National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

30 September 2021

After winning the national finals of NFYFC’s pallet upcycling competition, Cumbria’s FYFC’s wooden curved chair took pride of place at the Westmorland County Show in September before gracing the winner’s garden.

Robbie Hutchinson and Shannon Barnes from Cumbria FYFC won NFYFC’s online pallet upcycling competition, sponsored by Tama, back in August. The competition required competitors to dismantle pallets and produce an item complementing the theme The Great Outdoors.

For their winning entry, Robbie and Shannon used inspiration from living in the Lake District where they have seen lots of chairs cut into oak trees. They decided to create a seat that looked like an oak tree as the main feature. It took nine hours for them to craft the chair, which included a lot of time-consuming curved shaped pieces, cut by hand.

“I've always taken part in the general woodwork competitions since I started in YFC but I've been doing the upcycling competition for Grayrigg YFC for the past couple of years,” said Robbie who admits his skills have been perfected by working for a family-run joinery business.

“We had an unlimited amount of time this year to produce our entries so it gave me an opportunity to add the most detail possible. I created plenty of nice flowing curves, which hug you as you take a seat. Also, simply hand planing the wood added to the finished piece.”

The competition required competitors to dismantle pallets and produce an item complementing the theme The Great Outdoors. YFC members were asked to use as much of the wood as possible, as this was taken into account by the judges when marking. As the competition had to be moved to an online format due to the pandemic, competitors were asked to submit before, during and after photos along with details of their work.

Tama representative Andy Lanczack helped to judge the award, alongside NFYFC Life Vice President Ben Westwood and they were both impressed with the items YFC members had made.

Andy said: “Thank you to everyone who took park and congratulations to the winner. It’s marvellous what you can do with a few old pallets! We had some fantastic entries – YFC members did really well with the items they made but also the written details that were submitted.”

Two other counties earned top positions in the competition with Matthew Kirk and Scott Bradley from Leicestershire coming third in the competition for the YFC Bar they made out of pallets. Jennifer De Rochefort and George Shacklock came second for a statue of a stag they made that now sits on the green at Bicton College.

Robbie, who enjoys the chair in his garden at home, said he was shocked to win due to the high standard of entries.

“The night the results were announced, I was watching the live broadcast on Facebook and I was blown away by how amazing the creations were that had won third and second places. To to see mine win was shocking but absolutely brilliant,” explained Robbie. “It was the first national round I'd ever competed in so to win was truly astounding. It really is an achievement of a lifetime for me to be the 2021 winner of the pallet upcycling and an experience I will never forget.”


28 September 2021

A young farmer who has shown relentless support for his rural community in Yorkshire has been recognised with a national award.

Joe Holmes, from Worth Valley, is a keen supporter of local causes and was chosen as the winner of The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Club’s (NFYFC) Community Supporter of the Year Award 2021. The award is part of NFYFC’s annual YFC Achiever Awards, which recognise the achievements of members during the previous membership year.  

Joe was revealed as the winner during an online awards show on Monday 13 September, which was introduced by NFYFC President and former international rugby referee Nigel Owens MBE. 

Joe is Worth Valley YFC’s Club Chair and encourages members of the club to get involved in charity work too – often tying in activities to a club meeting or event. Joe has re-painted train stations for the local steam railway, been involved in tree planting and collecting Christmas trees, among other projects.

The most recent festive tree collection, organised with his YFC, raised an impressive £27,000 for the local Sue Ryder hospice, where Joe is also a volunteer. 

Described as a role model to others in the club, Joe has also found the charity events a popular way to sign up new members too. 

Joe said: “It was a privilege to win this award but it’s for the whole of Worth Valley YFC as all the members have been supporting our community with me. 

“My predecessors at Worth Valley YFC put so much work into the club and its members so I wanted to give back to the club and also extend that support to the wider rural community that surrounds where we all live.

“Our local Sue Ryder hospice offers such great care and support to our local area. They’ve helped the families of my friends and work colleagues so it’s only fair that we try and give something back to them.” 

The winner of the Community Supporter of the Year Award was chosen by Welsh dairy farmer and Chair of the NFU Cymru Milk Board Abi Reader, Chair of Trustees at RABI Jeanette Dawson and NFYFC’s Vice Chair Rose Bennett.

Jeanette Dawson said: 

“All of the judges were so impressed by the amazing amount of work that YFC members do to support their local rural communities – and especially so during the pandemic. While we had a tough job choosing our finalists, we were all blown away by the amount of work Joe Holmes has been doing to support his rural community in Yorkshire. The generosity he shows to supporting others is exemplary and we also loved the way he was engaging other members of his YFC in those activities too.   

“Joe has not only supported his community during the current membership year and throughout the pandemic – but his dedication spans a number of years and on a range of different projects. Joe is very deserving of this award and a huge thank you to him for all he does to help other people and to bring his community together."  

The Community Supporter of the Year Award is one of eight award categories and all the winners were revealed during the YFC Achiever Awards announcement shows that ran each night from 13-17 September 2021.  

All the awards videos from the week can be seen here.

See more information about all five finalists of the Community Supporter of the Year Award here.


23 September 2021

A young farmer from Lancashire has been recognised for stepping up to ensure Young Farmers’ Clubs in the county received the support they needed to continue operating during the pandemic.

Mick Handley, 27, from Slaidburn, farms sheep and Belted Galloway cattle on a tenanted United Utilities hill farm in partnership with his parents, and won The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Club’s (NFYFC) Aspiring Rural Leader Award as part of the organisation’s annual YFC Achiever Awards.

Mick was announced as the winner during an online show on Thursday 16 September, which was introduced by NFYFC President and former international rugby referee Nigel Owens MBE.

Mick received the award after impressing the judges with the work he has put into supporting his County Federation over a challenging 12 months. Mick is Lancashire’s County Chair but when the county found itself without a county organiser during the pandemic, Mick picked up the extra responsibilities, alongside a full-time role on his farm, to ensure the county remained open.

Described as a ‘lifeline,’ Mick’s dedication ensured hundreds of rural young people throughout the county were still able to engage with YFC during an isolating period.

Mick said:

“I'm very honoured to receive this award following an unusual year as County Chairman. Young Farmers has played a big part in my life over the past 16 years and starting out I never imagined being a club chairman let alone county chairman! However, the variety of activities and competitions you take part in within YFC has helped to greatly improve my public speaking skills and confidence to hold officer roles.

“Everyone's help and support over the past 12 months is very much appreciated and well done to all the finalists. It's an excellent organisation which I have gained so much from and it feels great to have been able to give something back.”

The judges, who included young farmer columnist for Farmers weekly Charlie Beaty, NFYFC’s Personal Development Steering Group Chair Polly Baines and NFYFC’s former Chair of Council Dewi Parry, shortlisted five young farmers for the award but chose Mick as their overall winner.

Dewi Parry said: “It has been a challenging time in office for Mick Handley since he was elected as County Chair but he’s done nothing but go above and beyond. He helped every club in his county by taking on the running of the county without a member of staff.

“It has been an unusual time for the Lancashire Federation and they owe the success of this last year to Mick. His nomination really impressed all of the judges and he has shown really impressive leadership skills at a time when his county needed him the most. The YFC Achiever Awards are a great example of what can be achieved through YFC and the skills that are developed through the organisation.”

Samantha Gates, club chair of Brockenhurst YFC in Hampshire was revealed as the runner up for the award because of the support she had shown her club and for helping to more than double its membership numbers.

The Aspiring Rural Leader Award is one of eight award categories and all the winners were revealed during the YFC Achiever Awards announcement shows that ran each night from 13-17 September 2021. 

All the awards videos from the week can be seen here.

The awards are a celebration of achievements from the previous membership year and mark a positive start to the new YFC membership year. Clubs are now meeting again following the pandemic and more information about joining a local YFC can be found here. 

See more information about all five finalists of the Aspiring Rural Leader Award here. 


23 September 2021

A young farmer from Lancashire has been given a national award for keeping her Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) and County Federation operating during the pandemic.

Hazel Stansfield, 24, from Chaigley in Lancashire, received the most votes for The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) Heart of YFC Award, sponsored by Eternit. The award is part of NFYFC’s annual YFC Achiever Awards, which recognises the achievements of members during the previous membership year. 

Hazel found out the news of her win during the online awards show on Friday 17 September, where NFYFC President and former international rugby referee Nigel Owens MBE announced the winner.

The award was followed by even more celebrations for Hazel as she went into labour the next day and gave birth to her daughter Poppy – making it a weekend to remember.

Hazel from Clitheroe YFC, who is a commercial insurance sales advisor for NFU Mutual in Clitheroe, received the award due to all the work she has put into the Federation, especially during the past year.

Alongside providing online activities for Clitheroe YFC during the pandemic, Hazel also took on more responsibilities at a County Federation level while it was without a County Organiser during the pandemic. Despite the challenges, Hazel managed to increase the membership to the club and encouraged members to get involved in competing at a local and national level.

Hazel was chosen alongside four other candidates to be shortlisted for the award, and the YFC community cast more than 1600 votes to choose their overall winner.

Hazel said:

“I’m honestly humbled to have won the title of Heart of YFC and honestly overwhelmed. YFC has been a massive part of my life and an incredible organisation to be involved in. YFC is more than just attending meetings each week, it’s the lifelong friends, the opportunities it has to offer and the memories of a lifetime to name a few. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Young Farmers and the confidence it has given me.

“The fantastic thing about Young Farmers is that anyone can make a difference from a club level to nationally. It’s a membership-led organisation – by members for the members – and is why I would recommend anyone aged 10-28 to get in contact with their local club.”

The finalists for the Heart of YFC Award were chosen by NFYFC President Nigel Owens, Chair of the Board of Management Delme Harries and Chair of the Membership and Marketing Group Sarah Emmott.

Throughout August, the YFC community was invited to vote on who they thought represented the organisation’s values the most and was truly at the heart of the organisation.  More than 1600 people voted on the finalists and Hazel received the most votes.

The award was sponsored by Eternit UK and Jayne Arkell, the UK Country Manager for Etex Exteriors (the corporate company for Eternit) said:

“Here at Eternit, we passionately support the NFYFC and all they stand for.

"This year we were delighted to be part of the YFC Achiever Awards and support the amazing work they do within rural communities within the UK. We would like to congratulate all of the winners and the nominees; and a special congratulations to Hazel Stansfield from Lancashire for winning the Heart of YFC Award 2021.”

The Heart of YFC Award is one of eight award categories and all the winners were revealed during the YFC Achiever Awards announcement shows that ran each night from 13-17 September 2021. 

All the awards videos from the week can be seen here.

The awards are a celebration of achievements from the previous membership year and mark a positive start to the new YFC membership year. Clubs are now meeting again following the pandemic and more information about joining a local YFC can be found here. 

See more information about all five finalists of the Heart of YFC Award here. 

 


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