National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

26 August 2021

NFYFC held its first competition final in 18 months, in

person, at the Staffordshire Agricultural Show this August where a YFC member from Northumberland won the Sheep Shearing trophy.

Ciaran McNulty, 27, from Alnwick YFC in Northumberland is a shepherd on the Lilburn Estate and saw off competition from five other finalists to be crowned the winner.

Ciaran, who has a Gold Seal for shearing from British Wool, was delighted to be competing again after so long.

“It was good to get back to a competition again. Throughout the pandemic there hasn’t been any shearing competitions so I was happy I got a chance to get to the Northern Area final and I felt if I never got any further than that I’d be happy just to compete for my county. But moving on getting through to national – I went there hoping that I could get my name on such a prestigious trophy, and I managed it.”

As well as the bonus of winning the competition, Ciaran said it was just great to be back out with YFC again.

“Everyone I spoke to was on such good form, everyone was just buzzing about getting back to a shearing competition again – back to what they love doing. I met so many people that I haven’t seen for the last two years, it was great to catch up and for the social experience,” said Ciaran. 

The competition, which was run under BISCA rules, required all competitors to have at least a Blue Seal qualification. Thanks to generous support from British Wool more than 100 YFC members received Blue Seal training this year, which was offered at a subsidised cost.

Ciaran urged anyone involved in shearing to take advantage of the British Wool courses: “I would recommend anyone going into shearing and doing any kind of shearing, even if it’s at home for yourself, to go and do the training courses by British Wool. It was a great help for me. I can’t think of any better advice. The people who are teaching you are the best in the shearing industry.”

The national final was able to go ahead thanks to The Staffordshire & Birmingham Agricultural Society for hosting it and the Staffordshire Sheep Shearing Committee for allowing NFYFC to hold the competition within their own Sheep Shearing Classes.

The results: 

First place: Ciaran McNulty, Northumberland 

Second place: Bob Hargreaves, Lancashire A

Third place: Thomas Hadley, Herefordshire A

Fourth place: Osian, Montgomery 

Fifth place: Tom Garlick, Herefordshire B

Sixth place: John Barnet, Leicestershire & Rutland YFC A


24 August 2021

Young farmers are being encouraged to ensure the next generation’s views are heard about the new Farming Investment Fund by attending three regional events with Defra, organised with The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC).   

With the Fund set to launch this autumn, among many changes for future agricultural policy in England, the events give young farmers the chance to ensure their opinions and regional knowledge is incorporated into future Defra plans. 

Giving feedback at this crucial stage will mean young farmers can be involved in Defra’s plans to deliver new grant programmes as well as helping to shape and inform future policy design.

The information shared will be invaluable to Defra in ensuring regional differences are considered as well as providing an opportunity for new ideas to be tested.

Defra lead for the new fund, Gordon Jones said:

“I look forward to engaging the next generation of farmers and hearing first-hand their views on how the new Farming Investment Fund should evolve.”

The informal evening will also give young farmers the chance to discuss business benefits for their farming future, as well as be a social experience for those who have missed out on many YFC activities during the pandemic.

Dates, times and venues for regional events are listed below along with the regional and NFYFC contact. All places are free but booking is advised so organisers can plan appropriate space and refreshments.  

Regional events include: 

West Midlands

Date: Wednesday, 22 September Time: 7.30 – 9.00 pm

Location: Staffordshire FYFC, YFC Office, County Showground, Weston Road, Stafford, ST18 0BD

Regional contact: Charlie Beaty NFYFC contact: Sarah Palmer 

South West

Date: Tuesday, 28 September Time: 7.30 – 9.00 pm

Location: Sedgemoor Auction Centre/Junction 24 – Distribution Centre/Huntworth Business Park, Bridgewater TA6 6TS

Regional contact: Tom Pope NFYFC contact: Sarah Palmer 

North West

Date:     Wednesday 6 October                                   Time: 7.30 – 9.00 pm

Location: The FFIT Building, Lodge Farm, St Michaels Road, Bilsborrow, PR3 0RT 

Lancashire contact: Mick Handley NFYFC contact: Sarah Palmer 



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