National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

20 August 2020

Grace Millbank might not have joined a Young Farmers’ Club until she was 18 years old but her enthusiasm for the organisation over the last six years has earned her the title of Senior Member of the Year 2020. 

The 24-year-old started at Thrapston YFC in Northamptonshire and threw herself into YFC from the off – becoming Club Programme and Competitions Secretary in her first year. She held various posts in the club for her first two years before moving to Oundle YFC where she more recently became its Chairman.  She has also supported the County with roles in PR and competitions – a passion she has taken to a national level as she is currently NFYFC’s Competitions Steering Group Chairman.

Grace said: “I’m delighted to have won this prestigious competition, and my thanks to NFYFC for making this competition go ahead despite the challenging situation. The virtual interview worked well, and although we all hope we don’t have to use this format in the future, it has shown us all what can be achieved!”

Judge Derek Carless was impressed by how much Grace had achieved for her age. 

“Grace was able to demonstrate very detailed YFC knowledge and her range of YFC experience for someone of 24 is incredibly broad,” said Derek. “Overall, her enthusiasm and ability to articulate the essence of the YFC movement was very impressive and she is a great ambassador.”

As well as committee roles, Grace has actively taken part in the NFYFC competitions programme and YFC Travel – spending six weeks in Montana in 2018. A keen mentor to junior members, around competitions especially, she was brought to tears by the success of the County Junior Public Speaking team at the East Midlands Area Finals earlier this year.

“The team was made up of two members of my Club, both of whom only started competing in YFC this year and I was very proud of them winning at this level,” said Grace. “I used my experience, gained through stewarding this competition at Area and Regional level, to mentor and guide the team.”

After taking on a national role, Grace has played an active part in NFYFC initiatives – such as attending the summit event at the start of the year to help determine the organisation’s future direction. “I was left with a feeling of positivity towards the organisation’s future, and I am encouraging all to attend if a future summit is put on,” said Grace.

As well as working towards qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor, Grace is supporting her club as best she can during the pandemic and has been organising weekly virtual meetings to keep everyone connected. She has set her next YFC target at a County level.

“I envisage that my next challenge in YFC is to be County Chairman and would really like to undertake this role in the coming years.”

Grace was revealed as the winner of the Senior Member of the Year during the Challenge Finals Day in August. All seven finalists of the competition were involved in interviews with the judges over Zoom.

Derek said: “All competitors were very smartly turned out, enthusiastic, very worthy finalists, and they were a credit to their clubs, counties and areas.”

You can read about all seven finalists for the Senior Member of the Year here.  





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