National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 July 2020

Plans for a new professional body that will support a skilled workforce in agriculture and horticulture are underway and NFYFC has contributed to its development.

The aim of the professional body is to be the go-to place for key information that encourages lifelong learning. It would make the best use of information to achieve skills for on farm improvements and demonstrate the career opportunities in the sector.

The concept has been developed by the Agri-Hort Skills Leadership Group (SLG), which was set up in 2018 and has involved NFYFC. The SLG, which is sponsored by Lord Donald Curry, considered how to best inspire and support those currently farming and growing to acquire new skills and also to attract new talent.

It has advanced its work through industry-led groups on professional framework, including continuing professional development and careers and recruitment.

NFYFC is an advocate of the acquisition of skills and training for its YFC members and has been involved in the Agri-Skills Forum, Agri-Skills Forum Management group and latterly the Agri-Skills Development Strategy for many years. 

Chairman of the NFYFC Board of Management Delme Harries has attended recent meetings and said:

“The aims of the strategy group are a commitment to the long-term vision of gaining external recognition of the professionalism within the industry, and building on this through continuous professional development and lifelong learning.”

The SLG has also held consultation events ahead of the Covid-19 lockdown, including one with the NFU Next Generation Forum at the Oxford Farming Conference Fringe in January. The 200 attendees at this event gave 97% support for the work and concept of a professional body. 

There was also broad agreement for the professional body at a roundtable event at the House of Lords in early March and subsequent meetings with individual institutions have also been constructive.

All the work has been undertaken with the support of AHDB, NFU and also Defra officials.

Following a Ministerial proposal to Defra in June, the SLG is now working with Defra to establish the next steps to develop the proposal.  Over the next few months, a consultation group for the professional body, which is in the process of being established, will meet to inform further developments.

To find out more about the development of the professional body visit here. You can also register for updates here and tick the subscription option for 'Future of skills'.



28 July 2020

Five of the 11 new farmers chosen by the NFU to join the Student & Young Farmer Ambassador Programme are YFC members and will help to represent the future generation of British farmers over the next 12 months.

This is the second year that the NFU has run the programme and the 11 farmers beat off stiff competition from more than 130 applicants. YFC AGRI has been pleased to welcome student ambassadors to join the regular YFC AGRI Zoom meetings this year and looks forward to continuing this relationship.

NFU President Minette Batters said: “We were delighted with the first year of our Student & Young Farmer Ambassador Programme. Those taking part played a vital role in helping us tell the incredible story of British farming at public events, in magazines and across national, regional and trade media and on social media.

“This new group of ambassadors will be representing British farming at a unique and critical point in time for our industry. This autumn will see the formation of a new Agriculture Bill, a new Environment Bill and a new Trade Bill. And from the start of 2021, UK agriculture is going to be finding its feet in a new world outside of the EU and we will need this next generation of farmers to be advocates, representing a bright and progressive future for farming

“It’s great to see these young people already making their mark in the farming industry and reaching out to different audiences to share our Back British Farming message. The programme aims to give them a fantastic opportunity to amplify their voice and I can’t wait to start working with them.”

The NFU’s Student & Young Farmer Ambassadors for 2020/2021 are:

Zoe Legg, South West – young farmer and social media campaigner (Member of Devon FYFC)

Karl Franklin, South East – former chef and new entrant sheep farmer (Member of Oxfordshire FYFC)

Nia Borsey, Wales – rural planner and newspaper columnist (Member of Betws-yn-Rhos YFC)

Lauren David, Wales – livestock farmer and University of Reading student (Member of Maendy FYFC)

Josie Troop, East Midlands – agri-education advocate (Member of Nottinghamshire FYFC)

Matthew Rollason, North West – beef farmer and British Farming Awards winner

Joe Bramall, North West – dairy farmer, YouTuber and Harper Adams student

Cameron Knee, North East – agri-consultant and agronomist

Katie Smith, West Midlands – new entrant farmer and Harper Adams student

Harriet Bartlett, East Anglia – University of Cambridge PhD student

Eveey Hunter, East Anglia – arable farmer with a passion for education.

NFYFC Chairman Dewi Parry said: “It’s great to see so many YFC members among this line up of young people chosen to represent the next generation of farmers. All the ambassadors will have some amazing opportunities over the next year and we hope they will all continue to share those experiences with the YFC community too. Congratulations to everyone who has been successful.”

 





28 July 2020

Putting their lockdown experience to good use, members of Cumbria FYFC have been training for an epic bike ride in August to visit all 15 clubs in the Northern District of the Federation to raise money for two charities.

The cycle challenge, which will cover more than 130 miles, will start in Drigg on 29 August and finish the following day at Raughton Head YFC, the home club of Northern District Chairman Robbie Tuer, the instigator of the mission.

Robbie wanted to organise the fundraiser during his year in office to raise money for Carlisle & Eden Mind and West Cumbria Hospice at Home and so far donations have been made in excess of £600. Robbie also wants to increase awareness of mental health issues affecting rural young people.

“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on everyone’s everyday lives and people in rural communities and locations have been hit hardest of all. With exercise of any form proving to better people’s mental health, what better way to raise some money for two amazing charities than bike round the 15 clubs of Cumbria FYFC? I’m hoping for a good turnout and have only had positive support from the clubs I have spoken to,” said Robbie who has had a positive reaction so far from clubs. The County hope that the fundraiser will be an ideal way to slowly re-start YFC safely in the area before getting back to what Robbie describes as a ‘new’ normal. 

“Carlisle & Eden Mind and West Cumbria Hospice at Home have been working tirelessly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to provide the help and care that people require, and they are both making a wonderful difference to the Cumbrian Community,” added Robbie. 

With outdoor exercise being encouraged by the government it has allowed YFC members to train throughout the lockdown period and now restrictions have relaxed, plans for the event were able to be put in motion.

Northern District YFC President Richard Gardiner supported the initiative and explained the impact the pandemic was having on young people in rural communities.

“We have never before seen what we have in the past few months and young people have been more isolated than ever before. What is being organised is a great opportunity. Everyone struggles with the pressures of growing up from time to time and young people in rural areas have the added difficulties of accessing real social networks, education, transport and services. In some cases, these issues can lead to a feeling of rural isolation or social exclusion.”

If you would like to support the event, you can donate at their Virgin Money Giving page and follow the Facebook event page.  


20 July 2020

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs has set a Farm Safety Week challenge, supported by sponsors gas distribution company SGN, to encourage YFC members to share farm safety ideas they implemented during lockdown.

From regularly checking equipment, changing processes or taking care of mental wellbeing – YFC members are urged to share their farm safety improvements throughout Farm Safety Week (20-24 July).

The Federation is also asking clubs to make their annual pledge to put the Farm Safety Curve training module on their club programmes in the new membership year. While training sessions will need to be socially distanced or run online during the pandemic, it’s still crucial that farm safety messages are shared.

Farm Safety Week is organised by leading farming charity the Farm Safety Foundation and encourages the farming community to recognise the real dangers of working in the industry and the importance of looking after their physical and mental wellbeing.

Throughout Farm Safety Week, the Farm Safety Foundation, supported by the Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health & Safety Executive, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and the Health & Safety Authority, Ireland, will demonstrate the impacts of the recent COVID19 situation on the industry. The week will also promote the support available as well as highlight the positive moves to changing the poor safety record and introduce some exciting new innovations in technology to help us all farm safer.

NFYFC Chairman Dewi Parry said: “We are proud to support the annual Farm Safety Week campaign especially as YFCs represent the next generation of farmers. It’s why we’re keen to hear from our members about the farm safety changes they have been making and grateful to SGN for helping us promote this challenge.

“Lockdown restrictions have impacted the amount of training that clubs have been able to deliver. It’s important as we move into a new membership year that YFCs find a way to continue to deliver those crucial farm safety messages.”

SGN Maintenance Operations Manager Tim Pearce said: “We’re delighted to partner NFYFC because we want to reach out to all its members. Please, always get in touch with us before starting any work on your land to avoid injury, or even death, to yourself and others. Damages to our pipelines can also lead to a disruption to gas supplies, claims for costs to repair the damage, HSE investigations and environmental issues.

“We’ll visit you free of charge to help you plan your work, confirm and mark the location of any pipeline, and advise what work is permitted.” 

For more information on ‘Farm Safety Week’ visit www.yellowwellies.org or follow @yellowwelliesUK on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. 



04 July 2020

NFYFC is launching a new challenge, supported by Defra, to encourage positive climate change action by asking young farmers to share their solutions for reaching net zero emissions by 2040.

Working with industry partners, including the National Farmers Union (NFU) and Championing the Farmed Environment (CFE), the challenge puts YFC members and next generation farmers in charge of their future by becoming a climate change advocate for the industry and the UK.

The challenge involves sharing ideas or practical examples – that might already be in use – to help reach the NFU’s ambition of achieving net zero emissions by 2040. Judges aren’t looking for a final polished solution but want to hear thoughts on future mitigation methods for any farming and growing sectors or machinery development. 

Topics to consider include on-farm applications for carbon capture and storing, auditing, energy efficiency and renewable on-farm energy.

So many people are already playing their part to help enhance the environment and tackle climate change.  British agriculture plays a key role and it is hoped that young farmers can show how committed the industry is towards the changes needed.

NFYFC’s YFC AGRI Chairman George Baxter said: “By taking part in the video challenge, YFC members and next generation farmers can play an active part in helping to achieve the net zero ambition, share ideas and most importantly, have their voices heard in high places.

“I would encourage those entering to be creative, bold and brave. If you have ideas for the future that you’d like taking seriously, start filming and get ready to share.  As we emerge from the current Covid-19 restrictions, you could be representing the voice of UK young farmers at home and internationally.”

The government has set a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and the NFU also has an industry ambition for British agriculture to reach net zero by 2040. The NFU is working with farmers and growers to help them move forward towards this ambitious target, focusing on a range of measures including improving farming’s productive ef¬ficiency, capturing more carbon on farmland and boosting renewable energy and the wider bioeconomy.

NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts said: “We are at a moment in time when both the world and our nation are facing a great many challenges. The impacts of climate change are arguably one of the greatest challenges, but it also presents an opportunity for British agriculture to showcase real leadership when it comes to sustainable farming. This is precisely why we have set an ambition for British farming to be carbon neutral by 2040.

“Our young farmers are going to be crucial in helping to steer the industry and the country towards a net zero future. More than ever we need new ideas and we need to create an environment for everyone’s voice to be heard.

“I encourage all our young members to get involved and be ambitious, and take a leading role in the future of climate-friendly farming.”

There are no strict criteria for the challenge, just guidelines to enable entrants to be imaginative and help to communicate their vision of a sustainable future. To enter, participants need to create a short video that demonstrates action or plans, such as:

  • Showing what you are doing already to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s fine if it’s the start of your journey – share plans, ideas or actions.
  • Showing what more you plan to do, or what you would like to do.
  • Explaining what you think is needed to reach net zero – for a business, a rural community, a country or globally.
Winners will be invited to spend a day at the NFU’s headquarters (this will be a remote visit if social distancing restrictions are still in place) to talk with members of the climate change and communications teams.  Winners will also have the opportunity to share their ideas with international climate change policy makers at next year’s COP26 in Glasgow.

Following on from the competition, the ideas will be used to help create a bespoke YFC guide in conjunction with the CFE for future club activity and to share important environmental messages with farming and rural enterprises.  The aim is to highlight the work at future climate change and industry events to ensure young people's thoughts and ideas are represented.

Entries for the challenge close on 30 July 2020 and should be sent to sarah.palmer@nfyfc.org.uk. If videos exceed 10MB, they can be submitted via NFYFC’s Facebook page on a private message. For more information visit here.


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