National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

26 July 2018

Young Farmers have developed skills in sheep shearing as part of a new competition run by the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) and British Wool.

NFYFC held its first-ever national final in Sheep Shearing at the Great Yorkshire Show on 12 July, cheered on by crowds of spectators. Participating YFC members had to have a Blue Seal qualification to compete in all stages of the competition – ensuring high industry standards were met.

Nearly 100 young farmers received Blue Seal training, thanks to discounted training offered by British Wool. The organisation also provided vests for all the competing young farmers to wear during the competition final.

Wales FYFC member Dion Hughes proved his shearing skills were the fastest and the best on the day as he took home the winning trophy – beating 11 finalists from across England and Wales.

Dion Hughes, 25, from Uwchaled YFC in Clwyd shears sheep on his family farm and also spends time shearing in Norway and New Zealand during the year. A competent shearer, Dion said he is still keen to get more training and urged others to learn more through British Wool courses.

Dion said: “You’re never too experienced to learn more about shearing. I did my Blue Seal training when I was 17 and I worked up to the next level. One regret is I didn’t do enough courses through British Wool so I’m going to do some more so I can keep on improving.

“I’m really pleased to have won the competition.”

Gareth Jones, Producer and Communications Manager at British Wool, said: "We're delighted to be supporting the Young Farmers and encouraging the next generation to learn this traditional rural skill. Well done to all the national finalists for demonstrating their skills in front of crowds at the Great Yorkshire Show and congratulations to Dion Hughes for winning the competition."

Sheep Shearing is part of NFYFC’s 2017-18 Competitions programme that is open for all YFC members to get involved in. YFC members also competed in the national final of Dairy Stockjudging at the Great Yorkshire Show, where Pembrokeshire took home the overall team trophy.




17 July 2018

After Norfolk FYFC member Edd Barker had a farm accident, he was determined to teach the younger generation to not make the same mistakes.

"If they understand it when they’re younger – before they’ve had the chance to learn bad habits – then they should be safer when they’re older,” said Edd who has delivered the Farm Safety Curve training module to nine out of Norfolk’s 12 YFCs so far.

Not afraid of delivering some hard-hitting safety messages to younger members, Edd has developed an engaging way to deliver the course that appeals to all ages.

As an experienced YFC trainer who has completed NFYFC’s ITOL certified qualification, Edd has been able to adapt the course to meet the needs of younger members.

“I like to use model farms when I’m delivering the sessions so that people can see the scenarios,” said Edd. “You get a bit more interest and engagement and it makes it easier for people to identify things and put them into context – especially useful for the younger members.”

Edd uses a tipped up straw trailer, overhead power cables, and stacks of straw to show the dangers of them falling on people.

“When they see the scenarios in model form, they engage more and understand it better,” added Edd whose sessions are usually made up of between 20-25 people with ages ranging from 13 to 26 – as well as a few advisory members taking part too who are in their 30s.

“I find that having mixed groups works well for everyone – because the older ones can help to give the messages a bit more context too. And when we break the bigger group into smaller groups for a task, the younger ones and the older ones work well together,” added Edd. 

While Curve modules are generally aimed at members aged 14+, most of the modules, including Farm Safety, can be adapted to make them more inclusive for younger members. For example, as well as the model farm, Edd has also changed some of the language he uses during the session to break down some of the more complicated sections.

“If you keep it simple and teach it at their level, they take it on board a lot more. In fact, the older participants have told me that they enjoy this approach too,” said Edd.

For more information about delivering the Farm Safety Curve module in your YFC and for tips and advice, contact Josie Murray.

To find out ways you can support Farm Safety Week 2018, visit the page on the website, register your interest in your farm safety training for your club and download our social media graphics.




16 July 2018

More than 1,600 young farmers across England and Wales are more aware of farm safety thanks to a training course that has been delivered by Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs) – and the national Federation is aiming for even higher numbers in the new membership year.

The Farm Safety Curve module is the most popular NFYFC course being delivered during the 2017-18 membership year and evaluation forms have revealed that 97% of those members who have taken the course, say it has improved their awareness of farm safety.

Following last year’s Farm Safety Week campaign, more than 100 YFCs pledged to deliver the training in their clubs. During this year’s Farm Safety Week (16-20 July), NFYFC is urging more of its 619 clubs to pledge their commitment to delivering NFYFC's Farm Safety Curve training module and to put it on their 2018-19 club programmes.

The one-and-a-half-hour course, developed with The Farm Safety Foundation, is aimed at preventing farm accidents and challenging behaviours. Delivered in clubs by NFYFC trainers, the course includes first aid and first response implications of farming accidents, guidance on how to assess a farming task and identify risks as well as teaching the skills required to make a farm task safe.

YFC members, clubs and counties have been asked to show their support for Farm Safety Week by sharing NFYFC’s ‘pledges’ to deliver the training on social media, on their websites and in newsletters.

NFYFC Chairman of Council Lynsey Martin said: “More than 100 Young Farmers’ Clubs have delivered the farm safety course this membership year which is great but we can do better than that! Young farmers have a unique opportunity to raise awareness about farm safety, to change attitudes and raise awareness of the dangers.”

Stephanie Berkeley from Yellow Wellies said: “It’s fantastic that NFYFC is leading the way and getting that message out there to the next generation. We want these young farmers to bring the good behaviours into the industry, start to challenge older farmers and help to address the fact that farming has the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK.”

YFCs and members can also support the week by sharing materials from the NFYFC social media pages, from Yellow Wellies social media pages and using the hashtag #FarmSafetyWeek. The Farm Safety Foundation’s strapline for the week is Your Health. Your Safety. Your Choice.

Farming continues to have one of the poorest safety records of any occupation in the UK & Ireland but all the main farming organisations are working together for this week to address this.

The latest annual figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that out of 144 people killed or fatally injured in workplace accidents last year, 29 worked in agriculture.

For more information about the Curve training module and to find out about NFYFC’s support visit our Farm Safety Week page.




09 July 2018

Two-days celebrating music and food are in store for one lucky YFC member who has just won tickets to Jimmy’s Festival on 21-22 July in a NFYFC Facebook competition.

Jojo Chomse, from Whitley Chapel YFC, will be joining more than 20,000 people over the weekend where acts including Paul Young, the Happy Mondays and The Bluetones will be playing.

NFYFC had four festival tickets (worth nearly £300) to giveaway and offered them up on Facebook. To enter, YFC members were asked to leave their club name in the comments and Jojo was picked at random from more than 100 entrants.

“I’m pretty surprised and very pleased to win the tickets. I’ll take three fellow YFC members with me, not sure who, it’ll all depend who’s got the least work on,” said Jojo when she heard she had won the tickets.

The closest Jojo has ever come to being at a festival is going to the Young People’s Village at the Royal Welsh Show, which she said she loved. But she is delighted to have the chance to enjoy a weekend on Jimmy Doherty’s farm.

“I’ve watched quite a few programmes with Jimmy and I especially like Jamie and Jimmy together as a duo,” said Jojo who has been a YFC member for nine years and is currently the Northern Area Secretary. “Jimmy always comes across as a down to earth guy with a proper passion for food and educating people about food and its source.”

All YFC members can get a discount on tickets to Jimmy’s Festival here.



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