National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 July 2011

It was a case of fourth time lucky for Harleston YFC’s Helen Reeve at the Royal Norfolk Show this year as Helen took first prize in the 2011 Growing Business Award with her herd of pedigree Waveney Dexter cattle.  

The award is an initiative supported by LandSkills East and the Norfolk Farming and Business Forum, which offers training and business development for new entrants. The £5,000 prize money is donated by Anglia Farmers, Clan Trust, Norfolk Farmers Trust, Rackham Trust and the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association and is used as matched funding to gain LandSkills funding to run the supporting training programme.    

The award was presented to Helen by judges Nicola Currie (CLA), Shane Barnes (Barclays Bank) and Kit Papworth (Anglia Farmers) who were looking for the young farmer who would make the best use of the prize.

Helen said: “Agriculture is a profession that I have been interested in since a very early age and it was inevitable that I would pursue a career in farming after leaving school. My main love is livestock, in particular cattle, so you can probably imagine my delight when, at 14, my parents bought me a Dexter heifer.  

“My herd of pedigree Dexter cattle has grown steadily over the past few years and now totals 34, which has helped to turn my hobby into a business.  Dexter beef is becoming increasingly popular due to its carcase size, taste and texture and it was with this in mind that I decided that rather than just produce beef for my own use, others should be able to experience the delights of Dexter beef.

“I've been a member of Norfolk YFC for a number of years and with the support of the Farming and Business Forum, I entered this award again this year, and I was thrilled to be announced the winner.

“Winning will give my business a much-needed boost. The money will be put towards marketing Waveney Dexter beef in the local area, buying more stock, adding value to existing products such as beef burgers and ready meals, essential pieces of equipment and training.

“The help, guidance and support from everyone involved in the forum and from LandSkills East has been invaluable. And if I could offer any advice to anyone starting up a new business it is to never give up. There may be difficulties in the setting up of various stages of an enterprise but with a bit of determination and perseverance you will see the rewards in the end.”

15 July 2011

Feast your eyes on the imagination and culinary skills of YFC members from across England and Wales in the finals of the NFYFC cookery and floral art competitions at the Malvern Autumn Show.

This year’s finalists are challenged with hitting the right note by creating delicious dishes and fabulous floral displays on the theme Musicals, which is also the theme for this year’s county exhibit competition and which will be on show throughout the two days of the event on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September in the Severn Hall on the Three Counties Showground.

The Three Counties Agricultural Society is offering discounted tickets at member’s rates (£14.00 for Saturday 24 September and £12.50 for Sunday 25 September) to those supporting YFC competitors. Contact your county organiser for details on how to claim this offer.  Advance booking (and this offer) will close on 19 September.  

Show timetable:

Saturday 24 September
10am:            County Exhibit staged
10.30am:      Cookery commences – first group
1.30pm:        Cookery commences – second group
5pm:              Presentation of awards

Sunday 25 September
10.30am:      Floral Arts arranging commences
5pm:              Presentation of awards

14 July 2011

BBC Radio 4's Farming Today team witnessed for themselves the skills of NFYFC's young stockjudges as the show's Emma Weatherill tested her own knowledge alongside the NFYFC dairy stockjudging competition finalists at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Emma rated four Holstein and four Ayrshire cows in tandem with the junior NFYFC competitors at the show in Harrogate on 14 July, and was assessed by the same expert judges as the NFYFC finalists. Her final score was 34.

The NFYFC junior dairy stockjudging competition (Farmers Weekly Trophy) was won by Yorkshire B team's Hannah Booth, with Yorkshire C's Zoe Coates second, and Gloucestershire's David Whitting third.

In joint first place and taking home the JS Clark Perpetual Challenge Cup in the intermediate competition were Lancashire B team's Helen Eastham and Lincolnshire's Millie Shipley, with Carmarthenshire B's Bethan Phillips third.

The Harold Jackson Perpetual Challenge Trophy awarded for the senior competition was won by Carmarthenshire A team's Ffion Jones, with Cornwall A team's Jonathan Dymond second and Cumbria B's Craig Brough third.

The Farmer and Stockbreeder Trophy went to the winning Lancashire B team of Thomas Hull, Helen Eastham and John Bradburn.

Second was the Yorkshire B team of Hannah Booth, Frances Griffiths and Jennie Booth, and third was the Yorkshire C team of Zoe Coates, Felicity Coates and Kathryn Butterfield.

Photos will be avaialble here and in the photo gallery as soon as they arrive, with full results in the Competitions section of the website.

Click here to download a pdf of the day's scores.

Click here to listen to the Farming Today coverage

13 July 2011

Ludlow YFC’s Sarah Grantham will be flying the flag for Shropshire when she jets off to New Zealand in October as this year’s NFYFC Novartis Travel Scholar.

The 21-year-old animal health specialist for Masstock Arable, will spend two weeks studying sheep farming methods focusing on parasite control. She’ll blog her findings and keep a video diary during her visit. And on her return she’ll produce a report covering parasite control in the area of blowfly strike and anthelmintic resistance, and how effective control affects productivity and farm management systems in New Zealand.

Sarah, from Chelmarsh, said: “I’ve never really travelled and now I am about to go to New Zealand and study something I work in. I’m hoping to gain lots of experience for work, find out about sheep farming in New Zealand, and spend some time after the two-week visit meeting Young Farmers there.

“I’m over the moon and it hasn’t really sunk in yet – it probably won’t really hit me till I’m on the plane by myself. It is out of this world and all thanks to YFC. The fact that this opportunity is available through NFYFC is just amazing.

“When I get back to work, my employers want me to put what I learn to good use, I’ll produce a report and conduct briefings, and I also want to get round the YFC county federations and new members evenings to show that YFC is not just a club but will take you everywhere.”

12 July 2011

BBC Radio 4's Farming Today team will be testing their own dairy stockjudging skills against those of NFYFC's young stockjudging finalists at the Great Yorkshire Show on 14 July.

FT researcher Emma will be rating four Holstein and four Ayrshire cows in tandem with the junior NFYFC competitors at the show in Harrogate, and will be assessed by the expert judges at the NFYFC finals, which see Young Farmers' Clubs members from England and Wales competing in junior, intermediate and senior categories.

Yorkshire and East Riding YFCs will also be at the show from 12-14 July hosting a wealth of fun, games and activities which they have themed Yorkshire Pride, so come along and join the fun as they play giant pass the parcel, take part in quizes, jousts and jelly chugging challenges.

This year they will be raising money for Candle Lighters, the Harrogate charity which supports children suffering from cancer and their families.

11 July 2011

YFC members are being invited to put their public speaking skills to the test in the CLA Game Fair Have Your Say contest.

If you are 25 or under you can pit your skills against others in the Game Fair Theatre for a chance to take home the CLA Game Fair Have Your Say Perpetual Trophy.

You will have five minutes to get across your views and thoughts on your chosen country sport or countryside-related topic.

Last year's speakers and topics included NFYFC vice chairwoman Milly Wastie speaking on the subject: encouraging young people to enter the industry – problems and solutions from a young person’s perspective, with other contestants putting across their viewpoint on the challenges Europe is facing with regards to food production and the need to use GMOs to tackle this issue; the importance of country sports in the countryside and their major role in its sustainable management; and Young Shots  – The Next Generation

So if you have any thoughts on a topic or issue you feel passionate about, and would like to defend or raise awareness of at the Game Fair, please email

The Game Fair takes place from 22-24 July, with the Have Your Say event being held on Saturday 23 July.


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