National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

07 May 2011

Young Farmers’ Clubs are to vote on the election of Countryfile and One Show presenter Matt Baker as president of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) for the coming year.

Born in Durham and raised on the family sheep farm, Matt has been chosen by YFC members for his long-standing close connection with YFC through his mother Janice, who is Durham YFC’s county organiser, his love of the countryside, and his farming and agricultural expertise.

The motion from the NFYFC council will be put to the vote by members of the rural youth organisation at its annual general meeting at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool on Sunday 8 May.

Members will also consider the election of retiring national president Lionel Hill MBE as life vice president in recognition of his services to NFYFC and the YFC federations.

Lionel has served as NFYFC president for the past five years, and has worked tirelessly to support and promote the organisation in England and Wales.

Lionel joined his local YFC in 1953, and is a past president of Bromsgrove YFC, Worcestershire County Federation and the West Midlands Area. He is now a life vice president of the Worcestershire Federation and the west Midlands Area federation. Lionel was awarded an MBE for services to the Young Farmers’ Clubs organisation in 2002.

The NFYFC council will also consider a motion that former acting chairman of the board of management Christopher Lloyd be made a life vice president in recognition of his services to NFYFC. Chris joined Pontrilas YFC in 1984 and has held a number of posts including chairman, secretary, treasurer and president. Chris currently sits on Herefordshire’s management committee.

Council is also to vote on the election of Cornwall YFC’s county organiser Gerald Haines an honorary life member in recognition of his services to YFC. Gerald joined Chippenham YFC, Wiltshire in 1954, becoming club chairman in 1963. He joined Wiltshire’s executive committee that year and still sits on it to this day. Gerald has served as Wiltshire county chairman, South West Area treasurer and chairman and also represented the area on the NFYFC council in the 1970s. Gerald took the job as Wiltshire’s county organiser in 1979, and ten years later made the move to become county organiser in Cornwall.

06 May 2011

A group of YFC members from Kirkham in Lancashire swapped mucky rubber boots for pristine rugby shirts this week to help promote the forthcoming National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs annual convention being hosted at Blackpool Winter Gardens.

Joel Speirs, Alison Moul, James Melling, Chris Bartlett and Lora Fryars – are all greatly looking forward to the event which is expected to attract over 4,000 members of YFCs from across the county.

They gathered outside the recently restored Winter Gardens complex alongside a gleaming 7.5 tonne tractor, which had come from Hale Hall farm in Treales.

Chris Bartlett, chairman of Kirkham YFC, said of the forthcoming event: “It’s fantastic that whole of the UK farming industry will get a taste of Blackpool life and our famous Lancashire hospitality this weekend. I’m really proud that the convention has returned to my home town, and we can’t wait to welcome our colleagues from across the country and help show them a good time.”

Lora Fryars, Kirkham YFC club secretary, added: “One thing many people don’t grasp about this event is how many young farmer groups there are in the UK. For example in Lancashire we are one of 19 clubs, and each one has its own independent management committee, membership structure and programme of local activities.

“The annual convention gives each individual club the opportunity to meet and debate the key issues that will affect all our futures within the rural economy and make decisions that will impact on the future of farming. But we also want to be able to mix and network informally, and the Winter Gardens is perfect because it delivers a great combination of formal and social facilities all under one roof.”

Tourism bosses in the resort have also revealed that they have tried contacting the BBC Radio 4’s long running rural soap opera, The Archers, about incorporating details of the 2011 YFC convention being held in Blackpool into the fictional storyline.

visitBlackpool’s Business Tourism Manager Mandy Tythe-McCallum said of the approach: “We were aware that recently the line between fictional Ambridge and the real world has become somewhat blurred, the most obvious examples being the visit of the Duchess of Cornwall and the broadcast of Gardener’s Question Time from the village.

“Regular listeners will also know that the character Pip Archer is closely involved with her own local young farmer’s association, so we felt we should contact the producers in good time to let them know details of the 2011 convention in case they wanted details to weave into the plot. We also offered to help arrange a special recording from the Winter Gardens if they were interested in such an idea for either The Archers or the new digital spin-off show Ambridge Extra.”

06 May 2011

There's no mistaking the host town as Young Farmers' Clubs members arrive in Blackpool by bike, bus and car to enjoy the competition finals, trophy presentations and entertainment and join the agricultural debates with leading industry figures at the NFYFC annual convention.

Members of clubs from England and Wales have also put the journey there to good use, raising thousands of pounds for their chosen charities on the way, with several clubs cycling hundreds of miles over the past two days.

After a well-earned rest this afternoon they will be scrubbing up for a VIP reception and black tie event at the Winter Gardens, before the prestigious agriculture and rural affairs forum debate in the morning and tomorrow afternoon's energetic jazz dance competition finals.

Check out the photos from the weekend as they are uploaded to the gallery.

04 May 2011

A new award recognising the achievements of  trainers in Young Farmers' Clubs in England and Wales is to be launched at the annual convention in Blackpool this weekend.

The NFYFC Top Trainers Award will be officially announced at the annual general meeting being held at the Winter Gardens on Sunday 8 May and will apply to delivery of the new Curve suite of training modules that were launched in June and designed to support the effective running of YFCs.

The eight, two-hour sessions cover subjects including networking, budgeting for events, safeguarding and marketing to new members and can be delivered during a normal club night session by qualified trainers.

The new annual award takes into account both numbers of YFC members trained and quality of training delivery and evaluation.

NFYFC training officer Joanne Bouchard said: "The Top Trainers award aims to promote best practice and enhance the quality and consistency of training throughout the federation. It also recognises and rewards the voluntary efforts of qualified trainers within Young Farmers' Clubs."

Click here to find out more about the Curve training library for your YFC or to download an NFYFC training directory.

04 May 2011

Yorkshire Air Ambulance will be the beneficiary of a 240-mile cycle trek to the annual convention in Blackpool by members of Howden YFC.

The team from the East Riding of Yorkshire federation will be making their way to the event starting on the Trans-Pennine trail, which runs from Hornsea to Southport, and then onwards to Blackpool over the course of two days.

Anyone wishing to help fill the coffers by sponsoring the team or making a donation can contact Andrew Farmery 07725 040240 or Sam Atkinson 07872 012901.

03 May 2011

Intrepid Young Farmers' Clubs members are gearing up to raise thousands of pounds for charities up and down the country as they make their way to the annual convention in Blackpool from 6-8 May.

Around 4,000 members of the rural youth organisation are expected to attend the event at the Winter Gardens, which will host the finals of a number of hotly contested competitions, the annual general meeting, trophy and award presentation ceremony and the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Forum.

Many of the clubs attending from England and Wales use the journey to the event to raise some of the estimated £1million a year generated for charities by the young volunteers.

Yorkshire YFC is cycling coast to coast to the convention on a four man tandem towing a trailer of carrots as Yorkshire’s greatest export, and will pedal 148 miles from Scarborough to the Golden Mile raising funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust as they go.  Previously Yorkshire members have travelled to convention by tractor, bath, three-wheeler cars, a giant pedal powered crisp box; and last year they arrived at Torquay on a homemade recycled  six-man amphibious craft via inland waterways and the sea.

Not content with a normal Three Peaks Challenge, Cornwall YFC will add a fourth peak to their fundraising trip. Members will begin their journey by walking up Brown Willy (420m, the highest point in Cornwall) and then proceed to climb Snowdon (1,085m), Scafell Pike (978m) and Ben Nevis (1,344m) before arriving in Blackpool on Friday 6 May. Funds raised will go to Precious Lives Appeal and Cornwall Air Ambulance.

Ten YFC members from Harper Adams Agricultural College will be cycling 100 miles in two days to raise cash for a host of charities.  The ride will take the group from the University College in Shropshire, to Blackpool via Chorley. They are raising money for the Anthony Nolan, Macmillan, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, and Teenage Cancer Trust charities, and are currently trying to fit their cycle training around lambing work!

Lancashire YFC is cycling from Bridlington to Blackpool, 150 miles in two days and will be raising money for Lancashire County Federation this time round.

Lowdham YFC members are cycling 125 miles from Halam to the NYFC AGM Blackpool in aid of MNDA (Motor Neurone Disease Association). James Bust, Jack Tooley and Chris Frost are cycling with Becca Welton helping out as a support vehicle. The journey will start on Thursday 5 May and the club will travel over the Pennines, through Wigan and Preston to hopefully to arrive in Blackpool by Friday lunchtime. The group will be wearing hi-vis YFC tops, so cheer them on to show your support if you see them.

NFYFC events steering group chairwoman Hollie Harris said: The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs is delighted to be returning to Blackpool for this event which is the highlight of the YFC calendar.

“We have enjoyed working with the venue, businesses and authorities in Blackpool, which always makes us very welcome and works hard to ensure the event is a success. And we are really looking forward to seeing the results of the regeneration and refurbishment work in the town and at the venue that had just begun during our last visit in 2009.

“Fantastic entertainment has been lined up during the three days, and more will be on offer from the YFCs competing in the jazz dance and entertainments competitions, which features cabaret-style performances this year, and which is already a sell-out.

“A prestigious panel of speakers will be leading the discussion and debate at the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Forum, which this year focuses on promoting British agriculture.

“Along with the selection of the YFC Senior Ambassador of the Year for 2011 which recognises personal achievement and development within the organisation, the annual trophy presentations also reward the work of the young volunteers who run our clubs for raising the money they do each year for other charities, so we have loads to celebrate and Blackpool is a great place to do it.”

Follow this link to see which teams are through to the NFYFC competition finals and the federations taking home the silver at the trophy presentations this year.


Designed by Kevyn Williams