National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

11 December 2020

Seven days after leaving the EU, three YFC members will represent NFYFC at the first-ever digital Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) on 7 January 2021.

Jack Seigneury from Lincolnshire FYFC, Jessica Spencer from Nottinghamshire FYFC and NFYFC’s Vice Chairman Ed Dungait from Northumberland FYFC will take part in the one-day virtual conference after being awarded an NFYFC Scholarship by the Worshipful Company of Farmers.

The trio also joined other scholars on 10 December for a half-day online scholars’ event in conjunction with McDonald’s. They had the opportunity to have a McDonald's virtual franchise tour; attend an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion workshop and a conference overview and networking session. Scholars are also encouraged to communicate with each other in the build-up to the conference in January.

The OFC Scholars programme aims to provide the next generation with an opportunity to experience the UK’s leading agricultural conference and to share their views and ideas.

This year’s OFC has a theme of Business as Unusual to reflect the fact we will have just left the EU and how our lives have changed since the start of the pandemic. It is also the 75th anniversary of the conference, since the first one was held in 1936.

During the digital event, the scholars will watch presentations from key industry figures, listen to inspirational speakers, hear from Government officials and network online with others from across the sector.

Every year, the Worshipful Company of Farmers (WCF) supports YFC members to attend the conference – and all YFC members are invited to apply. This year’s three chosen scholars will have a very unique experience.

Jack, 25, is a fifth-generation farmer who is eager to learn more about sustainable farming so he can prepare for the future.

“Having returned to the family farm at the start of the year to try and drive the business on to survive the changes that are going to occur in agriculture, there are many challenges to overcome from changes in government support to the NFU's ambition to become carbon neutral by 2040,” said Jack who is an active member of Louth YFC. “These challenges will be incredibly difficult to overcome and to find profitable solutions will take some time. With this in mind I feel trying to learn as much as possible now is the best way to start.” 

A recent graduate from Harper Adams University, Jessica, 23, is also back on the family farm and aspires to be a next generation food and farming industry advocate.

“I strive to represent our essential industry by engaging with British consumers and hope to inspire fellow farmers and food producers to take pride in feeding the nation quality British produce,” said Jessica who is excited about attending the conference for the first time. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, learn from others’ experiences and bring home valuable advice to implement innovative ideas on our family-run mixed arable and livestock farm, as well as discovering further adaptations for our on-farm farm shop!”

Edward, 28, is eager to progress his arable farm and diversification business in Northumberland and hopes to pick up more information at the conference. He is committed to sharing his experience with other YFC members and mindful of highlighting the benefits and opportunities of YFC membership.

“I’m really looking forward to attending the half-day scholars’ online event and the conference. I will share my experience with YFC members from across the country, and especially members in Northumberland and the rest of the Northern Area, as I don’t know of many people from my area that have attended the OFC before.”

The Oxford Farming Conference takes place on 7 January 2021 and tickets are now on sale at £75 + vat per person until 31 December 2020, £125 + VAT thereafter. Registration will close at midnight on 5 January 2020 or when tickets sell out, as seats are limited. Book your ticket here.





10 December 2020

In a bid to back British farming and support the family farm, sisters and YFC members Jessica and Philippa set up their own business to sell their Belted Galloway beef.

Q. Tell us about your business?

A. My sister Philippa and I have decided to sell our Belted Galloway beef to help keep our farm going, make people aware of why they should ‘Back British Farming’ and enable people to have quality meat this winter and over the Christmas season.

We calve and rear the grass-fed cattle ourselves. We want to promote the benefits of eating our low-fat, high-quality beef. We deliver locally, and our business model supports low food miles and knowing where your food comes from.

Q. Where did your business idea come from?

A. We used to have saddleback pigs and so having Belted Galloway cattle matches the theme of a stripe! Having bought some Belties a few years ago, we decided to sell some meat to friends and family and have now decided to open it up more so everyone can have quality produce.

We run the business in between our university studies, as it’s essential at these times for our own farm and also to promote the values of British farming. 

Q. What is your role in the business?

A. From chasing cows round a field to delivering meat, both myself and Philippa do everything that is needed.

Q. What are your most popular products?

A. Steaks are always very popular! Our Christmas bundle, which contains a mixture of everything, is also proving popular.

Q. How busy are you in the run up to Christmas?

A. As we have just started promoting our business, we are now busy selling meat and we hope more people are planning to have beef for Christmas as we have plenty of nice joints available.

Q. How has the pandemic affected your business?

A. Covid has had its ups and downs – people have less disposable income to spend and many tend to think that buying from a small local business means it will be more expensive. We are in fact cheaper than a lot of big supermarkets and our meat is of a high quality. There are people who want to support local businesses though and once they taste our meat, they come back for more!

Q. How can people buy from you?

A. Currently we have our Facebook page, where people can place orders for a local delivery or collection is available too.

If you would like to feature in one of our profiles, please email media@nfyfc.org.uk.



08 December 2020

When the first lockdown happened in March, Sennybridge YFC member Sophie Jones’ catering business could have taken a huge hit when social events were cancelled across the UK but a new business idea has kept the orders flowing.

Q. Tell us about your business?

A.  I own Truly Scrumptious – a small business providing buffet catering for a variety of occasions (eg parties, christenings, funerals), celebration cakes, afternoon teas and traditional traybakes and sponges. I am located at Aberbran near Sennybridge. There’s only me involved in the business at the moment and I do all the deliveries in my van.

Q. How have you adapted your business during the pandemic?

A. During the first lockdown in Wales I started making afternoon teas, which were extremely popular with customers. I also sold treat boxes and a variety of products which customers were purchasing as gifts for relatives who they were unable to visit.

Q. How has the pandemic affected your business?

A. Covid-19 has had a positive impact on my business and it’s great to see the local community supporting my business. I was very busy during the first lockdown and I am extremely grateful for the support everyone has shown. I was able to deliver all products to customers’ doorsteps using my van and I didn’t need to make any social contact. It’s great to see customers returning throughout the year and especially during the build-up to Christmas. In the run up to Christmas I am offering Christmas buffets, treat boxes, chocolate logs and traditional mince pies and Christmas cakes.

Q. How can people order from you? 

A. People can contact me via my Facebook or Instagram pages to place orders. I am able to deliver all my products in my business van and some products are also available for postage. 

If you would like your business profiled as part of our YFC Christmas profiles, please email media@nfyfc.org.uk.  


01 December 2020

When fundraising plans were scuppered by COVID, Colchester YFC’s President Guy French kindly stepped in with an idea that would bring festive joy. He donated 20 Christmas trees, grown on his farm, to the club to sell in the local area. Colchester Club Secretary Belle Gardner explained their idea

Q. Why did you want to do this fundraiser? 

A. Like every YFC, the Coronavirus pandemic has been tough for us. We had to cancel a lot of our fundraising activities at the beginning of the year, meaning we couldn’t raise as much as we wanted for our charities – ABF The Soldiers Charity and Prostate Cancer UK.

Our president Guy French runs Foxes Farm Produce with his wife and they grow and sell Christmas trees. We were at a committee meeting trying to come up with some fundraising ideas and Guy kindly said he would donate 20 Christmas trees for us to sell.

As well as selling the trees, we will also be offering a tree collection service after Christmas. We will charge customers for this service – with the money being donated to charity.

A few of our members will collect the trees in January and these will be taken by one of our members to be used on a game shoot.

Q. Have any of the members been involved in growing the trees?

A. The Farm and business, Foxes Farm Produce, belongs to our President and his family. Every year a number of our members go down to the farm to help them harvest the trees and some of them also help sell the trees at the farm as well.

Q. Where can people buy your trees from?

A. They can contact us through our Facebook page



01 December 2020

The Government has unveiled its plans for future farming in England, which includes developing support for new entrants.

The Path to Sustainable Farming – An Agricultural Transition Plan 2021-2024 maps out a range of topics for ongoing co-design and engagement work, including emerging plans for an Environmental Land Management (ELM) national pilot in 2021, enhanced animal welfare, a future regulatory system, farming investment fund grants and opportunities for new entrants. There are also plans to introduce an ‘exit’ scheme to help farmers to retire.

The transitional plan outlines changes that will come into force over a period of seven years to help farmers adapt and plan for the future.

During 2020 Defra will share more detailed information about the ELM scheme national pilot and invite expressions of interest early in 2021. Co-design and workshops will also take place for further work on enhanced animal welfare, a future regulatory system, farming investment fund, a tree health pilot and opportunities for new entrants. There will be an animal health stakeholder event in 2021 and continued research and development stakeholder engagement for a scheme launch in 2022. Further consultations are planned for 2021 on welfare labelling, slurry, proposed lump sum exit scheme, pesticides, dairy contracts and producer organisations.

The changes will be designed to ensure that by 2028, farmers in England can sustainably produce healthy food profitably without subsidy, whilst taking steps to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare and reduce carbon emissions. 

Next year marks the start of the transition from the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) towards new policies that will be co-designed and tested together with farmers, land managers and experts, to ensure that the new systems work for them.

Many YFC members have already taken part in consultations to discuss the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme, which will incentivise sustainable farming practices, create habitats for nature recovery and establish new woodland to help tackle climate change.

The plan also includes details on improved training for farmers. Due to the varying levels of skills provision for agriculture, the government will contribute towards the establishment of a new professional body, the Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture.

This will be the home of professional development and training for the agriculture and horticulture industry in England and a new T Level qualification in Agriculture, Land Management and Production is to be offered from 2023.

It is hoped that the new Institute could offer opportunities for those wanting to enter the industry via different career routes.

Also outlined in the plan is the promise of funding for equipment and technology that will improve a farm business and the environment through a Farming Investment Fund. It will be based on the Countryside Productivity Scheme, with a similar application process.

The new roadmap comes a few weeks after the government’s landmark Agriculture Bill passed into law. To see the plan in full, visit here. Defra’s ‘Farming is Changing’ publication summarises the content of the plan, and is aimed at farmers and land managers. 



Social


Designed by Kevyn Williams