National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

25 February 2021

Low Carbon Agriculture show, the new event showcasing opportunities in renewable energy, technological advances and Environmental Land Management (ELM), for a profitable and sustainable future in farming will certainly go ahead in March 2021 – online.

Supported by NFYFC and held in association with the National Farmers Union (NFU), the show will move to a fully interactive digital format on 9 and 10 March 2021, to support farmers during not only the challenging Covid-19 pandemic, but through a rapidly evolving industry.

Maintaining its renowned exhibition, networking benefits, and four key areas of focus – Energy Now Expo, Environmental Business Expo, Low Emission Vehicles Expo and Farm Technology Expo, Low Carbon Agriculture Show has extensively analysed different formats, gaining feedback from farmers to create a digital event which delivers.

The highly-anticipated multi-streamed conference will have expert speakers presenting on each type of renewable energy, as well as new topics for 2021 including natural capital, carbon management, soil health, reaching net zero in agriculture, policy compliance and much more.

View the conference programme here.

Low Carbon Agriculture show has had a fantastic response from its Digital Insights webinars, which covers pressing topics in agriculture such as ‘Low Carbon Transport & Machinery’ and ‘Environmental Land Management’.

The next webinar will cover the ‘Show Preview & Exhibitor Showcase’. The webinar will give an insight on what to expect at Low Carbon Agriculture | Online 2021, including an exclusive of our exhibitors. This Digital Insights webinar will go live on Wednesday 24 February at 5pm.

Visit the new Low Carbon Agriculture Show website to find out more.

24 February 2021

YFC members will have the opportunity to decide if the national federation should increase its upper membership age from 26 to 28 at NFYFC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in April.

The motion is being proposed by the Gwent Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs and seconded by the Montgomery Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs. The motion has been prompted by discussions on this topic that were raised by YFC members that attended the NFYFC Strategy Summit in January 2020 together with conversations held by members of the NFYFC steering groups over the last 12 months. 

Clubs and County Federations can put forward amendments to the motion until 23 March 2021. 

The final motion and any amendments will be subject to a vote at the AGM and all YFCs are asked to discuss the options ahead of the online AGM on 26 April, 2021 in order to make use of the two votes every club has at that meeting.

The motion outlined by Abbie Williams of Gwent FYFC at the recent Council meeting (pictured right) argued that an increase in age would help boost membership numbers and give more clubs the support they need – especially following the impact of the pandemic.

Abbie explained that the decline in membership had a big impact on smaller clubs who struggled to enter competitions or get enough people to help with the running of the club or events. The extra pressure this puts on the core committee members often meant they left the organisation earlier as it “takes too much from them and wears them down too quickly.”

Abbie added: “YFC always has taken too much from too few and this problem only gets intensified when membership declines, which is why Gwent FYFC are proposing that the membership age increases from 26 to 28 from 1 Sept 2021.

“I do think this is one small piece of the jigsaw that will help build a sustainable future for NFYFC and it might provide the lifeline that small clubs need now more than ever. By expanding the age range we are pulling from a larger pool of potential members.”

Abbie, supported by Bryony Wilson from Montgomery FYFC, believes the age extension will mean there are more members available to make up teams for competitions, more trainers and more support for committee members.

“One or two new members might not seem like a lot but across NFYFC it could have quite a large impact,” said Abbie.

The age extension is already happening for YFC competitions in the 2020-21 membership year and has also been agreed for 2021-22 to allow those to compete who couldn’t do so in their final year due to the pandemic.

The Council agreed that if the membership age is increased across the organisation from September 2021, that it should be reviewed by the NFYFC Council in 2023.

YFCs and County Federations should note that even if the membership increase is changed at a NFYFC level, clubs can continue to target recruitment to people from a specific age – for example there are many clubs for members 17 years and under, and some that recruit members 16 or 18 and over only.

24 February 2021

The YFC member subscription to NFYFC will be discounted by more than 50% for one year due to the impact of the pandemic.

The Board of Management has agreed a discounted subscription fee to NFYFC of £10 to recognise that many members have not been able to enjoy the full YFC experience at their club during the pandemic. The NFYFC Council, made up of representatives from across all of the County Federations, were informed of this at the online Council meeting in February.

While the national federation will take the hit from the reduced membership fee, it is hopeful that this discount will help counties and clubs to encourage more young people to renew their membership to the organisation or join for the first time.

Delme Harries, Chairman of the Board of Management, said: “The last two membership years have been affected by the pandemic and while a great many online activities have been taking place, we know it’s no substitute for meeting with friends face-to-face and taking part in YFC activities we love – this is why the Board is providing this discount. 

"The discount is also partly a thank you to all those members who stuck with YFC through the tough times and supported their clubs by joining up during the pandemic.” 

The reduced subscription fee will, as usual, be invoiced to county federations in early September, and the number of members used to calculate the fees due will be membership card carrying members on 31 August 2021 (the last day of the membership year).  The subscription fee will return to £25.80 for the September 2022 invoices.

24 February 2021

Hampshire’s new County Chairman Grace Welling recently won Farmers Weekly’s Agricultural Student of the Year Award 2020 and credits YFC with helping her achieve the accolade

Q. How did it feel to win the award?

I was extremely shocked and humbled to win the Agricultural Student of the Year Award at the 2020 Farmers Weekly Awards. The calibre of the entries was exceptionally high and I did not for a moment believe I would be shortlisted, let alone actually win.

Q. How did you impress the judges?

The interview style was very relaxed, it felt like I was just having a chat about what I was passionate about within the agricultural industry. I was honest about my experiences and achievements within YFC and university and clearly the judges saw something to be impressed by.

From the age of 10, I threw myself into as many YFC competitions as possible which helped me to develop numerous social and technical skills, via events such as stock judging and public speaking. I believe enthusiasm got me a long way – both on and off farm – and I always put myself in situations out of my comfort zone to push myself further.

I have managed to add multiple accolades to my belt since the age of 18, including Alresford YFC Chairman, third overall in my placement year performance and as a course rep in the second year of university.

Q. Where did you watch the Farmers Weekly online awards ceremony?

I watched the ceremony at home with my family. It was very different to a normal year however I appreciated not having to conduct a risk management for wearing heels whilst slightly worse for wear! My whole family was surprised by the outcome and celebrated with a bottle of miniature champagne – we were so confident I’d lost that we didn’t have anything else in the house!

Q. Did you enter the award yourself or did someone nominate you?

One of the lecturers at Harper Adams university asked me why I had not yet entered the Farmers Weekly awards. My response largely consisted of me stating that I hadn’t entered, as there was nothing I had done that I thought was award winning. He thoroughly disagreed with me and encouraged me to apply. I debated the application for a while and in the end decided I had nothing to lose. It is safe to say I did not expect to hear anything of my nomination again, but I was proved wrong.

Q. Can you briefly outline the process to get through to the final?

I had to answer a few questions about my experiences/achievements at university and include a CV and references. I found out I was a finalist and after a few weeks the panel conducted a Zoom interview to further discuss my achievements and any topics of interest in the sector. After that it was just a matter of waiting to see what happened at the actual awards.

Q. Would you recommend other YFC members enter these type of awards?

I was as sceptical about my chances as I believe most people would be, but what have you got to lose? The entire experience has been enjoyable and the skills it tests I believe are transferable to everyday life, so I would encourage anyone to give it a go.

Q. What plans have you got for Hampshire in your new role as County Chairman?

Following the crazy year that all of the clubs across the county have had my first aim is to get things going again. Hopefully one day soon this will involve actually meeting face-to-face to resume what would usually be a packed programme of activities and talks – and some socialising afterwards.

As a longer-term goal both myself and the vice chairman Josh Othen are keen to get a Hampshire FYFC Rally back on the events programme, after an absence of one for more than 10 years. But getting meetings up and running again is the priority until things start to get back to normal.



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