National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 February 2011

NFYFC’s agriculture and rural affairs chairwoman Milly Wastie says that, far from being silent, the voice of young farmers isn’t being heard.

Agriculture Minister Jim Paice had called on YFC members to make their voice heard on issues affecting new entrants and the future of the farming industry at a Next Generation breakfast meeting at the NFU Conference.

While highlighting opportunities available to young people in farming, the minister encouraged members of Young Farmers’ Clubs to grasp these chances if they wanted to be success in the industry and urged them to be more proactive about sharing their opinions and suggestions for the future of agriculture.

Mr Paice said: “No one has a right to farm but, with the increasing scale of agriculture, there are massive opportunities for young farmers. The voice of YFC has been quiet for a long time and I would encourage it to speak up more.”

But fellow panellist Milly (pictured) called on the Government to do more to support new entrants, and challenged Defra Secretary of State Caroline Spelman on what measures were being put in place.

Speaking after the conference Milly said: “I felt it was very important to stress the lack of support young people and new entrants are receiving when trying to enter the industry. This is why I challenged Caroline Spelman. I believe a scheme similar to the Welsh assembly young entrants supports scheme (YESS) would be a practical measure to ensure our members have a stepping stone into the farming industry.

“Reflecting back on the NFU conference I’m not sure whether industry and government are listening to the voice of young farmers. We do have a voice and we are also very grateful for all the wonderful opportunities we get in helping to get our voice heard. However, what we say is being disregarded and not taken on board.”

At the conference itself, Gloucestershire YFC county chairman Chris Bateman drew applause from delegates with his call for government and industry help to succeed.

He told the meeting: “I was not born into farming but I have a passion for it. I run a contracting business and work on a dairy farm, but what I heard in the dairy session really worried me.

“Where does the future of farming lie? Where are the people to help us into the industry? You go into business to make a profit but we need 5p a litre more to make that profit. Without that no one will lend to us.”

22 February 2011

Wales YFC is appealing for members and supporters to collect Tesco's schools and clubs vouchers to help it buy equipment to support its social education programme.

The programme aims to provide skills, recreational opportunities and confidence to YFC members in a wide range of areas, including rural skills, Welsh culture, sport and traditional crafts and provide young people with new means of self expression.

Vouchers will be in Tesco stores from Monday 28 February until Sunday 8 May and Wales YFC will be collecting the vouchers at forthcoming events including the Entertainment Feast in Swansea, the public speaking day at the Royal Welsh Showground and the field day at Welshpool Market. Vouchers can also be posted to YFC Centre, Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, Powys, LD2 3NJ.

Click here to read this story in Welsh

21 February 2011

Wales YFC’s unique lamb marketing project has won Rural Youth Europe’s project award for 2010.

The project, in partnership with one of the UK's leading processors Dunbia and supermarket Sainsbury’s, sees Wales YFC members supplying Welsh Sainsbury’s stores with Welsh lamb and includes training and development days aimed at improving participating YFC members’ skills and knowledge.

The YFC members supplying the lamb receive a premium for their products and Sainsbury’s has also benefitted from an 18 per cent increase in sales since the Wales YFC-branded lamb was launched.

The project aims to support and encourage young people to remain in the farming industry and offers a stepping stone for young farmers trying to establish themselves as a supplier of Welsh lamb.

Training to date has included live-to-dead grading of lambs, farm visits to encourage and share best practice, a walk-the-chain day - from the abattoir, butchery and packing and distribution to the supermarket.

The training and development opportunities offered to involved members have helped them become more knowledgeable and reactive to market requirements. 

All members participating in the Wales YFC Lamb Scheme also help to support Wales YFC as for every lamb sold through the scheme, Wales YFC receives 40p a head from Dunbia.

Vice chairman of Rural Youth Europe Kadri Toomingas said: "The Rural Youth Europe judges were impressed with the multi-faced approach and vision of the project. Not only does the project bring tangible benefits to members through innovative training and practical insight into the Welsh lamb industry but it also aims to promote local agriculture and change public attitudes towards local Welsh products. "A young person from Wales YFC came up with the idea and young people are involved in the planning and implementation of the project. The judges also appreciated the clear benefits for local communities in Wales and that the project is sustainable in both the short and long-term.”

Wales YFC rural affairs chairman Rhys Evans said: "We are delighted to win this award and thanks must be expressed to retailer Sainsbury’s and processor Dunbia for ensuring the success of the scheme. It has been a fantastic opportunity for Wales YFC, and we are delighted that the scheme is continuing to grow, not only for the members of the supply chain initiative but it shows continued commitment for the development of the Welsh lamb industry from some of its key stakeholders.”

Sainsbury's spokeswoman Alice Swift said: “Sainsbury’s are very proud to be a partner with Wales YFC and Dunbia in the lamb marketing initiative.  We congratulate Wales YFC on their achievement and look forward to continuing our work together."

Rural Youth Europe brings together YFC and rural youth groups throughout Europe. It has half a million members in 25 different national organisations. The organisation offers any of the affiliated YFC organisations the chance to take part in training courses, seminars, and other cultural and social events across Europe each year.

Wales YFC will be presented with the Rural Youth Project travelling trophy at the next European Rally, being held in Slovenia.



14 February 2011

Practical tips for supporting the Campaign for the Farmed Environment on your farm is the topic of this year's regional link day on Friday 25 March 2011.

Billow Farm, Breadstone, Berkeley, Gloucestershire, is the venue for this event which is open to all YFC members and offers a chance to find out more about this industry campaign through free advice, information and a farm walk.

The day focuses on providing practical farming tips to support this campaign, which is now just over a year old and has been working to raise farmers' awareness of  the environmental benefits their land can deliver.

The campaign aims to promote a voluntary approach to environmental solutions as opposed to compulsory measures through regulation.

Click here to learn more and book your place.

07 February 2011

Members of Netherseal YFC are planning to cycle the112 miles to the East Midlands area competitions weekend in Skegness on 17 March in a single day to raise money for the club's chosen charity for the year, the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Sixteen club members will be leaving Lullington in Derbyshire at first light for this tough challenge, which they normally undertake over two days. They have been training in weekly spinning clases and on long weekend rides to prepare for the journey.

If you would like to sponsor the riders, make a donation of any kind or organise a drinks stop along the way please email the club or call 07821417955.

Click here to download a poster to help Netherseal YFC publicise this fundraising event.


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