National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

26 April 2010

It is vital that young farmers make their views heard on how to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), YFC members at the Your Europe breakout session of the NFYFC Agriculture and Rural Affairs Forum were told.

Experts from the European Commission and Defra told YFC members  that there had never been a more critical time for them to engage in EU farm policy.

 Defra's Nicola Clark and the European Commission's Mike Mackenzie encouraged young farmers to ensure they were as well informed as possible in order to fight the UK's corner on the future CAP and issues such as the single farm payment.

Nicola Clark told them: "Now is your chance to influence policy. You can speak to us at Defra and feed into the debate through the European Commission website because we want your views,” said Ms Clark.

Mike Mackenzie urged young farmers to get involved in the discussions rather than allow the rest of Europe to make decisions without their input. “Decisions taken in Brussels affect you in a big way but so far other nations have been more involved in the debate. You really need to get involved now,” he said.

The discussion group identified a number of action points for YFC members to take forward including engaging their local MPs and MEPs to make their views known; working with industry leaders and lobby groups including the NFU and CLA; and putting their opinions forward to organisations such as the European young farmers association CEJA. Other feedback included urging government to look at ways of making the future CAP much simpler and encouraging YFC members to contribute to the EU consultation on the future of the CAP through the European Commission website.


Do you agree with what your European counterparts are saying? Click here to download a copy of the statement CEJA has issued on what it would like for the future CAP reform.


European Commission invites views for CAP reform 2013

The European Commission’s website opens up the debate to the general public. Dacian Ciolos, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, has invited all interested EU citizens and organisations to join the debate on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy, its principles and objectives.

24 April 2010

NFYFC chairwoman Helen Roberts welcomed guests from across the federation to her black tie reception held at the Riviera International Centre on Friday night.

YFC area and county chairmen and women, and presidents past and present, from across England and Wales gathered to celebrate the continuing work of the rural youth organisaton in supporting and developing young people living and working in the countryside. Helen also welcomed the Five Nations visitors representing YFC in Scotland and Ireland.

Helen highlighted some of the fundraising that had been done by members of some of the 662 Young Farmers' Clubs on the way to the annual convention and AGM being held in Torquay this year.

The first-ever person from Montgomeryshire and the first from Wales to hold the national role since 1990, Helen told her guests how proud she was to hold the national role, and how much YFC in both England and Wales benefitted by being part of the national federation.

Helen thanked all the staff and helpers and the Riviera International Conference Centre for their work in organising this year's convention, and extended a special thanks to the residents and businesses of Torquay for making the organisation so welcome.


23 April 2010




Saddle sore but in good spirits, Young Farmers' Clubs members from across England and Wales arrived to a warm welcome and glorious sunshine in Torquay for the start of the rural youth organisation's annual convention on Friday.

Tired but happy, members from a host of clubs had peddaled and paddled their way by land and water raising thousands of cash for their chosen charities.

Yorkshire YFC's amphibious craft made from recycled junk managed to make the journey to the beautiful bay in Torquay having set off from Huddersfield on Tuesday. The team had covered the 340-mile journey in a home-made contraption cobbled together out of bike frames and kayaks making use of canals along the way.

The trip will have raised more than £2,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Members of Worcestershire YFC took turns riding two quad bikes from John O'Groats to Land's End, then back to Torquay, travelling 999 miles to raise  £10,000 for Acorns Children's Hospice in Worcester and Diabetes UK.

They completed the final mile of their 1,000-mile target with a quick whizz around the car park at the Riviera International Centre.

Lancashire YFC completed their journey from Blackpool Tower ahead of schedule after a journey of 400 miles that will see £3,000 donated to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).

RABI will also benefit from the efforts of the four members of Kent YFC who cycled 300 miles.

Antony Morris covered 170 miles from Herefordshire to Torquay on a modified ride-on mower to raise cash for his local air ambulance service. Rebuilt to be road legal, Antony's machine achieved a top speed of 35 miles an hour and raised a few laughs from motorists on the way.

"It was a bit uncomfortable, but a lot of fun, he said.

Cornwall YFC also made the journey by bike and peddaled £5,000 into the coffers of Cornwall Hospice Care as a result.


23 April 2010

NFYFC president Lionel Hill MBE has been sticking the boot in for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution - wading around in a pair of customised wellies and relieving YFC members of their cash for the charity as they arrived at the annual convention.

Lionel and representatives of the farming charity were kept busy handing out badges and filling green buckets with cash in a bid to hit the target of £100,000 set by NFYFC chairwoman Helen Roberts, who has chosen RABI as her charity for the year.

The charity, which helps members of the agricultural community in need, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.



23 April 2010

Young Farmers' Clubs members came to the rescue when a Torbay Youth Service minibus carrying local pupils got stranded on top of a low wall near the bowling green on Friday afternoon.

NFYFC national president Lionel Hill MBE lent his weight to the rescue mission, helping as passing YFC members pitched in to lift the minbus off the wall and back on to the road.




22 April 2010

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) will be holding a one-minute’s silence during its annual general meeting in Torquay 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 by backing 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.

Promise knots are being given out to Young Farmers’ Clubs members from across England and Wales who are travelling to Torquay over the weekend for the NFYFC’s AGM and annual convention at the Riviera International Centre as a reminder to pledge to come home safe from the fields to their families.

According to the HSE, working in agriculture remains one of the most dangerous ways to make a living. It accounts for around one in five work-related deaths every year, although only 1.5 per cent of the working population is employed in the sector.

Across Great Britain, 38 workers lost their lives in farming-related incidents between January and November 2009 and HSE figures for 2008/09 show that 589 people were seriously injured in farming accidents.

Nearly 15,000 farmers have already signed up to the campaign, and James Chapman, is calling on all 25,000 YFC members to support the campaign.

“The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs has proudly made the promise to come home safe. Encouraging farmers to work safely has always been one of our key priorities.

“I know only too well what can happen when safety isn’t put first. A few years ago, I lost my left arm when it was caught in an unguarded PTO shaft. It only happened because I, like many farmers, was working under pressure trying to get a job done as quickly as possible.

“Today I regularly speak to young farmers, using my experience positively as a warning of how important it is that they take the time to consider their safety and what can happen if they don’t," says James.


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