National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

29 November 2010

New young innovators with natural resources award presented at Royal Welsh winter fair!

The new Young Innovators with Natural Resources award sponsored by the world renowned energy company, Dulas, was presented today at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.

The competition facilitated by Wales YFC, with support from the Countryside Council of Wales (CCW) and the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society saw exceptional entries in its first year with entries from all across Wales, covering a wide variety of enterprises.

Dai Jones, Royal Welsh Agricultural Society President for 2010 presented the overall winner with £2,000 and £300 to the best entries in two special categories - managing carbon and water resource -   on Monday the 29th of November. 

James Raw, the sixth generation to farm at Tyllwyd in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains near Aberystwyth was the overall winner of the competition and scooped £2,000 for his achievements. James manages Tyllwyd, a 730 ha hill farm, along with Blaencwm, a 500 ha rented hill farm on the Elan Valley Estate and Nanteos, a 70 ha lowland farm, in partnership with his mother, his wife Clare and son James Llywelyn.

James Raw explains,
“The combination of hill farms running alongside a lowland farm is an old “Hafod a Hendre” system where each one complements the other and creates a sustainable harmonious farming system. Sustainability may be a fashionable word at present but I firmly believe that much knowledge passes down through generations on hill farms and  lends itself well to the present notion, where the farms work with their natural resources in harmony with nature.”

His farm has been in Tir Gofal for almost three years and the Cambrian Mountain Environmentally Sensitive Area for 15 years before that. Most of the farm is situated in a European Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The family also run a small campsite, established in the 70s with many of the facilities upgraded , forming an important part of the farm’s sustainable income.

Currently the family are at the pre-planning stage of developing two hydroelectric schemes which will use the area’s high rainfall and natural steep topography.

£300 was presented to Rhys Owen as his entry in managing water resources on his farm. Rhys farms a 130acer holding in partnership with his parents near Caernarfon, Gwynedd and the land is a mixture of owned and tenanted land. Two large industrial tanks have been installed below the ground on the farm to collect water. Recycled from industrial use, they were decontaminated before being modified and installed. The first tank was installed a few years ago to catch all dirty water emitting from the 12 cow shipon. The second tank was installed at a later date and has been situated to trap all effluent draining from the farm yard manure store.

Rhys Owen explains,
“As well as having direct instantaneous improvements in water quality in the holding that drains away to a nearby National Nature Reserve, the installation of the tank has led to savings in inorganic fertilizer use. The tanks are emptied and applied to improve pasture by a local contractor, leading to environmental and economic benefits.”

In the future Rhys hopes to gain entry into the Glastir All Wales Element and have an interest in the ACRES element of the programme  - installing  PV cells is high on their list of interests

The best entry in managing carbon resources was the entry submitted by Sion Thomas, who was also awarded £300. Sion entered the competition with the Carno II Windfarm situated in Carno, Powys and is the first windfarm to be granted persimmons and constructed under the 2005 TAN8 planning guidance for renewable energy development in Wales. The wind farm was the result of diversification from the family farm to a company called “Aregni Ltd”.  The wind farm, completed in 2009, will generate 45,000,000 kwh of clean renewable energy per annum, which is equivalent to the annual energy needs of 8,700 homes. This equates to a saving of 33,000 tones of CO2 per year, if the same power would be produced by a conventional coal fired power station. The wind farm will take between 6 – 8 months to generate enough clean energy to replace the energy used in its construction.

Sion Thomas said,
“The wind farm will contribute £10,000 per annum to the local communities of Carno and Llanbrynmair, with a further commitment of £20,000 per annum made to “Windfall” (the mid Wales Community Energy Turst). This money will be spent on community projects, local to the wind farm, with an emphasis on education, sustainability and energy saving measures.”

For the future, he has recently formed a sister company called “Aregni Renewbables Ltd” and has recently submitted a further planning applicatiuon for another windfarm development in the area.

Mr Rod Williams, CCW Council Member and one of the judges said: "It's becoming increasingly important for society to make the most of its natural resources to create a greener, more sustainable future.  For businesses, such as farming, using local renewable resources can bring economic value as well.

"It was a pleasure to visit several entries for this award and see some fine projects that are making the best use of natural resources on the farm and in the local area. The farmers were also full of ideas about more schemes they could adopt in the future - such as generating renewable energy using the natural resources around them.

"This award scheme is in its first year, and I hope it will go from strength to strength, encouraging more farmers to develop good practice with natural resources in the way they run their businesses."
"We at Dulas were very impressed with the standard of entries for this competition.  The work that these Young Farmers have put into managing their natural resources has been inspiring and it has been a great pleasure to be involved with the competition.  We hope that the opportunities created by the feed in tariff will encourage further use of renewable energy solutions and that farmers are able to exploit both the business and environmental benefits available.  We have also enjoyed working with YFC, CCW and RWAS in judging this competition and would very much like to sponsor the competition again next year,"  explained Mike Clay, Marketing Manager

Rhys Evans, Wales YFC rural affairs committee chairman stated, “Considering this was the first year of the competition, we were very pleased with the number, and quality of applications. Its very encouraging to know that young farmers in Wales are developing new methods to improve the economic viability of their enterprises, through working with the natural environment. The positive attitude, and passion shown by the applicants demonstrated that Welsh farmers are thinking seriously about how to reduce their carbon footprint through adapting their farming practices.”

29 November 2010

Glamorgan YFC member wins Wales YFC NatWest  Cymru enterprise scheme!

Today at the Welsh Winter Fair, the winners of the Wales YFC NatWest Cymru Enterprise Scheme were announced at an award ceremony at the NFU Building.

The scheme, run by Wales YFC is sponsored by NatWest Cymru awards Wales YFC members who have established successful business and past entrants state that the competition is an excellent way of boosting businesses, through advice received during the entry process and the publicity following the results.

The winner of this prestigious award in 2010 was Bleddyn Beck a member of Neath YFC, Glamorgan and he was awarded with £800 to further promote his business, Beckbred Pigs. The business owns the Panorama Herd of Large Whites and Welsh pigs and both herds are well known throughout the UK with the Large White herd the most premier herd in Wales. The business also sells Pedigree terminal Large White pigs and Pedigree maternal Welsh pigs into the commercial pig industry as live pigs. Beckbred Pigs fulfils the needs of its customers of wanting Pedigree pigs in the commercial sector. The demand for such pigs is high as there are little and few hers offering such products. The company strives to improve the pigs by selecting the highest and best performing genetics to create excellent stock for the commercial market. All of the pigs performances are recorded by having access to a BULB system. Earlier this year Bleddyn was picked by the BPA youth working group to travel to America to the World Pork Expo to compete at the USA stock juging competition, where in the under 21 category he was placed in the top 20 out of 125 entries from across the world. While in America, he represented the UK on the export stand where there was a great interest in the business maternal products.

Speaking on behalf of the judges, Andy Woodthorpe, NatWest Director Rural Wales Banking, said: “Judging this year was as challenging as any other year, however we came to the decision that Bleddyn Beck had shown the greatest entrepreneurial flair establishing his business and deserved the first prize.”

Lowri Roberts a past member of Dyffryn Tanat YFC in Montgomery earned the second prize of £500 with her business Siop Cwlwm. The shop trades online ( and at Oswestry indoor market  on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays which are market days in the town. The shops location just over the border in England is important as the area has succeeded to maintain it’s Welsh identity and Oswestry is also the market town for many inhabitants of mind and north east Wales.  The primary aims of the business is to promote the Welsh language and culture by providing Welsh products for the areas bilingual inhabitants and raise awareness of the language and culture amongst the non-bilingual inhabitants. The shop sells ‘traditional’ products of a Welsh shop, including books, CD’s, greetings cards and gifts. They also have the facilities to personalise many of the items which is popular. As well as selling resources for Welsh learners they also hold prospectuses for local collages which provide Welsh lessons for adults.

Third prize of £300 was awarded to Kayleigh Rees of Talgarth YFC, Brecknock. Kayleigh has recently established her Designs 4 Ewe company which provides a one stop shop for all printing and embroidery solutions for businesses, schools, clubs and individuals. The company has facilities to print or embroider on a wide range of items and also provides a bilingual service to customers in the form of the website, catalogues and other promotional material in both English and Welsh as well as offering an extensive product selection with a variety of Fair Trade products on offer.

Rhys Evans, Wales YFC Rural Affairs committee Chairman, also part of the judging panel said, “All of the applicants we interviewed were outstanding. This is a fantastic scheme for young people living in rural Wales to gain advice on their businesses from a panel of experts. Wales YFC gave those who entered the unique chance in presenting their businesses to a panel of experts who are willing to sit down with them and give them individual advice on their business and help with financial and marketing advice. We are very grateful to Julie Masters, Welsh Assembly Government, Alun Jones, Menter a Busnes and Andy Woodthorpe for the advice and support that they gave our members. All applicants also received a £100 towards their businesses thanks to the kind sponsorship from NatWest. I wish all the candidates luck with their businesses and hope they go from strength to strength” explained Rhys Evans, Wales YFC rural affairs committee chairman.

29 November 2010

Clwyd YFC's singing success

In fine voice: Uwchaled members’ rousing stirring performance of Talu’r Pris yn Llawn took top spot in the mixed choir category for Clwyd YFC at the Wales YFC Eisteddfod
CLWYD Young Farmers are in fine voice as they celebrate their choir taking the top spot at the movement’s national Eisteddfod.
Members of the county’s Uwchaled club gave a rousing performance of Talu’r Pris yn Llawn to win the mixed choir category at the Wales YFC Eisteddfod at Aberystwyth’s Great Hall on Saturday night.

Another victory came in the portrait category where Eirian Williams of Uwchaled club won with an enchanting caricature of Wales YFC Eisteddfod committee vice chairman and former Clwyd YFC chairman Heledd Owen. Eirian, 26, lives in Cerrigydrudion and works at Wern Vets. She is the designer of the Clwyd YFC logo.

Back on stage Betws yn Rhos club brought Clwyd further success with Ceri Llywela Jones coming second in the under 26 recitation category and the club’s recitation party coming third.
Llansannan club came third in the vocal ensemble and Llannefydd’s club project in the homework section earned the county third place.

“I’m proud of the way all of our members have performed today and especially pleased for the choir and its well-deserved success,” said Clwyd YFC organiser Eleri Roberts.

23 November 2010

Young Farmers’ mega quiz

Back Row: Craig Galbraith, Michael Packham, Philip Packham, James Gibson.
Front Row: Jimmy Harrison, William Horsley, Harriet Holme Hannah Potts
432 Cumbrian Young Farmers entered the quiz in September, competing in 28 village halls. After 4 rounds and over 700 questions, the triumphant 4 Junior and 4 Senior teams met in the ballroom of the George Hotel, Penrith for the Final,

The Junior quiz started the proceedings with Lowick YFC leading throughout. Questions were asked on Country Knowledge, Entertainment, Sport, News and General Knowledge. Tom Jackson , Lyvennet YFC, made a spirited attempt to catch up in the buzzer round but Skelton came from behind to beat Caldbeck into 2nd place and Lowick and Lyvennet into equal 3rd place.
Skelton’s team of Harriet Holme, Hannah Potts, Jimmy Harrison and William Horsley were presented with a trophy and plaques from Cumberland and Dumfriesshire Farmers’ Mart.

The Senior Quiz had all 4 teams battling it out until they reached the sports round where Grayrigg scored full marks. They increased their lead dramatically with some nifty work on the buzzers scoring a magnificent total of 42 points with Skelton in 2nd place on 31, Caldbeck in 3rd on 29 and Crook 4th with 19 points,
Michael Packham, James Gibson, Phillip Packham and Craig Galbraith from Grayrigg YFC were presented with engraved glass tankards by Carrs Billington.

President Mr Frank Gate commented, “We had an excellent, good-humoured evening. All the teams should be proud to reach the County Final of the quiz after such stiff competition along the way.”

23 November 2010

Excellent standard of competing at Wales YFC Eisteddfod

The Wales YFC Eisteddfod attracted competitors from all 12 YFC federations in Wales was held at the Great Hall, Eisteddfod on Saturday the 20th of November, hosted by the Montgomery Federation.

During the day members competed in a variety of competitions including singing, recitation and humorous items to the homework competitions that included literacy, prose and art. The competitions were held throughout the day and the overall winner was the Ceredigion Federation and they took home the Mansel Charles Shield with 43 points. The Pembrokeshire Federation came second and the Montgomery Federation were was third.

Fflur Pughe, Wales YFC Eisteddfod committee chairman said that the Eisteddfod had been very successful once again, gaining a fantastic reputation and benefiting from the fact that it is one of Wales YFC’s main entertainment events open to the public.

From left to right – Carwyn Owen, Emyr Jones (sponsor) & Robi Wood

Luned Mair, Chair Winner

“The Eisteddfod was once again successful this year, and we can prove our ability as an organisation to hold an event of a high standard nationally. We saw hundreds members competing on a special stage at the Great Hall in Aberystwyth. The standard of competing is raising every year, and the audience enjoyed a spectacle of traditional competitions such as the solos and recitation, as well as the light entertainment section, which is always popular. As a committee, we’d like to thank everyone who helped us during the day with the preparations and organising. We are very fortunate of the support of friends and past members of the organisation,” she said.

Winning the Eisteddfod Chair with her short story “Ar y Brig” (On top of the World) was Luned Mair of Llanwennog YFC, Ceredigion. Luned, 19 is currently in her second year at Cambridge University studying psychology at the Sidney Sussex College. The chair was sponsored by Mr Emyr and Mrs Maggie Jones of Melindwr, Llwydiarth and was made by Carwyn Owen of Dyffryn Banw YFC and Robi Wood, Guilsfied YFC.

Winning first prize in the choir competition and taking home the Vale of Towy Cup was Uwchaled YFC from Clwyd. Joy Cornock of Fishguard YFC, Pembrokeshire won the Ardudwy Cup for being best soloist in the music section. The Menter Iaith Sir Benfro Challenge Trophy, awarded to the best unison voice party was won by Eglwyswrw & Llysyfran YFCs, Pembrokeshire.

Angharad Mai Lewis from Llanfair Caereinon YFC, Montgomery was the best individual in the Recitation Section and he took home the Wales YFC Cup. Mydroilyn YFC, Ceredigion won the pop song competition and they were awarded the Meinir Richards Cup.

In the federation award section, Eryri took home the Dyffryn Nantlle Shield for coming out on top with the highest points tally in the Cerdd Dant section, and winning the Denbighshire Farmers Union of Wales trophy for winning the homework section were Ceredigion. The Elonwy Phillips Trophy which is awarded to the winning Federation in the stage section was won by the Pembrokeshire Federation.

19 November 2010

Radnor public speaking competition

Radnor Federation of Young Farmers Clubs, recently held their annual Publiuc Speaking Competitions at the Hotel Metropole, Llandrindod Wells, which was very kindly sponsored by Brecon and Radnor NFU, for which the Federation are very grateful.

Edw Valley YFC were the winners of the Senior After Dinner Speaking Competition, with the team consisting of Sara Davies, Sian Dyke and Paul Jones with 133 points.In second place were Presteigne YFC B  (129 points) and third were Dolau YFC's A team (128 points).The Judge was Mr Nick Williams of Pembrokeshire.
Judge Miss Gail Lewis of Trefeglwys YFC placed Gemma Bufton, Fran Lewis and Dan Farmer of Dolau YFC as the winners of the Intermediate Brainstrust Competition  with 171 points closely followed by Preseigne YFC with 168 points and Rhayader YFC third with 167 points.

The Junior Public Speaking was won by Llanbadarn Fynydd YFC' s B team - Gemma Price, Laura Watson and Daniel Binks with 88.5 marks, closely followed by Llanbadarn Fynydds YFC' s A team with 88 marks and Edw Valley YFC'S A team came in 3rd place with 87.5 marks. The Junior competition was this year judged by Wales YFC Chairman Enfys Evans of Ceredigion.

The Junior Reading Competition was this year judged by Mr Gwyn Evans former head of English at John Beddoes School, Presteigne. The Competition was won by Edw Valley YFC's A team- Sian Davies, Ben James and Gina Williams with 96 marks, followed by Llanbadarn Fynydd YFC with 95 marks and Dolau YFC with 94 marks.


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