National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

15 September 2014

Jan Davinson, Chief Officer of Cumbria Young Farmers, is retiring after 17 years at the helm.

After spending many years working in youth career services, Jan joined the federation as Chief Officer in 1996. She spent a lot of time in the early years trying to raise the profile of Cumbria YFC, sitting on various committees obtaining grants and successfully maintaining funds.

In her 17 years as Cumbria Chief Officer, Jan helped Cumbria to win the Northern Area field day eight times and the national NFU Trophy seven times. She is one of the founder members of the Cumbria Youth Alliance and sat on the Board for over 10 years.

Since 2001, Cumbria has seen a year on year rise to 1,500 members, making the county the second largest in the federation.

At this year’s AGM, in which Jan was elected life member of NFYFC, County Chairman Mark Curr highlighted just how effective Jan was in her role as Chief Officer.

Mark said: “A lot of Cumbria’s success has been down to Jan’s hard work and determination to sort grants for various things, to run an organisation fully prepared and with a great competitions programme.

“Overseeing two district field days with over 70 competitions, a jam packed winter programme, with district and county competitions, takes an awful lot of time. With only two full time members of staff, this shows how much effort Jan has put in when it all runs smoothly.

“Much of the success in competitions has been down to the hard work Jan has put in encouraging more and more people to enter and ensuring that the district and county competitions get stronger each year.”

At the meeting, Jan talked about her highlights and proudest moments over the years.

She said: “It has been a great privilege over the years to see my Young Farmers grow in the skills and confidence, that have equipped them to be valued members of their rural communities, well most of them! Cumbria Young Farmers are my extended family and I am going to miss them so much. Thank you for 17 wonderful years.”

To honour Jan, Claire ToddCumbria Chairman in 2007, organised a reunion dinner at the George Hotel, Penrith for the 17 Chairmen in office during Jan’s time.

At the dinner, Jan spoke of her highlights and proudest moments over the years but concluded that “my proudest moment is tonight, looking at you all and thinking yes we’ve done okay. We are leaving the Federation in a good place with a strong membership and secure financial position." 

Jan will be succeeded by Joanne Mills, former Director of Engagement and Development at Durham University.


04 September 2014

Downham Market YFC has pulled out all the stops to try and bring in new members by making a Forage Harvester out of straw bales. 

The Norfolk club's members built the structure by the town's local roundabout in a fantastic attempt to attract new members. Norfolk YFC was so impressed by the initiative and have now asked all other clubs in its county to follow suit in trying to attract new members.

Club Chairlady, Charlotte Waters, said: "Our club each year takes it on ourselves to build a farming related straw structure to advertise for our new members evening. It’s generally a tractor however this year seeing’s that it’s the Club 70th Anniversary we had to go bigger and so the forage harvester was born! It certainly turned a lot of heads from passers by on the roundabout. I’m surprised it didn’t cause a traffic accident!"

Downham Market YFC's new members night is on Wednesday 8th October at 7:30pm at the Downham Market Conservative Club. You can follow the club's latest news by visiting its Facebook page.

How is your club appealing for new members? Send your stories and photos to magazine@nfyfc.org.uk.


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