21 April 2010
An exciting new travel scholarship offering a young British farmer a chance to work on a sheep farm in New Zealand will be unveiled at the annual convention in Torquay on Sunday 25 April.
The first Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFC) scholar will travel to New Zealand later this year and spend up to a month gaining hands-on experience on New Zealand sheep farms, as well as having the opportunity to travel in the country.
While in New Zealand, the recipient of the scholarship will also receive a comprehensive background briefing on the problems caused by wormer resistance and learn how farmers there are tackling it.
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.
Welcoming the award, NFYFC operations manager James Eckley said: “NFYFC is committed to helping its members working in the agricultural industry secure successful farming futures.
"This exciting Novartis Animal Health initiative shows how much the company values the contribution YFC members make to the UK’s sheep industry and it will also give our members an amazing opportunity to travel to the heart of the world’s sheep industry and bring back practical know-how to improve production here.”
NAH brand manager James Crawford said: “We are committed to supporting Britain’s sheep sector and I believe the country’s young farmers hold the key to its future success. I am convinced the winner of this new scholarship will return with a raft of exciting new ideas to help British sheep farmers improve the health of their flocks to become even more competitive.”
Other highlights of this year’s convention are the NFYFC Agriculture and Rural Affairs (ARAC) Forum, on Saturday 24 April, which will debate future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform, affordable rural housing and securing successful farming futures with representatives from Defra, the European Commission and a panel of other industry experts.
The forum builds on ongoing work in all three areas by the NFYFC’s agriculture and rural affairs steering group, including a recent study tour to Brussels which led to their views being showcased on the website of the UK office of the European Parliament.
A one-minute silence is to be held during the organisation’s AGM on Sunday 25 April as a mark of respect to those members of the farming community who have lost their lives in accidents at work.
The tribute is part of the NFYFC’s efforts to help reduce the number of deaths and accidents in the agricultural industry as part of the HSE’s Make the Promise campaign, which is being championed by NFYFC vice chairman James Chapman, who lost his arm in a farming-related accident.
20 April 2010
Representatives from Defra, the European Commission and industry experts will join the NFYFC's Agriculture and Rural Affairs (ARAC) Forum debate at this year's annual convention in Torquay from 23-25 April.
YFC members will debate the topics Your House, Your Europe and Your Future with a panel of key guest speakers to help make their plans for a successful future in farming a reality.
Leading the Your House debate will be South West regional manager for the National Housing Federation (NHF) Catherine Brabner; and English Rural Housing Association’s chief executive Adrian Maunders.
Defra's CAP Reform and EU legislation expert Nicola Clark; and the European Commission's (DG Agri) Mike Mackenzie, who is currently working on the future of EU rural development policy, will lead the Your Europe debate.
Head of UK Professional Services for Savills Clive Beer will lead the Your Future debate.
Katherine Sealy, chairwoman of the NFYFC’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC), said: “YFC members are proud to take on the challenges and opportunities necessary to forge our careers in farming and allied industries. So we are delighted to welcome lead industry experts and policy makers to our annual forum to air our concerns, ideas and discuss plans of action.
“We will talk to Defra and the European Commission on future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform to make sure we have a future that suits our ambitions. We aim to explore possibilities for future affordable rural housing and welcome the professional expertise from Savills for business planning.
“Our members will be travelling from all corners of England and Wales to attend the NFYFC’s annual convention and the ARAC Forum is one of the highlights of the weekend. It’s when we invite YFC members and industry representatives to have a morning of discussion, highlight outcomes and act on them. It allows NFYFC to consolidate its programme of work and development with industry and policy makers.”
The ARAC Forum takes place at 11am on Saturday 24 April at the Riviera International Centre, Torquay, during NFYFC’s annual convention. The event is chaired by Katherine Sealy and supported by Defra and HOPS Labour Solutions Ltd.
19 April 2010
Members of Young Farmers’ Clubs from across England and Wales are making their final preparations for this year’s annual convention at the Riviera International Centre, Torquay, from 23-25 April 2010.
More than 4,000 young people representing their Young Farmers’ Clubs from almost every county, are travelling by land and water in a variety of novel ways for the rural youth organisation’s convention weekend, raising cash for a host of charities in the process.
Worcestershire YFC members will be arriving on Yamaha quad bikes as part of Tom’s Top to Bottom Challenge. The club members will have ridden some 1,000 miles, from John O’Groats to Land’s End and then on to Torquay, to raise cash for Acorns Children’s Hospice, in Worcester, and Diabetes UK. They are beginning their journey on 17 April and are hoping to arrive in Torquay by lunchtime on 23 April.
Four Kent YFC members are raising cash for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), by cycling from their home county to Torquay. The four will begin their 300-mile ride on 19 April in Maidstone and make for the finishing line in Torquay on 23 April. They are aiming to raise at least £2,000 for RABI, NFYFC chairwoman Helen Roberts’ chosen charity.
Ten members of Lancashire YFC are setting off from Blackpool Tower on 19 April for their five-day, 300-mile sponsored cycle ride to the NFYFC event. They have already raised more than £3,000 for RABI, and are hoping that figure will be matched pound for pound and doubled by a further major sponsor at the end of the endeavour.
A team of 14 Yorkshire YFC members have built their own amphibious vehicle out of recycled junk to make their way by land and water to the resort for the AGM weekend. They will be setting off from Huddersfield on 20 April and hope to keep afloat on their home-made contraption for the 340-mile trip. Their four-day challenge will raise more than £2,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Their efforts began with a maiden voyage and launch party in Skipton Town Hall, with 170 YFC members dressed as sailors, which saw £1,000 put into the RNLI pot to start it off. The YFC members are confident of staying afloat despite the fact that their vehicle sank the first few tries, but they are sure the RNLI won’t mind coming to the rescue if needed! Last year the Yorkshire Young Farmers’ Clubs members arrived at the annual convention in a giant pedal-powered box of crisps.
Many other fundraising efforts are being undertaken and NFYFC president Lionel Hill MBE will be wading in with a sponsored wellie-wearing effort, also for RABI.
Highlights of this year’s convention are the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Forum, on Saturday 24 April, which will debate future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform, affordable rural housing and securing successful farming futures with representatives from Defra, the European Commission and a panel of other industry experts.
NFYFC will celebrate the year’s successes and present its silverwear at its AGM on Sunday 25 April, and the weekend also sees the national finals of NFYFC’s hotly contested performing arts competition, and final selection of the YFC Ambassador of the Year.
Event sponsors include Mole Valley Farmers, Torbay Cab Company, HOPS Labour Solutions, Farmers Guardian, Robert Wiseman Dairies and Defra.
19 April 2010
The former YFC Ski team are back, with a new name, new website and a new skiing trip planned for YFC members in 2011.
Read more about the launch of this fun event plus more news and information about the NFYFC annual convention here.
18 April 2010
The deadlines are looming for two opportunities to apply for student bursaries to help with studying for agricultural careers.
The deadline for applying for the NFU Mutual Centenary Award is 30 April, and the closing date for applications for the ABP student bursary scheme is 30 June.
Full details of both funding sources and how to apply are available on the funding page of the website.
14 April 2010
Members of Herefordshire YFC have helped illustrate the realities of a life on the land in a documentary being showcased at this year's Guardian Hay Festival.
The telling work by Hereford's Cantilupe Projects explores where our food will come from, who can and can't work the land and highlights just how hard the current generation of young farmers is working.
Herefordshire YFC's Christine Hope said: "Filming began in May at our county rally, to give an overview of the packed YFC calendar and the energy YFC members bring to all their events after an exhausting day on the farm.
"It then follows the individual stories of a number of members to explore all the challenges faced by the new generation working in farming and agriculture."
Due to the success the documentary has already enjoyed at the Borderlines Film Festival, it has been upped on the billing at the Hay Festival to Friday 28 May at 9pm.
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