National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

22 September 2011

Pembrokeshire YFC’s team of Andrew Rees and Peter Richards saw off stiff competition and gave the expert judges food for thought with their winning entry in this year’s NFYFC Farm Business Development competition.

The business-savy 25-year-olds from Tiers Cross YFC took the judging panel completely by surprise with their proposal for a dairy farm which involved the innovative idea of renting in the dairy herd.

Andrew and Peter impressed judges from the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA), Savills, NFYFC and the previous year’s competition winners with their detailed research into the scheme, which they felt was the best business model for this year’s case study farm.

Cumbria YFC’s Graham Lambert and Joanne Bentham took second place with their proposal based on dairy, beef and sheep enterprises and diversification via holiday cottages and DIY livery.

Chris Jones, from Northamptonshire, took third place, and was also the winner in the non-YFC category of the competition which was opened up to non-YFC agricultural students and Fresh Start Academy members for the first time this year.

Chris’s business proposition was for an Aberdeen Angus forage-based growing and finishing unit, plus DIY livery, shoot and renewable energy enterprises.

The competition is designed to give tomorrow’s tenants a dry run in applying for a farm tenancy and involves viewing a case study farm, submitting a detailed business plan and facing a rigorous interview panel.

The TFA’s chief executive and competition judge George Dunn said: “This year’s entries were very high quality and it is really pleasing to see how the quality has consistently increased over the years.

“The judges had a very difficult choice to make but the team from Pembrokeshire put forward a very strong business case at interview, plus we were able to examine for evidence of personal development as they entered and came second last year.

“Peter and Andrew also came up with something none of the judges had heard of before – the idea of renting in dairy cows – and provided evidence, legal agreements and showed they had done their homework and research thoroughly by being quick to answer questions on the scheme.

“For a young farmer getting started, having the capital to invest is a big barrier so their idea really is very interesting and something we can explore. Worthy winners indeed.”

Andrew Rees said: “We are thrilled to have won. Having come second last year we were determined to win this time. We drew on feedback from the judges in last year’s competition and also from entering a similar competition at county level in the spring and used it to improve our performance.

“Basically the case study farm lent itself to a dairy set-up as the equipment was in place and the idea of contract hiring in a herd was a way of helping retiring or current farmers while also helping new entrants overcome the hurdle of lack of investment capital.

“Both Peter and I are dairy farming with our fathers so the time and effort spent on costings and business planning for the competition will also be very useful to us on a daily practical basis. This competition is hugely important because it really does help an actual young farmer because what you learn in the process of the competition equips you with the ability and confidence to look at things in a fresh light.

“We are really looking forward to going to the Oxford Farming Conference, which will be another fantastic opportunity from this and the whole thing has been an invaluable experience all round.”

As well as scholarships for the 2012 Oxford Farming Conference, the YFC category winners receive points for the NFU challenge Cup, membership of the TFA and NFYFC awards, and are also asked to join the industry experts on the interview panel for next year’s competition.

 The winner of the non-YFC category will be awarded an Oxford Farming Conference scholarship and the members of the second team also receive NFYFC awards.

The judging took place at the Royal County of Berkshire Show, Newbury.




20 September 2011

Due to popular demand The Snowploughing Event has secured 100 more beds for the ski trip to Les Arcs on 6-14 January.

Whether you are a complete beginner or pro snow rider hit the slopes with like-minded Young Farmers' Clubs members this winter.

The Snowploughing Team has an action-packed week planned for you all with lessons, a Ski Championship, valley rally, fancy dress, live music, mountain meal and much more.

Book now online to avoid disappointment at www.snowploughing.co.uk.

If you have any queries please email snowploughing@yahoo.co.uk. This trip is run independently of NFYFC.


20 September 2011

The heat was on for Young Farmers’ Clubs members as they brought this year’s hotly contested NFYFC national tug of war competitions to a sizzling conclusion at the Royal County of Berkshire Show, Newbury, at the weekend.

Both men’s and women’s teams pitted their wills and strength against clubs from across the federation in a day that saw contestants having to contend with alternating blazing sun and heavy rain in the YFC Arena.

A delighted Yorkshire federation women’s team were victorious after holding their ground despite difficult conditions underfoot, winning every pull of the contest, with Radnorshire taking second place, Staffordshire third, and Montgomeryshire FYFC in fourth position.

The men’s contest saw Derbyshire and Staffordshire go head to head in a repeat of last year’s final battle. And this time around, it was Derbyshire FYFC who returned home triumphant to celebrate first place, while Staffordshire men’s team took second place, Sussex third, and Montgomery men’s team were fourth.

NFYFC operations manager James Eckley said: “This year’s contests, which are one of YFC’s favourite challenges, were really exciting to watch and demonstrated true teamwork as well as the hours of dedication and practice required to compete. Congratulations to all the teams taking part.”

Click here to download full results
Full list of points throughout the day

Other Young Farmers’ Clubs competitions at the show included the county YFC stock judging competitions, with Newbury YFC’s Andrew Findlay winning both the best Newbury Junior Young Farmer and the Best Berkshire Junior Young Farmer titles, whilst Ruth Woodley, Newbury YFC, also did the double, winning both the senior titles.

With more than 600 shopping stands to visit, Kate Green from Country Life Magazine , Judge of the Best Trade Stand Award, had her work cut out for her. And Berkshire YFC was thrilled to find it had won in the Best Agricultural Trade Stand category.

South-east Area chairman Gordon Fletcher said: “We were ecstatic to take home an unexpected piece of silverware! We have been placed second and third in previous years so it is fantastic to have won this year. We were particularly proud of the feedback from the judges that they were really impressed with the way our Young Farmers’ Clubs members had been willing and able to answer questions about our stand, which focuses on promoting Berkshire’s YFCs to members of the public in a host of interactive and fun ways.”

Around the showground visitors there to cheer on the YFC teams enjoyed a huge number of activities and exhibits. The Countryside Area was a very popular attraction with its running programme of pole climbing competitions, gun dog displays, fly fishing demonstrations, ferret racing, and sheepdog displays.

The Food Fare Marquee housed more than 70 exhibitors showing a wide variety of specialist food and drink products, the Cookery Theatre was packed, while the Horticultural Marquee housed a fantastic array of exhibits.

Malcolm Bull, Royal County of Berkshire Show president, said: "It has been a delight to see so many visitors come to this year's show. It is an important event as it connects the town with the countryside. The show offers the opportunity to find out about farming, countryside sports and rural crafts and produce.”


20 September 2011

EBLEX’s National Selection Specialist Steve Powdrill and Senior Regional Manager Clive Brown put Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFC) members through their paces at Burton Bishop College farm with advice on practical farming and business skills to produce meat for today’s market.  

Topics included efficient handling and selection, classification and understanding the market place.  YFC members were shown how different classes of stock fit into the supply chain, the importance of meeting specification and carcase utilisation.  

YFC members, including Ashford YFC’s Stuart Jakeman,  travelled from as far afield as Kent to attend the pilot training event in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire.

Stuart said: “The training was a really good balance between theory and practical work which gave us the opportunity to hone our skills. All the skills covered are transferable to work on the farm and also stock judging within YFC itself. I found the day very informative and it will be very useful for grading sheep for the market on my home farm.”

Clive Brown, EBLEX says:  "The demands of the current day market place for beef and lamb are continually evolving and events like this will help the next generation of producers understand today's requirements for differing outlets, be they major retail or export, and the importance of meeting ever tightening specifications."

NFYFC’s agriculture & rural affairs officer Sarah Palmer welcomed the successful new training scheme and explained: “NFYFC’s national competitions programme helps YFC members to gain and develop knowledge and skills that are essential in modern agriculture.

“Through the constant development of innovative new training schemes such as this one, NFYFC ensures that the skills gained by members through YFC involvement, including the competitions programme, keep up to date with industry standards.”

The aim is for the pilot event to lead to the development of a programme of regional events. NFYFC is also to develop an interactive DVD to support the new training, which it aims to make available to for Young Farmers’ Clubs members in England and Wales.

Visit the Eblex website by clicking this link

19 September 2011

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) is working with Warwickshire Young Farmers’ Clubs and Farming & Countryside Education (FACE) to develop new ways of forging mutually beneficial links between YFCs and schools.

A new workshop is being developed this autumn which will help equip Young Farmers’ Clubs members to go into schools and help broaden students’ understanding of the agricultural industry, potential careers in the sector and opportunities available through agricultural colleges.

The pilot will work on a peer mentoring model and may be further developed to include farm walks as part of Cardinal Wiseman School’s environmental and land-based GCSE course, although the scheme could also be expanded to include sixth-form students who might be considering attending agricultural colleges.

The pilot, which resulted from NFYFC co-sponsoring the first School Farms Network conference in July, will also explore the possibility of creating an in-school YFC at the Coventry school.


15 September 2011

YFC members and associate members are again invited to a special VIP Race Day on the final day of the prestigious Open Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse, the most important event for jump racing prior to Christmas.

NFYFC’s annual Race Day at Cheltenham is a fantastic day out on Sunday 13 November 2011 offering the chance to enjoy a day of top-class racing and entertainment with fellow YFC members and guests.

Prices for tickets are £22 per person for YFC members and £27 for associate YFC members and guests.

Click here to download:
Cheltenham Flyer
Programme
Ticket application form
For more information contact: Emily Johnson


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