National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 August 2020

Eccleshall YFC held its first club meeting in five months, where 13 of its members got together for a rounders match.

The simple outdoor gathering had an extra layer of administration for the club officials though to ensure they met in a Covid-secure way.

Eccleshall YFC's Club Chairman Catherine Johnson said: “The last time we had a club night was on 11th March. Everyone was so excited and relieved to be back. It can be a bit daunting making sure your following all the rules but once you’ve got your head around them, it isn’t too difficult to plan. There was extra work involved making sure we abided by the guidelines with paperwork and membership bubbles.”

Due to the success of this first gathering, the club intend to meet again in two weeks time, following months of only being able to connect online.

“As we’re a big club, it will be a while until we can ALL get together physically, for example for business meetings, so we will probably have to do some things virtually. We will definitely try to keep doing more activities in person though.”

The club said despite the challenges, the advantages of meeting up far outweigh the extra considerations that now need to be made when planning a meeting.

“I 100% recommend other clubs host a Covid-secure meeting. It doesn’t have to be a big extravagant evening just something to have a laugh and bring members back together,” said Catherine who found that members hadn’t lost their competitive streak during the long break. “We’re excited to get back to mixing with other Staffordshire clubs in the future!”

The club are also thinking about creating a video tutorial on how to set up a safe club meeting during the pandemic. 

For more information and support on hosting a Covid-secure club meeting, download the guidance here.


27 August 2020

YFC members have voted to change the way the national subscription fee is calculated to make it easier and more affordable for YFC members.

The changes mean that from September 2020 all members will pay £25.80 to the national body for their annual membership fee – members also pay fees at a club and at a county level.

An online vote was held during the meeting and the motion was passed by a majority of 89% of the votes cast. The £25.80 per member is the subscription for the new membership year, commencing on 1 September and, like before, the subscription can only be changed by motions brought forward at future Annual General Meetings.

Previously the national subscription was worked out by dividing a sum of money between the total number of members the organisation has at the end of each membership year. This would mean that an increase in membership reduced each individual member’s fee but a decrease in membership had the reverse effect. 

At last year’s AGM, members voted for an annual 20% increase on the national levy.  This meant the membership fee would have increased to £31.66 in September 2020 based on the number of members recorded at the end of the 2019-20 membership year.

Brecknock FYFC successfully proposed a motion to change this system and argued that increasing the fee in the usual way would impact members heavily, especially during the pandemic when membership numbers are expected to reduce.

Rebecca Prothero from Brecknock said the County Federation’s proposal was “common sense” and provided an “easy and straightforward” approach to calculating the membership fee. Rebecca also explained that while the motion was submitted before the pandemic, it had only highlighted the need for it. 

“For those members who do sign up, the current method of determining the national levy is going to punish those members even further,” said Rebecca in the speech she made online during NFYFC’s first virtual Annual General Meeting. “We are in need of a substantial change about how we look after our grassroots members and we are now in a position to protect and nurture the membership through what could be a dangerous and shattering time for the organisation.”

Amy Powell from Radnorshire FYFC seconded the motion and also said that the current system meant the County’s members “were feeling punished for remaining loyal to the Federation.”

NFYFC will not be receiving an increase to its income from subscriptions due to the changes to the membership fee, and some YFC members expressed concern during the meeting about the loss of planned increased income to national services.

Chairman of the Board of Management Delme Harries and NFYFC Vice Chairman of Council Ed Dungait reassured members that programming cuts were not planned due to the changes this motion brought to NFYFC budgets in 2021. The Board of Management also expressed its support of the Brecknock FYFC motion in light of the extreme financial effects being faced by individuals and clubs due to Covid-19.

During the online meeting, YFC members also elected world renowned rugby referee and former YFC member Nigel Owens MBE as the new NFYFC President.

Seven deputy presidents were also elected as follows: Eastern Area – Teresa Pemberton, East Midlands Area – Bryan Lovegrove, Northern Area – Diane Coles, South East Area – Alethea Snelling, South West Area – Nigel Howe, Wales – Owen Elliott, West Midlands Area – David Fellows.

This was the first time that NFYFC had held its Annual General Meeting online and the meeting involved a mixture of live and recorded presentations. Attendees at the meeting were able to vote online and comment throughout the meeting while watching presentations from homes. 


26 August 2020

Young Farmers have voted unanimously to elect world-renowned rugby union referee and TV presenter Nigel Owens MBE as the new President of The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) in August.

Nigel, a fluent Welsh speaker from Carmarthenshire, is a Welsh international rugby union referee and a TV presenter on the S4C Welsh language chat shows. Nigel was officially elected as President at the Federation’s online Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 26 August 2020, following the postponement of the original AGM at Stoneleigh in April due to Coronavirus.

In the 2016 Birthday Honours, Nigel was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to sport, and is a fellow of Cardiff University.

As a former member of Llanarthne YFC, Nigel is no stranger to YFC. He held the positions of secretary and chairman for the club and was also a former President of the Wales Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs.

Before becoming a professional rugby union referee, Nigel worked on a farm and also as a youth worker. He recently rekindled his farming career and now combines rugby refereeing with running his own farm near Llanelli.

Nigel said: “It is an honour to be elected as the President of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs. I have been involved with the Welsh Federation for many years so it’s really exciting to now extend my experience to the wider organisation.

“I am passionate about farming and see YFCs as an important stepping-stone for many young people to start or further their careers in this industry. YFCs have a challenging year ahead with the impact of the pandemic changing the way they operate but I hope my election will offer some encouragement and enthusiasm for clubs

“The lack of physical club meetings and the cancellation of rallies and county shows due to the pandemic will have had a significant impact on mental health. I know from my own experience of growing up in a rural area, just how important YFCs are for providing connections and combatting feelings of isolation – this is needed now more than ever.”

Nigel takes on the role of President following a three-year tenure in the post from Farming Today presenter Charlotte Smith.

NFYFC Chairman Dewi Parry said: “We are delighted that Nigel Owens MBE has been elected as the new President of NFYFC and look forward to him representing YFC members across England and Wales.

“Nigel’s farming connections and his personal experience of being a member of a Young Farmers’ Club make him the perfect choice for our organisation. Nigel’s impressive career should inspire others from rural backgrounds to strive to achieve their best and we are very much looking forward to working with him.” 

 


24 August 2020

After four years as a member of Howden YFC, Lucy Dale feels passionate about YFC and the impact it can have on rural young people.

Her passion for the organisation shone through at the recent final of the Junior Member of the Year competition, which was held online for the first time this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Despite strong competition from six other finalists, it was Lucy that impressed the judges the most.

Judge Lynne Griffin said: “What made Lucy stand out was her effervescent personality and her enthusiasm for the organisation and what it has to offer young people. She had a clear vision of the direction it should take to secure its future success and how she could play a part in that journey.”

Lucy had been involved in helping to organise the county rally – before it had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 – and is also the stockjudging secretary for her cluster. Despite lockdown restrictions. Lucy still managed to fulfil her roles by supplying videos of cattle to support a virtual stockjudging competition.

Lucy is an active participant in YFC competitions – and she took part in eight of them during last year’s rally day, helping Howden YFC achieve third place overall. But perhaps her proudest moment to date is being crowned the Junior Member of the Year title for 2020.

“Winning the Junior Member if the Year competition feels like a massive achievement. To represent my county and the whole of the northern area at the national finals was a honour in itself however winning the competition all together has made me grow with confidence and broaden my horizons for the future," said Lucy. "The feedback from the judges was amazing and made me more passionate about the opportunity I have to further raise the profile of British agriculture through YFC and the Youth Forum. Winning the competition is a start and in years to come I hope to carry on promoting agriculture through YFC and continued involvement in the farming community. ”

Lucy wants to become the chairman of the Ousevale cluster – a group she has been supporting throughout her time in YFC and she also has her sights on becoming secretary for her club too.

“I think it’s important to promote Young Farmers and therefore if I was to take on a bigger role I would definitely make sure I encouraged more young people to get involved,” said Lucy. “Agriculture is an industry that faces increasing scrutiny in modern society therefore I want to use my time in Young Farmers to ensure that more people get behind British farmers.” 

Lucy took part in an online Zoom interview as part of the final competition process and the judges were impressed with all the finalists they saw. All seven of the finalists will be invited to join the NFYFC Youth Forum.

Lynne said after interviewing the seven finalists: “Watch out for these rising stars. They will all be an asset to the Youth Forum and to the organisation in years to come.”

You can read more about all the finalists here. 


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