17 May 2012
Young farmers around the country are preparing to hold cookery demonstrations as part of the Olympic Torch Relay route as the Olympic Torch weaves its way around the country. The cook-a-thons are taking place in ten locations around England. First off is a demonstration at Taunton on 21 May, followed by Stoke-on-Trent on 30 May, then Alnwick on 14 June, Durham on 16 June, York on 19 June, Bowness-on-Windermere on 21 June, Lincoln 27 June, Chelmsford 6 July, Maidstone 19 July and finishing in Newham on 21 July.
The cookery demonstrations ‘Great British Food for Great British Athletes’ are an opportunity to showcase the importance of using local, sustainable food and promoting the role that British farmers are playing in supplying London 2012 with produce.
The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs have teamed up with Natural England to gain a London 2012 ‘Inspire’ mark to run a series of cook-a-thons across the country.
Helen Reeve, Chair of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs steering group said: ‘NFYFC’s Agriculture Forum wanted to help promote British food and farming during the Olympic Games 2012. We have worked with Natural England to develop and deliver a project to include as many YFC members as possible during the Olympic Torch Relay.’
14 May 2012
On bank holiday weekend our beloved mascot Supermoo took part in the Mascot Grand National at Kempton Park Races, alongside 52 other dinosaurs, ducks and donkeys to name but a few!
Despite a sterling effort, and more than a little help from our National Chairman James Williams, Supermoo was unable to catch up with a giant bumblebee with a sting in his tail!
This year the annual mascot race raised an estimated £2000 for the charity ‘Have a Heart’. Nice one Supermoo!
Check out a video of the race at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqrYA6MJgF8
11 May 2012
THE official digital magazine for YFC members has been launched once again by Farmers Guardian.
Sponsored by IPEUK, ‘The Adventurer’ is dedicated to this year’s annual convention in Torquay and is packed with exclusive interviews, videos and competitions.
Check out the unseen galleries and video footage from the weekend which includes interviews with members, president Matt Baker and Radio 1’s Dom and Aled.
One lucky member will have a chance to win a wigwam for 10 people at a venue of their choice across the country, while a VIP package has been put together for two YFC members to attend this year’s Livestock 2020 that includes lunch and the chance to meet with Agricultural Minister Jim Paice.
Elsewhere in the magazine, the three national pantomime finalists relive their journey to the finals while other members explain what makes them proud to be a Young Farmer.
Hear the latest news from the recently launched road safety awareness campaign and watch what members have to say about what needs to be done to encourage the future of the farming industry.
Don't miss the only FREE interactive magazine for YFC members.
08 May 2012
Members of Gillingham and Shaftesbury Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) have been named winners of a competition to promote voluntary environmental schemes on-farm.
The Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) competition, launched by Farming Minister Jim Paice in December, challenged YFC members to propose how a farm business could support the CFE.
Judges selected the winning team of Dorset-based Carl Hoskins, Julie Ridout, Matthew Cradock and Jennifer Diment – all students at Kingston Maurward College - their assessment of existing habitats on Lynch Farm, in Bridport, and proposals to enhance the farmed environment while boosting the commercial business. The team’s proposal included both Entry Level Stewardship and voluntary options to support the CFE across its three themes; farm wildlife, farmland birds and resource protection.
NFYFC chairman James Williams said: “I have no doubt that the top 3 entries were outstanding in their field and are a credit to the clubs and colleges that they represent. The farmed environment is such an important part of so many farm businesses, it is reassuring to see that we have the knowledgeable talent coming through.”
In second place was the team of Andrew Stevens, David Ratcliffe and Stuart Gardener from Painswick YFC, Gloucestershire. The team submitted an outstanding report demonstrating an excellent understanding of the CFE and how their chosen farm can support the campaign through voluntary measures alone.
Milly Wastie and Andrew Fyfe from Grendan YFC, Northampton, came third and were praised for their suite of voluntary measures.
The top placed teams received prizes from Agrii Consultancy Services, Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and Practical Farm Ideas.
Agrii Environment consultant Laura Francis, one of three judges, said: “I was really impressed with the high standard of all the entries. The winning team stood out for clearly demonstrating a sound knowledge and understanding of the CFE and how their chosen farm could support the campaign.”
The farms chosen as part of the teams’ projects will also receive a bag of wild bird seed mix donated by Kings Game Cover and Conservation Crops.
02 May 2012
NFYFC have teamed up again with Novartis to run a travel scholarship competition. The winning scholar will travel to New Zealand for two weeks to learn about farming techniques on a sheep farm.
Download flyer for further details. Closing date is Friday 8 June.
02 May 2012
Minister for Agriculture, Jim Paice MP, was a surprise guest at this year’s National Federation for Young Farmer’s Clubs Agricultural and Rural Affairs forum, and had to face some tough questions from members about the future of the industry.
The forum, which is an annual event for the organisation, is a chance for YFC members to interact with industry and government leaders and to have their voices heard in a national arena. This year the forum was looking to the future, with Yeo Valley’s Director of Marketing, Graham Keating, talking about the importance of brand and marketing to the growth and development of the industry.
Jonny Williams, Wales YFC Rural Affairs vice chairman, added that farmers need to have a whole range of skills to survive in this industry; “Agriculturalists have to be economists, commodity traders and current affairs specialists. They need to know of the latest disease challenges and chemical resistances, of weather patterns in Argentina, Ukraine and New Zealand, of demographics in China, India and Africa, not to mention the national debts of our European colleagues,” he said.
Helen Reeve, Chairman of the NFYFC Agriculture and Rural affairs committee, also stressed that skills and training would be key to young farmers, whatever the outcome of much anticipated CAP reforms. She announced some exciting new NFYFC projects. A feasibility project for a matching opportunity service and a pilot CPD programme to give YFC members as many opportunities for their future careers as possible. Following on from work initiated last year between NFYFC and the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB), the two organisations will offer YFC members the chance to visit BWMB’s Bradford headquarters and see the wool supply chain in action as well as training opportunities.
Representatives of British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB), were present at the Forum to provide information on BWMB’s work, the Campaign for Wool and details of the training courses BWMB offers. "While most sheep farmers sell their wool through BWMB many do not know what happens to their wool once it leaves the farm" explained Gareth Jones, BWMB’s Producer Relations Manager. "In 2012 we are teaming up with the NFYFC to offer YFC members the chance to visit BWMB’s Bradford headquarters and see the wool supply chain in action."
The study trips will include the chance to see one of BWMB’s electronic wool auctions in action and also see wool being graded in the Bradford depot. Additionally, YFC members on a visit will be able to visit a scouring plant to see the next stage of the wool supply chain.
As well as looking to the future, the forum also celebrated this year’s winner of the Campaign for the Farmed Environment YFC Competition which demonstrates the support of YFC members for the campaign. Judges selected the winning team of Dorset-based Carl Hoskins, Julie Ridout, Matthew Cradock and Jennifer Diment – all students at Kingston Maurward College - their assessment of existing habitats on Lynch Farm, in Bridport, and proposals to enhance the farmed environment while boosting the commercial business. The team’s proposal included both Entry Level Stewardship and voluntary options to support the CFE across its three themes; farm wildlife, farmland birds and resource protection.
Environmental sustainability was also an issue that NFYFC President Matt Baker held close to his heart, stating after the forum that; “If we want farming and the environment to survive together we are going to have to farm sustainably.” This was a topic which also arose during the Q and A session with Graham and the minister.
Members also raised concerns about support for new entrants into the industry and the spread of TB and asked how British agriculture could adapt in the new global market.
With London 2012 fast approaching, The National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs is teaming up with Natural England to run a series of cook-athons during the Olympic Torch Relay that will help celebrate the best of the country’s locally grown and sustainable produce. The ‘Great British Food for Great British Athletes’ initiative will see members of Young Farmers' Clubs showcasing local British produce at cookery demonstrations and events during the Olympic Torch Relay.
Mark Felton, Natural England’s Director for Land Management Development, said: “As well as their primary work of producing food, British farmers play a vital role as stewards of our countryside. The Olympic Torch Relay Cooking Demonstrations will be a truly marathon undertaking and one of the most ambitious events ever held by YFC members. It’s a golden opportunity for young farmers to enthuse and inspire local communities and young people across England about the role that they play in producing food and in the conservation and enhancement of our natural environment.
“Natural England is very supportive of the work of Young Farmers' Clubs and we are really pleased to able to be working with them and LOCOG in this exciting initiative. We are looking forward to some fun cooking events and delighted to be sharing in the excitement of the Olympic Torch Relay.”