National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

25 May 2011

NFYFC chairman James Chapman
The world, young people and our membership are changing. We need to move with the times so Young Farmers’ Clubs can survive and thrive.

The organisation has been making changes needed to modernise it and ensure YFC continues to be attractive and relevant to the wants and needs of young people living and working in rural areas and running those YFCs. That modernisation has included restructuring of the board of management and NFYFC staff, as well as investment in new technology, among other things.

All this work has been done to prepare us for the most important and exciting stage of the process – where you tell us what you want from your YFC, and need from NFYFC to support that, into the future.

Discussions are being held in all areas of the federation so we can hear how you want the organisation to evolve, and every one of you can give your feedback in the online poll that’s there to capture your views and ideas.

Please fill in the online survey to shape the future of YFC and NFYFC. You are in the driving seat so don’t miss out on the chance to power the federation forward so in the years to come it can continue to support other young people in ways that will be relevant to them.

It’s your organisation and you are key in steering it on its journey into its next decade.

23 May 2011

Local infrastructure and services including transport, housing and access to broadband were top of the agenda for YFC members on the regional link day to the Houses of Parliament and the NFU London offices.

Agriculture & rural affairs steering group members, including vice chairwoman Norfolk YFC’s Helen Reeve, discussed their issues and concerns with Norfolk MP George Freeman, who shared his aim of re-empowering and invigorating local communities within his Norfolk constituency.

Helen highlighted the lack of a motorway system which made it difficult for goods coming in and out of the county, issues with access to broadband services locally, and scarcity of jobs for people leaving agricultural colleges, among other concerns.

“We have several members who are at agricultural college but very few have secure jobs at the end of their training. How can we ensure that these people stay in farming rather than being 'lost' to other industries? They're obviously keen on farming because they're studying it at an FE college but it can be discouraging when jobs are few and far between.”

She added: “There's also the issue of affordable housing. I know of many young people, myself included, who would like to get on the property ladder but with land and house prices rising, this is getting harder. What steps are there for people in my position?”

The MP said he was aware of the need to encourage vibrant communities that would be attractive to younger people and told the YFC delegates that Young Farmers’ Clubs members were doing all the right things in sharing their views and concerns and acting as advocates for localism.

He was also impressed that they were prepared to help shape future agricultural policy by inputting into such things as CAP reform consultations. “I am highly impressed by the knowledge and dedication shown by the Young Farmers’ Clubs members, for whom farming is not just a job, but a livelihood. I think it is imperative that support is given to technical and scientific research to enable the agricultural and horticultural industries to adapt and improve in an evolving climate. Infrastructure, such as reliable broadband and mobile phone access has to be in place in rural communities to allow the farms of the future to function adequately in business,” said Mr Freeman.

The group also visited the NFU Government and Parliamentary Affairs Office to learn more about the lobbying and campaigning role of the NFU and got some tips from senior parliamentary adviser Matt Ware on promoting both YFC and agriculture effectively.

He urged them to spread the word about the issues they were passionate about and to cultivate relationships for the future by talking to MPs and MEPs and inviting them to see what YFC is doing to help young people wanting to enter into farming and agriculture.

20 May 2011

Farmers Guardian has launched its fourth digital magazine dedicated to the annual general convention and all that is good about being a YFC member.

It was a weekend of fun, friendship, competitions, camaraderie and even had an ongoing appearance from a celebrity.

The FG team landed in Blackpool armed with cameras, videos, freebies and much more besides to help make Blackpool 2011 an annual convention to remember.

Check out our exclusive souvenir edition featuring pictures, videos, interviews with Lionel Hill, newly elected president Matt Baker, plus lots of comments from members

Inside The Adventurer you’ll find hundreds of pictures, Saturday night’s antics caught on camera and a video highlighting the best of the weekend.

Stepping down from five years at the helm we catch up with Lionel Hill MBE to find out how he feels about his time as president of NFYFC and what the future has in store. Members share their favourite memories of him and we also catch up with a few others to ask why they’re proud to be Young Farmers' Clubs members.

Add to the mix Matt Baker, competition results and a report of all the events, The Adventurer is a souvenir edition of Blackpool 2012.

Click here to read The Adventurer

18 May 2011

To mark the launch of the Farm Safety Charter, launched today at the Grassland and Muck event at Stoneleigh and signed by NFYFC chairman James Chapman, Farmers Guardian is holding a live internet debate tomorrow (Thursday 19 May)  between 1-2pm.

Entitled ‘Making Britain’s Farms Safer’, it will give you the chance to question experts and make your views known on why Britain’s farms have such an appalling safety record and, more importantly, what should we be doing about it.

The debate will feature three panelists:

  • Graeme Walker, the Health and Safety Executive’s head of agriculture.
  • Peter Garbutt, the NFU’s farm safety adviser and former NFYFC ARAC chairman.
  • Northumberland YFC's Mark Mather, a farmer whose own story is featured in the HSE’s Make the promise: Come home safe campaign.
The debate can be viewed on from 1pm.

You are invited to take part by submitting questions to the panelists in advance to or posting them live and commenting on what is being said during the debate.

18 May 2011

Following its sucessful launch at last year's annual convention NFYFC's Novartis travel scholarship is again this year offering a Young Farmers' Clubs member a chance to work on a sheep farm in New Zealand.

The scholar will receive an award of £1,500 to enable them to travel to New Zealand later this year and spend two weeks gaining hands-on experience on New Zealand sheep farms, as well as having the opportunity to travel in the country.

The scholarship is being provided by Novartis Animal Health (NAH) as part of its long-term commitment to the sheep industry and its support for Britain’s young farmers.

Last year's scholarship was won by Staffordshire YFC’s Alex Mackellar: "I was shocked to win but absolutely over the moon,” said Alex, who works on the family’s sheep and arable farm. “This scholarship is a fantastic opportunity of a lifetime to really gain something - not just go somewhere different but learn something new to use in your work.”

The winning scholar is also equipped with a laptop and video camera to enable them to produce weekly blogs and a video diary of their visit which is showcased on both the Novartis and NFYFC websites.

The scholarship is open to full YFC members aged 18 by the time of travel and a maximum age of 26 on 1 September 2011.

Candidates must submit a report examining the benefits of parasite control and how this impacts on productivity in farming and the report should not be more than 500 words long.

You may wish to send in a short video presentation, of between two-five minutes, introducing yourself, where you live and detailing your career or education. This is optional and not mandatory.

All entries should be forwarded to the NFYFC, YFC Centre 10th Street, Stoneleigh Park Kenilworth CV8  2LG, marked for the attention of Diane Calvert by no later than Friday 11 June 2011.

Click here to download full details of how to apply for the scholarship.

Click here to read Alex's blog from the 2010 trip.


17 May 2011

My very sincere thanks for all the warm and touching messages and gifts that I have received following my retirement as NFYFC president.

It has been an absolute pleasure and honour to have held this post whilst just having loads of fun with you all.

This has been the most incredible journey of my life and I couldn't have done it without the support of my family and my wife, Helen, and living on the edge of the motorway network!.

It has made me so very proud to stand as president. I describe myself as the most fortunate pensioner in the world, as my circle of friends has grown and grown.

Best wishes to each and everyone of you.


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