National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 February 2015

The NFYFC Council has agreed to propose a 20% increase to the gross national levy that members pay to be part of the Federation.

The motion will be taken to the Annual General Meeting in Torquay on Sunday 26 April, where all members will be invited to vote on the proposed increase to the membership fee.

The percentage increase represents £2.66 per member based on the Federation’s current membership numbers and will bring in an additional income of £60,000 to help plug the funding gap.

NFYFC is facing a loss in funding due to the changes to its commercial trading arm, which are as a result of new Government legislation around the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS).

The decision to propose the increase was voted through unanimously at the February Council meeting after members reviewed NFYFC’s finances.

The national Federation already has plans in place to introduce new income streams and are assessing new ways of working. Steering Groups have also agreed to operate with reduced budgets and the Federation will continue to build on the massive savings that were made in 2014.

New Chair of Council Hannah Talbot urged members to get behind the levy increase to support the ongoing work of the Federation.

"The proposed increase in the national levy is a necessity if we are to ensure the future effective running of NFYFC. We want this organisation not just to survive but to thrive in the future and it is paramount that all our clubs and counties support us in making this happen,” said Hannah.

"The additional income still does not cover the gap in funding but we are also looking at additional income streams and new ways of working that will build on the savings we made in 2014. Please support our Federation and back the levy increase.”

27 February 2015

Putting Young Farmers’ Clubs firmly at the heart of their local communities is one of the 2015 priorities of NFYFC’s new top team in a bid to fortify the 80-year old organisation.

Members elected a new leadership team at the Council meeting in February and they have promised to strengthen the organisation in what is set to be a challenging year.

Hannah Talbot from Cutnall Green YFC in Worcestershire was voted in as the new Chair of Council by members following two years in the Vice Chair’s position. Chris Manley from Culm Valley YFC in Devon was re-elected as Vice Chair for a second year while Jessica Townson from Bolton by Bowland YFC in Lancashire stepped into the role for the first time. 

The trio will face tough financial challenges this year as the organisation develops new income streams and ways of working.

During her year as Chair, Hannah wants to reinvigorate the organisation to make it more relevant to rural young people today and drive up the membership numbers. She also wants to celebrate what is great about YFCs and the essential role they play in their local communities.

Hannah said: “I’m honoured to be leading an organisation that has so many members and offers such diverse opportunities. Young Farmers’ Clubs do so much work to support their local communities – not only by raising money for charities but also by being a vital social link for rural young people.

 “The membership will have some big decisions to make this year to strengthen the organisation but everyone on the Council team is so passionate and enthusiastic that I know we will be able to create a positive future for more Young Farmers.”

One of the ways Hannah hopes to unite clubs across England and Wales is by involving them in the Birmingham Half Marathon in October. All members taking part are invited to raise money for their local causes and it is hoped the fundraisers – nicknamed Hannah’s Dashers – will demonstrate how much money YFCs can raise for local charities.

More than 100 members gathered in Coventry to pass motions that affect the running of the organisation and to elect the new Council. Stepping down from her post as Chair, which she took on in November 2013, Claire Worden said her highlights were launching the Rural+ campaign and working with a fantastic group of people. 

“Working together with a number of organisations – especially The Farming Community Network (FCN) and YoungMinds – Rural+ has helped to raise awareness about the mental health issues that can affect rural young people. Thank you to every single Council member, every member that I have spoken to this year and every County I have visited. It has been an exceptional year, and I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Chris Manley, who was re-elected as Vice Chair, has already put his hat into the ring to be considered for the 2016 Chairmanship. He said: “I would be honoured to stand as Chair in 2016. I think the two-year lead in is essential as you get to learn from a lot of experienced people. I want to support Hannah this year and then hopefully I can run for Chairman in 2016 to continue to make NFYFC the number one rural youth organisation.”

As well as the elections, the Council also approved proposals, including:

  • The 2015 line up for the Annual Convention
  • A motion for an increase in the national levy to be taken to the Annual General Meeting
  • The YFC Ski trip will be hosted in Les Arcs in 2016 from 9-16 January

Five steering groups represent the views of the members and include: Competitions; Events and Marketing; Personal Development; the Youth Forum and Agriculture and Rural Issues. Rules for 2015/16 competitions.

The team will be charged with leading on the overall policy for the Federation, continuing the development and leadership of YFCs to meet the needs of its members and developing the status and image of YFC to the outside world.

Steering Group Chair and Vice Chair elections:

Mark Curr (Cumbria)
Vice Chair:
Matt Tomkins (Worcestershire)

Events and Marketing
Chair: Katie Davies (Pembrokeshire)
Vice Chair: Caroline Baker (County Durham)

Personal Development
Chair: Toby France (Warwickshire)
Vice Chair: Mark Hurst (Cumbria)

Agriculture and Rural Issues
Chair: Lynsey Martin (Kent)
Vice Chair: Sam Dilcock (Lancashire)

Youth Forum
Chair: Danielle McNulty (Gloucestershire)
Vice Chair: Amy Swinbank (Cumbria)

The full report from Council is available online in the members area

27 February 2015

Five Radio 1 DJs will be entertaining thousands of Young Farmers this April in Torquay and two of them are back by popular demand!
Members ranked Chris Stark and Aled Haydn Jones as two of the best DJs at last year’s Convention in Blackpool and now they have been asked to come back and do it all again in Torquay! 
New faces to the Young Farmers’ bash include Huw Stephens, who has a Wednesday night slot on Radio 1 and is also a regular face on the BBC in Wales, Alice Levine who is a radio and TV presenter and recently covered The Brit Awards for Radio 1, and Dev Griffin who presents the weekend breakfast show on Radio 1.  
To add to the excitement on Sunday night when Chris Stark and Dev Griffin will be on stage – Convention-goers can also enjoy a Foam Party. This bubbly surprise will be a frothy extra to the entertainment on stage, which also includes a performance from The RJP Band. 
Other bands performing during the weekend are Hype Deluxe and the MIB Band – all top outfits that are used to playing large crowds.  
The exciting line up was announced by the Events and Marketing Steering Group during the Council weekend. One of the Steering Group’s responsibilities is to suggest acts for the annual event and help guide ideas for activities for members during the weekend. 
More news and updates about the Annual Convention can be found on the dedicated Annual Convention website

19 February 2015

NFU Mutual, the UK’s leading rural insurer, is once again offering the Centenary Award for postgraduate students in agriculture.

The award gives annual bursaries to pay up to 75% of course fees for selected post graduate students in agriculture (Masters or PhD).

The Centenary Award is a long-term scheme, run by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, and was launched in 2010 to celebrate the 100th birthday of NFU Mutual.  To date 23 students have received bursaries for their studies.

The award is open to students who have gained, or are expected to gain, a 2:1 or above in agriculture or a closely related degree, and have been accepted or provisionally accepted on a Masters or PhD course in agriculture in the UK starting in Autumn 2015.

To select the students the judging panel will be looking for applicants who are not only excellent academic performers, but are also committed to the future of agriculture.

The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust has specifically identified three topic areas of interest for eligible students:

  • Sustainable agriculture and climate change
  • International agricultural development
  • The application of science and innovative technology to the agricultural industry 

Prospective postgraduate students who think they may be eligible to apply for the award in 2015 should contact to request further details and an application form.

The closing date for applications relating to courses starting Autumn 2015 is 30th April 2015.


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