National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 October 2021

NFYFC held its national Competitions Day in October for the first time since July 2019 due to cancellations throughout the pandemic.

While it was a scaled down event in 2021, with only four national finals being held at Staffordshire County Showground, more than 300 YFC members and spectators were delighted to be back together competing.

YFC members competed in Tug of War, Fence Erecting, Clay Pigeon Shooting and Farm Skills. The winning ladies Tug of War team from County Durham had waited 15 years to win the national final.

Coach Alan Maddison, who was a member of County Durham FYFC and had competed in the Tug of War at the time, was delighted to see his daughter’s team bring home the trophy.

“You cannot believe how proud I am,” said Alan. “We set off with Young Farmers 15 years ago with this aim and it’s took us that long to achieve our goal.”

Yorkshire were delighted to pick up the trophy for the GENSB Tug of War, and Staffordshire brought home the men’s trophy.

George Goodwin from the Staffordshire men’s Tug of War team said: “It’s been a really good day and we’re just glad to be back. We’re happy to be here and happy that this [certificate] says first on it.” 

The Farm Skills competition involved moving machinery safely and a first aid task – with real actors. YFC members had to help someone who looked as if they had been injured in a PTO shaft. The competition was made possible thanks to support from Kuhn, Johnson’s of Cheadle, Rea Valley Tractors and Arley Medical Services. 

Lancashire came first in the competition and Abigail Stansfield said it was down to good teamwork. 

“All of us just worked as a team to come together to win. We all work safely at our jobs and it’s about putting that into practice.

“It feels great for everyone to be back face-to-face and competing properly. Back to normal!”

The Fence Erecting teams worked hard in the wet weather conditions but it was Leicestershire who claimed the trophy with a team from Ashby YFC. The competition was supported by Estate Wire.

In the Clay Pigeon Shooting, which was supported by BASC, Oliver Collins from Parbold YFC in Lancashire, was the overall winner of the day. 

Oliver, who had to enter a shoot off at the end for first place, has been taking part in the sport since he was around 11 years old but this was his first time in the senior competition. 

“It’s good to be back. I cleaned the first stand and had a few odd misses here and there. I didn’t think I would win the shoot, I thought there would be a score a touch higher than me, but you always think that.”

Competitions Day was followed by the annual Sports Day, with County Durham winning the Netball, Cumbria winning the Football, Lancashire winning at Jump Rope and Yorkshire winning the Kwik Cricket. 


27 October 2021

To help farmers in England through the transition away from Direct Payments, Defra is funding free and confidential business advice for 9,000 farmers between now and the end of February 2022. The NFU is encouraging farmers and growers to apply soon as spaces are filling up.

The aim of the advice, enabled through Defra's Future Farming Resilience Fund, is to:

  • Help farmers understand the changes that are happening.
  • Identify how they may need to adapt their business model to take account of the ending of BPS and the disappearance of the income stream it provides.
  • Know what they need to do and when they need to do it.
  • Have access to tailored support including 1-2-1 business advice.

Advice is available throughout England, to all sectors and regardless of tenure type. 

There are 19 different organisations that have been funded by Defra to provide this support, with AHDB, Promar International, Ricardo AEA, SRUC, RSK ADAS, and the LandWorkers Alliance all providing national coverage.

Others, such as the Prince’s Countryside Fund and Brown and Co, cover most but not all areas, and a number of small providers are more regionally focused. 


26 October 2021

Young Farmers’ Clubs are being offered an exclusive opportunity to access support and materials for their club buildings thanks to a new project launched by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) in conjunction with Eternit UK. 

The new scheme, which launches during National Young Farmers’ Week (25-29 October 2021), will enable clubs and counties to seek support and free materials from Eternit for repairs and renovations, as well as seek help with new builds. While many YFCs meet in the local village hall, a growing number are building or renovating their own premises. County Federations have also renovated their own buildings to ensure they have a permanent space too.

The offer means YFCs could access free materials to help with a new roof or for external wall renovations (facades) as well as getting structural advice on repairs too. As YFCs are charities they often do not have the resources to be able to repair, renovate or build their own club venue. It is hoped this scheme will provide some vital resources to help clubs tackle building issues.

Robert Baldwin, UK Marketing Manager, Eternit UK said:

“The team at Eternit UK are proud to be a supporter of NFYFC and as part of its ongoing relationship it is reaching out with a hand of support to help a YFC building that might be in need of materials or advice.

“We know how difficult it can be for small charities operating in rural communities and this new scheme is just one way to help YFCs get further on in their building or renovation projects for the club.”

The application process is now open for YFCs, with the aim of the support for projects being offered in 2022.

NFYFC Chair of Council Rachel Goldie said:

“We are delighted to be working with Eternit UK on this project to help YFCs and County Federations seek materials and advice to help them develop their club buildings.

“As YFCs are small local charities, they often do not have the resources to manage major repairs or to contemplate building their own venue. This project will really help to make YFC buildings more sustainable and we’re grateful to Eternit for their valuable advice and generous supply of materials.”

Threemilestone and District Young Farmers’ Club in Cornwall is just one example of a club that owns its building and is therefore responsible for its repairs and maintenance. The club has recently been fundraising to purchase the land where their club building is located to secure its future but still faces ongoing expenses to keep the building up to scratch. The club is very close to finalising the completion of their fundraising campaign and the purchase of the land after fundraising £52,000 during the Pandemic since the campaign started in January 2019. 

Natalie Brown, Threemilestone and District Young Farmers’ Club Leader, said: “The building is an old RAF building and requires regular repairs and ongoing maintenance, which can be costly. It’s great to know that Eternit are supporting YFCs with this scheme as we are all small charities and often don’t have the funds to cover big repair jobs. Threemilestone and District Young Farmers’ Club are extremely grateful to the support of Eternit to ensure we can keep the pride of our Club Hall and maintain it to a high standard for the Hall we are lucky to call our home” 

 YFCs interested in applying for the scheme can do so online here.




25 October 2021

If you’ve been enjoying Clarkson’s Farm, then you’ll love this National Young Farmers’ Week competition! We’ve got 10 copies of Jeremy Clarkson’s forthcoming book to giveaway.

Due out in November, Diddly Squat: A Year on the Farm, is a collection of Jeremy’s Sunday Times’ columns about life on his farm in the Cotswolds. To be in with a chance of bagging yourself one of 10 copies, just tell us why you love being a Young Farmer in the comments on our Facebook post (embedded below) before the closing date of 11.59pm on 29 October 2021. 

Good luck!

Terms and Conditions

  • The prize is for one copy of Jeremy Clarkson’s forthcoming book Diddly Squat: A Year on the Farm.
  • This competition is open to current YFC members who are affiliated to the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs. 
  • Closing date for entries is 11.59pm on 29 October 2021. 
  • Entrants must leave a comment on the Facebook or Instagram promotional post about why they love being a Young Farmer.  
  • The best comment will be chosen to be the winner. 
  • The winners will be informed by a reply to their comment plus a Facebook/Instagram message within 28 days of the closing date and will need to respond within 28 days or a new winner will be chosen. 
  • The winners’ names will be available on request and published on NFYFC’s social media channels, the website and in any shared media. Contact telephone number and address of the winner will be required so the book can be posted. 
  • The books will be posted to winners after the publication date of 11 November 2021.  
  • By participating in this prize draw, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. 


25 October 2021

Her Majesty The Queen is NFYFC’s Patron and wrote this special message to Young Farmers’ Clubs for the National Young Farmers’ Week celebrations during the 90th anniversary year. 

Please convey my warm thanks to the members of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs for their kind message, sent on the occasion of their celebrations to mark the club’s ninetieth membership year from September 2021 to August 2022.

As your patron, I was pleased to learn that clubs have begun meeting again, following a very challenging period throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your thoughtfulness in writing is much appreciated. In return, I send my best wishes to you all for a most memorable and enjoyable year marking this notable milestone.

Pic credit – PRESS ASSOCIATION / Danny Lawson
Photo below: The queen at the NFYFC AGM in 1945 


 


25 October 2021

With COP26 on the horizon, The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) is looking to a more sustainable future as it celebrates its 90th membership year during National Young Farmers’ Week (25-29 October) supported by NatWest.

NFYFC has seen a surge in young people wanting to join its 581 YFCs across England and Wales since the 90th membership year started in September. There has been a 17% increase on the numbers of young people, aged 10-28, joining in September 2021 compared with those who signed up in September 2019, prior to the pandemic.

And as membership numbers rise, NFYFC has tasked all of its clubs with a challenge to improve the environment in their rural communities through YFC Operation Green, supported by NatWest and the Environment Agency. From litter picks to local community projects, YFCs have been focusing on ways they can combat climate change and create a more sustainable future for YFC and their rural community.

During National Young Farmers’ Week, which is one week before COP26, a new club training session, developed with the Environment Agency, is also being launched that focuses on preventing plastic pollution. Clubs will be urged to run the session during club meetings throughout the membership year to help raise awareness and change behaviour.

The increase in membership numbers during the 90th year positively demonstrates the continued importance of YFCs to rural communities.

NFYFC President Nigel Owens MBE said:

“The pandemic has highlighted how much we all need local support and connections, especially in remote rural locations. Covid-19 restrictions have had a massive impact on young people especially – further enhancing feelings of isolation in rural areas.

“YFC at Home proved to be a lifeline for many throughout lockdown restrictions and it is encouraging to see rural young people reconnecting with their local clubs in person and being back in the heart of their communities. YFCs have spent 90 years excelling at bringing rural people together, building confidence and developing skills, while celebrating life in the countryside. I am excited for the future of this amazing organisation and its next 90 years – and it’s so good to shout about its success during National Young Farmers’ Week!”

National Young Farmers’ Week is an annual celebration aimed at promoting YFCs to more rural young people so they are aware of the benefits clubs can offer them by providing an active social network and developing skills. This year’s event will look back through the organisation’s nine decades but with a clear message about looking to a more sustainable future for all.

Messages of support for the 90th year will be shared during National Young Farmers’ Week and include a special letter from NFYFC’s Patron The Queen, who wrote: 

“As your patron, I was pleased to learn that clubs have begun meeting again, following a very challenging period throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I send my best wishes to you all for a most memorable and enjoyable year marking this notable milestone.”

Using the hashtag #YFCMadeMe, NFYFC will also share stories throughout the week from successful former YFC members who will talk about the impact the organisation has made on their lives. Case studies include the youngest-ever Farmers Weekly editor Andrew Meredith, Defra Minster Rebecca Pow and the shepherdess from Clarkson’s Farm Ellen Helliwell. (See summaries in notes to editors).

Ellen Helliwell, a former member of Hope Valley YFC in Derbyshire and Penrith YFC in Cumbria, said:

“Experiences such as stockjudging, rallies, the tug of war and public speaking helped to build me as a person and gave me skills to use later in life in my career. And I have had so much fun along the way. I don’t really know why anyone would have to think twice about joining YFC. It’s a no-brainer.”

The week will also include an online debate for young farmers to discuss the roll out of one of the biggest changes to affect any sector in the UK. The Ready for Change? online debate (27 October) involves guest speakers Andrew Meredith, Janet Hughes, Programme Director for Defra’s Future Farming and Countryside Programme, and Roddy McLean, Director of Agriculture at NatWest.

Rachel Goldie, NFYFC Chair of Council 2021-22, said:

“It’s amazing to be celebrating NFYFC’s 90th year, and it feels even more special as we emerge from the pandemic. It’s great to see so many rural young people re-discovering YFC and choosing to shape a more positive future for themselves through the many opportunities being a YFC member offers.

“We must ensure NFYFC is around for many more decades to come and that means not only protecting the organisation but also our planet. YFCs play a key role in their rural communities and together we can make a big impact on our local environment.” 

National Young Farmers’ Week is made possible thanks to support from NatWest. This will be the fourth year the bank has supported the event.

Roddy McLean, Director of Agriculture at NatWest, said:

“The future of agriculture rests with many of the young people involved in Young Farmers’ Clubs and it’s why we are proud to support National Young Farmers’ Week for a fourth year.

“As we face one of the biggest changes in the history of British agriculture in the UK, we are keen to help equip those who are just beginning their farming journeys with the right skills, tools and networks to succeed.”

National Young Farmers’ Week runs from 25-29 October and information about joining a local Young Farmers’ Club can be found here


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