the community have found out about the food bank there has been an increase in the number of households that it supports. The first session was held on 16 April and since then we've supplied a large number of parcels which have helped around 25 different households.

Q. How many members are involved?

We have three members involved in running the sessions. On a Monday me and my partner volunteer, and our Club Secretary Lorna Garrill and active member Alice Hauton volunteer on Thursdays. We wanted to keep the number of people involved fairly small to reduce the risk of cross contamination.

Q. What kind of things do you do?

We created a poster to advertise the food bank before it launched, which was shared on social media and displayed around the village. 

We are responsible for organising the donations into stock rotation order and we create the collection packages. Packages vary in size, depending on the number of people in the household - typical items include baked beans, tinned tomatoes, tinned vegetables, pasta/rice, cereal, tea/coffee, sugar, tinned fish, long-life milk – and other items will vary according to what has been donated, such as bread, potatoes, biscuits and tinned fruit. We're extremely grateful to have had so many donations from kind members of the community, from the donation point at Wragby Co-op and also the FareShare charity. In order to adhere to social distancing guidelines we ask recipients to wait behind a table outside the room while their package is created. Once complete we bring them out, place them on the table and ask the recipient to come forward and collect.

Q. How have you found the experience?

We have all found it very rewarding, as without the food bank some households would be finding this situation even more difficult, so it's good to know we are helping even in just a small way. As YFC is such a community focused organisation it is nice to feel like we are giving something back. 

Q. Would you recommend helping others during the crisis?

We would definitely recommend helping others if you're in position to do so. We are lucky in that none of the active members helping out have had any symptoms and so haven't had to isolate at home. Helping others is a great use of the extra time we have on our hands.

Q. How else has your YFC being staying connected?

During Covid-19 our club completed the 'Loo Roll Challenge' which was great fun and got mentioned on BBC Look North, which was fantastic! We've had a couple of virtual meetings and got involved in some of the national isolation challenges, for example the Isolation Snapshot. More recently we've taken part in the Lincolnshire Young Farmers' Online Rally! Members have completed some of the exhibition classes and submitted them virtually – we are looking forward to seeing which club wins the 'Covid Cup'! 

If you have been helping out during the Covid-19 pandemic and would like to share your story, please email

28 May 2020

NFYFC is hosting its second Isolation Challenge Finals Day on Saturday 6 June giving all YFC members, friends and family the chance to vote for their winner from the four recent isolation challenges.

The work of five finalists from the Green Fingers, Artwork and Ready, Steady, Cook challenges will be promoted throughout the day and members will have the chance to vote on their preferred winner.

Votes will be counted on the official finalists entries that are shown on Instagram and Facebook and voting closes at 3pm.

Winners of the Isolation Stockjudging Challenge, sponsored by Rutland Electric Fencing, will be decided by a judging panel.

NFYFC’s Competitions Chairman Grace Millbank from Northamptonshire FYFC will announce the winners at 8pm on Facebook.

Grace said: “It’s really exciting to be hosting another Challenge Finals Day. While I know this virtual event won’t match the excitement of a real Competitions Day, it’s just one of the ways that can help to unite YFC during these difficult times.”

The first YFC Isolation Challenge Final Day was a huge success with the event reaching more than 60,000 people on Facebook alone.

Sophie Winter commented on NFYFC’s Facebook page after the last Finals Day saying: “Well done to all Young Farmers. No matter what, we all pull together in difficult times and still manage to have fun! I really enjoyed going through some of the photos and videos online! It’s been great.”

Why not get involved and help vote for your favourite finalists on 6 June. The schedule is below:

8am – announcement of the finalists for the Green Fingers Challenge

11am – announcement of the finalists for the Artwork Challenge

1pm – announcement of the finalists for the Ready, Steady, Cook Challenge

3pm – Voting closes

Just for fun – Stockjudging challenge

7pm – Official placement of cattle and reasons give

8pm – Announcement of results 

To see all of the Isolation Challenges, visit here.  Younger members may also be interested in downloading a copy of the YFC Isolation Show Guide here

21 May 2020

The dairy industry has come together with a new £1m campaign to celebrate and inspire the moments of connection that bring people together whilst physically apart due to coronavirus.

Young farmers are being encouraged to take part in the Milk Your Moments campaign, which celebrates the connections made while enjoying dairy.

Milk and dairy has always featured in situations we took for granted before the lockdown – a catch up with a colleague over coffee (or at the market), tea with your mum or grandma reading a bedtime story with a glass of milk. The campaign celebrates those moments - hence ‘Milk Your Moments’ - in order to drive positive sentiment towards dairy and drive in home consumption and dairy occasions.

The campaign is funded by AHDB, Dairy UK, Defra, Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to address the fall in milk sales due to the closure of foodservice caused by the coronavirus outbreak. 

AHDB has also teamed up with mental health charity Mind to highlight the importance of human connections and encourage open conversations with others to make a positive impact on people’s mental health.

Consumers (and farmers) are invited to record their own ‘moments’ to share with their friends on social media, and the campaign will also include advertising on social media, billboards near supermarkets, radio and television.

The very best moments shared using the hashtag #MilkYourMoments will be featured in the TV advert in June. We would love some farmer moments to make the cut – so get creative!

Please email if you would like a copy of its guidance about social media or if you have any other questions about the campaign.

How farmers can get involved and help to make the campaign a success:

There are several ways farmers can support the campaign.

1. Share the campaign graphics via your own social media accounts Visit where you can download from a choice of images along with an example wording for your post, or like and share the posts on the @MilkYourMoment handles on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

2. Create and share your own moment on social media

a. Create your own moment to share using the farm, the cows or the countryside as your inspiration – see examples below or visit

b. Share it on social media and encourage others to share your post with wording such as ‘If my post makes you smile, please LIKE and SHARE it to spread joy throughout the nation and get involved with #MilkYourMoments @MindCharity’.

c. Nominate other farmers on social media to create their own moment to help support the campaign

3. Download posters to use if you have consumer facing areas Visit to download printable poster

Top tips when capturing your moment 

  • 'Moments’ set on your farm will help connect consumers with dairy farming and enhance our reputation
  • Consider your content through a consumers’ eyes – do your cows look healthy and clean? Is the background clean and tidy? Do the cows have two ear tags? Think about your appearance too. 
  • Remember - the public don’t know that many farmers live and work with extended family so will be expecting you to follow Government guidance on 2 metre social distancing 
  • This is not a milk drinking challenge – the aim is to capture you connecting with other people (in person, virtually or remotely) since this is at the heart of the campaign. Please bear this in mind when creating your moment 
  • Please only use the hashtag #MilkYourMoments 
  • Be sensitive to the link with a mental health charity in your posts. 

Inspiration to get you started

We want to see how creative you can be, but here are a few ideas to get you going:

  • Making a short Tik Tok video with the cows in the background
  • Enjoy a cup of coffee and a chat over the farm boundary with a neighbouring farmer 
  • Sharing a flask of tea/coffee and cream cake with your farming family whilst checking the cows in the field  
  • Treat the farm team to tea and cakes (at 2m social distance) 
  • Drop off a bottle of milk to a neighbour and leave a note to organise a virtual cuppa.

15 May 2020

Young farmers are being encouraged to take time to manage their mental wellbeing by using new resources launched by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) during Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.

The Take Time toolkit is sponsored by Tama and is being championed by NFYFC’s Youth Forum during a week-long campaign from 18-24 May, which coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week.

The United Nations has recently warned of the possibility of a global mental health crisis following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

As isolation is already a major issue for rural young people, NFYFC was eager to build on its Rural+ work that was delivering mental health awareness sessions to Young Farmers’ Clubs across England and Wales. Clubs have been closed since the middle of March due to Covid-19 restrictions, meaning members are no longer meeting with friends or getting access to Rural+ sessions or resources.

It is hoped the online Take Time toolkit will tackle some of the issues young rural people are currently facing. There are seven Take Time sections that each provide advice for YFC members on ways they can improve their mental wellbeing. Members of the Youth Forum have recorded tips to share throughout the week on social media to encourage their peers to stop and think about their own mental health during the current global crisis.

Youth Forum Chairman, Ruth Cooper from Cumbria FYFC, said it was more important than ever that YFC members took time to look after their mental health.

“Lockdown in the UK brought a devastating blow to the YFC life we are used to, and it has been affecting all of us in different ways.

“Many clubs have been hosting virtual meetings, quizzes and fundraisers, which is great but we know they are not the same as physically socialising with friends. The added pressures we are all facing due to changes to education, work, family and social lives are immense.

“Take Time is aimed at encouraging YFC members to take care of themselves and to understand that their mental health matters as much as their physical health. It’s also our opportunity to show the power of the YFC community. We need to look after ourselves and be there for our friends and family. Not everyone will be doing ok, which is why we need to keep talking about this and show that together, we are joining in and creating opportunities to keep our mental health, healthy!”

The Youth Forum will be asking everyone to share their stories and images during the week, using the hashtag #YFCTakeTime.

The timetable for the week is as follows:

Monday – Take time to keep connected

Tuesday – Take time to observe

Wednesday – Take time to keep active

Thursday – Take time to do something for you

Friday – Take time to do something for others

Saturday – Take time to take a break

Sunday – Take time to try something new

Urgent contact information and resources for anyone who is facing a mental health crisis are also available in the toolkit, which is all hosted on the NFYFC website here.


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