27 July 2012
YFC members enjoyed a week of outdoor adventures when they took part in a Discovery programme camp near the beautiful setting of the River Dart in Devon. The action packed schedule of activities for the campers included high ropes, canoeing, caving in the local limestone caves, climbing on Dartmoor, raft building as well as the traditional camp fire building. The campsite, at the River Dart Country Park, is a new venue for the Discovery calendar and the eight members who travelled from across England and Wales enjoyed a full programme of activities. Qualified instructors from CRS Adventures led the challenging outdoor pursuits, ensuring members were adequately equipped for each task. As well as taking part in outdoor pursuits the eight members, aged 16-18, swopped ideas about club activities and talked about what their members get up to.
Kerry Proctor, the volunteer leader chosen on selection day in December said: “It was a really good week, everyone enjoyed themselves and we did loads of stuff. We seemed to spend a lot of time getting very wet and very muddy!” Kerry, a member of Greyrigg YFC, who had a 750 mile round trip from Cumbria to take part in the camp, has had experience of Discovery before, travelling to Sweden on a Homestay.
27 July 2012
YFC members up and down the country are making their feelings clear and supporting dairy farmers during the current protest against milk price cuts made this spring and further cuts expected on August 1.
The protest has called for dairy farmers to receive a price for their milk that covers the cost of production. Vice-chairman of the NFYFC agriculture committee and Gloucestershire YFC member Chris Bateman said: “If one of the farmers that I work for had a 2 pence cut he would lose an estimated £30,000 per year, that money would be the wages for two young farmers on that farm.”
NFU President Peter Kendall has stated that with three major retailers and Aldi all having made commitments in recent days the attention turns not only to other outlets but also to milk processors. He now expects them: Wiseman/Muller, Dairy Crest and Arla to play their part and commit to rescinding their price cuts before the dairy coalition’s 1st August deadline. Many YFC members attended the NFU Dairy Summit at Central Hall, Westminster and some have been taking some light-hearted but hard-hitting action to highlight dairy farmers’ plight to consumers.
Helen Reeve, NFYFC’s agriculture chairman whole-heartedly supports the NFU campaign and is proud to see many young farmers across the county helping to highlight the issue and secure their farming future. “The level of support for UK dairy farmers has been overwhelming; this is certainly an emotional subject for all those connected in the dairy sector. Price cuts for milk contracts will ultimately result in more dairy farmers being forced to reconsider their businesses which will in turn have a knock-on effect for employment which is a pertinent subject for young farmers and new entrants. It’s often been said that farming isn't just a job it’s a way of life and over the last few weeks this really has been brought to the public's attention.
Those who have taken part in the many protests across the country and at the Dairy Summit at Westminster have helped to highlight the issue of supermarket pricing to the consumer. Back in my home county of Norfolk, myself and fellow YFC dairy farmer members are showcasing dairy farming at a number of local events to highlight the benefits of milk and dairy products, the price of milk and how much it costs to produce. It’s important that we keep fighting for a fair price for milk to ensure that dairy farming is not a forgotten sector of UK agriculture.”
Halesworth YFC member and dairy farmer’s daughter Helen Walker was part of a YFC delegation from Suffolk attending the Dairy Summit and is delighted to see the WI lend their weight to reaching consumers. She acknowledges that social media will play an important role in spreading the message of the campaign and was heartened to see many young farmers at the summit which bodes well for support of the dairy industry. Helen maintains that posting positive messages to consumers is key to getting the public on board to support the plight of dairy farmers.
Wales YFC member and dairy farmer William Lawrence represents young farmers on the Defra Dairy Forum and is also chairman of the NFU Next Generation Forum. He felt that the huge gathering of dairy farmers in central London at the recent Dairy Summit sent out a strong message to the rest of the supply chain, consumers and Government of both the financial desperation and the unity among British dairy farmers. Particularly heartening from a young producer's perspective was seeing farmers pulling together to strengthen their position in the supply chain.
William thought that producers probably went to the summit meeting with two clear aims. Firstly to continue to stress the need for fair and sustainable prices for their milk and to see progress made in discussions of the voluntary code of practice. Secondly about short term survival in the face of rising inputs costs, poor weather conditions and little justification for price cuts within the dairy markets.
He is pleased that since the summit meeting it appears that progress has been made on both fronts. William says: “This progress is crucial. Without certainty that the market place operates in a logical manner and that contractual terms offer balance and clarity it is impossible for farmers to continue to make the considerable investments in their business which are continually needed to improve efficiencies and welfare let alone expansion. It would be equally difficult for the next generation of farmer or worker to justify investing their time and effort in the dairy industry and this would have far greater implications for future milk supplies and the rural economy.”
Herefordshire YFC member Jono Rogers represented young farmers on the recent Dairy sub-group of the Defra Green Food Project. One of the outcomes of the project has been a ‘Farmers for the Future’ group that will explore barriers and opportunities for young farmers. It is hoped that his work and that of the project will not be in vain when it comes to the future of the dairy industry.
For members who would like to explore further details of the campaign there is an advice page for further action on the NFU website. Dairy farmers must be paid more for their milk.
26 July 2012
Young Farmers held a cookery demonstration, organised games and ran farming themed activities at the Mayor of Newham’s Show at the weekend as the Olympic Torch made its way through the London borough. Working in partnership with Natural England, Jamie’s Ministry of Food – Stratford and the London Borough of Newham, YFC members delighted in explaining to the public how their food gets from field to plate.
The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) has been holding cookery demonstrations across the country as part of its Great British Food for Great British Athletes project. In the final leg of the Young Farmers’ cookery tour of Britain, Natural England Chairman, Poul Christensen, tasted the culinary skills of YFC member Tom Collison. The Norfolk young farmer, an Olympic Torch bearer through King’s Lynn, cooked up locally sourced food to produce an exotic potato gratin as part of a cook off competition with a fellow Torch bearer from Jamie’s Ministry of Food - Stratford.
The Food Nation project over the weekend brought together young people from rural areas and those that have grown up in an urban environment. Together they showed the public their shared passion of wanting to understand more where their food comes from.
Poul Christensen, Chair of Natural England said: “The Food Nation partners should be proud of their work to bring the richness of Britain’s farmed environment to life as part of the celebrations for the Olympic flame’s arrival in Newham. This has been a great showcase for British Food and British farming and we are delighted to have been able to support the Young Farmers' Clubs on this exciting initiative”.
Sarah Palmer, NFYFC’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Officer said: “The project has been an ideal opportunity for young farmers to demonstrate their passion for food and farming and to demonstrate this to the public.”
Activities that kept the crowds enthralled included a model milking cow as well as two real Longhorn cows for children to find out more about the dairy process.
20 July 2012
Farming minister Jim Paice has encouraged members of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) to play an active part in an initiative to kick-start the drive to get more young people into agriculture and farming. The Future of Farming Group will look at ways in which barriers to young people entering the industry can be broken down. Fewer young people are choosing agriculture as a career choice and the group will address the challenges facing new entrants such as lack of training, access to land and affordable loans.
Unveiling the scheme at the Young Farmers Clubs’ Great British food for Great British athletes cookery demonstration at Leeds Castle, the minister urged Young Farmers to take a lead: “Our industry needs keen, clever and enthusiastic young people to feed us in the future. Young Farmers’ Clubs have many such members and I am very anxious that they are represented in this project,” he said.
Diane Calvert, Chief Executive, NFYFC said: “We are very excited at the prospect of being involved with the Future of Farming Group, we have many talented members who have plenty to say on the difficulties of making farming and agriculture a realistic career option.”
19 July 2012
Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) members will be signing off their involvement with the London 2012 build-up with a two-day extravaganza at the Mayor of Newham’s Show on 21 and 22 July. The Young Farmers will be hosting a cookery demonstration as well as running games and activities throughout the two days for the public to enjoy at Central Park in East Ham.
The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) has been holding cookery demonstrations across the country as part of its Great British Food for Great British Athletes initiative, which gained a prestigious London 2012 Inspire Mark. All the cookery demonstrations have taken place along the Olympic Torch relay route and the final event for the project coincides with the Torch visiting Central Park. The Young Farmers’ event will see members from Essex and Kent entertaining the crowds in the park at two Food Adventures marquees.
Food Adventures is a partnership between the NFYFC, Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food - Stratford, East Potential and Natural England and has been developed especially for the weekend. This partnership marks an alliance between ‘town’ and ‘country’ based on their common love of food and growing. The objective is to bring together young people from different backgrounds, but with a common interest in food, uniting to run inspirational activities for families at the Mayor’s Newham Show.
One YFC member, Tom Collison, who carried the Olympic Torch through the streets of King’s Lynn, will be taking part in a ‘cook-off’ competition on Saturday at 1.30pm with a fellow Olympic Torch bearer from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food - Stratford.
As well as the cookery competition club members will be running games and activities for the public to enjoy. The activities, with an agricultural twist, will include milking a model cow, butter making, wheat grinding as well as crop and food matching.
NFYFC Agriculture Chair Helen Reeve said: “NFYFC’s Agriculture committee wanted to do its bit in Olympic year to promote all that is good about British food and farming. London 2012 has provided the platform for YFC members to do this. 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. This is the culmination of all the hard work that our members have put in to this project and, I am sure, has showcased to a wider public all the great skills that YFC members have.”
19 July 2012
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