National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

23 November 2009

Budding entrepreneurs looking to get a footing in rural business are being offered free help and support from Northamptonshire Fresh Start Academy which is being relaunched in January.

The Fresh Start Academy, a national initiative offering training in various forms of business management, was introduced in Northamptonshire two years ago to help farmers of the future and is now being relaunched with a broader remit to encourage entrepreneurs in all types of rural business.

“Academy members will now be allocated a mentor who can help them develop their business ideas and answer questions as their business grows,” said James Fulton, a business consultant with Berrys at Kettering, one of several local businesses sponsoring the academy.

“We are keen to extend the initiative to help rural entrepreneurs develop personal skills such as negotiating, staff management, self appraisal and presentations as well as offering them ideas and training in subjects such as diversification, renewable energy, cooperation and business management.

“The mentor will assist with personal and business development and help them seek further training opportunities,” James added.

The first meeting of the new academy will take place on Thursday 28 January 2010, 7.30pm at Moulton College Management Centre.

For further details contact Fresh Start Coordinators Kate Everard on 01604 670562, email or James O’Gram on 01223 813622, email

23 November 2009

Competitors from across England and Wales put their stockjudging skills to the test at the English Winter Fair at Staffordshire County Showground over the weekend.

Gloucestershire's Vicky Hicks took away the title of senior carcase judge of the year for 2009, while Staffordshire's Matthew Wright was victorious as intermediate carcase judge.

  1. Download full results of the NFYFC competitions here

20 November 2009

NFYFC's Christine Hope has been named one of the Future 100 Young Social Entrepreneurs for 2009.

Herefordshire YFC's Christine, last year's personal development committee chairwoman, was recognised as a founder and partner at Hopes of Longtown, by the awards which recognise, encourage and reward extraordinary vision, ethical business practice and social responsibility.

The awards put the spotlight on young people aged 18-35 that offer innovative and sustainable solutions to social problems.

Christine's business, Hopes of Longtown, aims to combine the qualities of the farmers market with the convenience of a superstore, sustaining local economies. She also opened a second store last month, Hopes of Poston, and, with a pig, composter and Wiggly Wormery, has put a strategy in place to minimise waste.

Christine said: “I am surprised and delighted to be listed. We may only be small but we make a big difference, hopefully we can encourage others to do the same.”

Visit for more information about the awards and the winners.

10 November 2009

James Chapman, Helen Roberts and Mark Williams

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) has elected Helen Roberts, from Montgomeryshire, to serve as chairwoman of the rural youth organisation for the coming year.

Helen will be helped in her role heading the member-led organisation by new vice chairman Mark Williams, from Gwent, and Warwickshire’s James Chapman, who has been re-elected to serve a second term as vice chairman.

Helen, 33, lived on a beef and sheep farm near Welshpool in mid Wales until 2008, when she moved to live on a dairy farm in Pembrokeshire. She is Head of Delivery for Farming Connect, the Welsh Assembly Government’s flagship support scheme for Welsh farm businesses.

Helen was NFYFC vice chairwoman last year and has also served as training committee chairwoman for Wales YFC and as county chairwoman of Montgomery YFC.

Helen has chosen the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) as the organisation’s national charity for the year and among her aims is increasing opportunities for the organisation’s under-18s to have a say on decision-making at national level.

Helen said: “It is an honour to be elected chairwoman of NFYFC and I’m also very proud to be the first-ever person from Montgomery in the national role, and the first from Wales since 1990.”

Pailton and Warwickshire YFC's James Chapman, 28, is delighted to be serving a second term in office as NFYFC council vice chairman and continuing to give back to the organisation he has been a member of for 14 years.

Self-employed farm worker James said: “My goal this year is to raise awareness of all the really great things we do in YFC, particularly the huge amounts of fundraising,” he said.

Farm manager Mark Williams, 34, is from Gwent, and is a past chairman of Wales YFC, and chairman of Gwent county federation.

“It is a privilege to be elected and I look forward to supporting Helen during the coming 12 months, representing the grass roots membership and taking the organisation forward,” he said.

09 November 2009

Warwickshire College is launching the latest Fresh Start Academy covering Warwickshire and Worcestershire on 18 November, at the college's Suggett Centre, in Moreton Morrell.

The scheme offers valuable training in all aspects of rural business from a range of experts including financial advisers, business consultants, tenancy and diversification experts, and is an ideal stepping stone for people who either already run their own farms, or are newly qualified or recently involved in agriculture.

bullet pointClick here for more information about the newest Fresh Start Academy


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