National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

30 May 2019

A dry wit and a love of YFC helped Northumberland's County Chairman Ed Dungait win the Sidney Fawcett trophy at NFYFC's Annual General Meeting in May. When he's not leading his County Federation, winning awards or spending time with his club Tritlington YFC, 26-year-old Ed is busy working on his family's arable farm near Morpeth.

When did you join YFC?

10 years ago

Why have you remained a member?

Because it’s the best organisation ever. I’d have been lost without Young Farmers.

Greatest achievement in YFC?

Winning Northumberland YFC Male Party Animal of the Year 2015. A close second would be winning Best Male Actor 2019, or Trit winning Club of the Year 2017 – or being asked to be County Chairman after everyone else turned it down!

Greatest achievement outside young farmers?

Getting one of the top 10 marks in the country for my Physics A Level. It comes in really handy day-to-day on the farm.

Top skill you have learnt through YFC?

Acting – making people laugh (usually at me, sometimes with me).

I’d never been on stage before until two years ago when Trit joined with Coquetdale YFC to scratch a panto together. We were told by the judges it was “the funniest thing they’d ever seen”. It brings out talents that we never knew we had, and confidence comes with that.

The best thing you’ve ever made with YFC?

Friends.

Three words to describe your club…

Small, Mighty, Oneclubonelove

Has YFC helped you in your career/studies?

Yes, making contacts, and communicating with people.

Someone you would like to thank in YFC and why?

Peter Howie & Jack Kelcher. They joined on the same night as me 10 years ago and have taken the club from strength to strength, making the Trit Trojans a force to be reckoned with. Not forgetting all the other members too!

 

If you would like to feature in our YFC profile or want to nominate someone to be profiled, email magazine@nfyfc.org.uk 



23 May 2019

Somerset Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (FYFC) is celebrating its 85th birthday this year, and will mark this special milestone at the Royal Bath & West Show from 29 May-1 June, whee all YFC members can save £10 off the ticket price

The Somerset FYFC marquee at the Show is themed around the 85th celebration, with current and ex-young farmers encouraged to share their memories on a memory tree, which will bloom as the week goes on. A timeline will feature the locations of all the Royal Bath & West Shows, the dates YFC clubs were formed and landmark farming dates. 

One Somerset family have been YFC members right from the start when the Portbury, Yatton and Nailsea group merged to form North Somerset YFC in 1932. One of the founding members was George Withers from Clapton-in-Gordano: Along with his twin brother, John, these 15-year olds were well-known throughout the YFC and the showing circuit. George’s special interest was Large White pigs, with which he had many showing successes, including at the Bath & West Show, which in earlier years moved location each year.

By 1938 there were over 1,000 members of Somerset YFCs – and being in his twenties when WW2 broke out, George was a member in a time when rationing and petrol tokens were in force.  Members were only issued petrol tokens for meetings, not for dances, so to get around this the members arranged dances to follow meetings. George was a supporter of the branch long after he was too old to attend, and went on to become president of North Somerset YFC in 1988, remaining in the post for several years.

Although petrol tokens were long gone by the time his daughter Carol joined North Somerset YFC in 1962, aged 17, it was still uncommon to have a car. “We used to borrow our parents’ cars to get to meetings, or arrange lifts,” said Carol, who remained a member until she was married.

The family have all met their partners through YFC. Carol remembers she was encouraged to join after her parents thought her current boyfriend was unsuitable. “They thought I would find the right person in Young Farmers, and I obviously did,” she said.

She met her husband, Richard Gell, at North Somerset YFC. Their son, Andrew, duly followed in their footsteps, joining the club when he was 17 in 1985, playing an active role and remaining a member until the age limit of 26.

Likewise, Andrew’s wife, Sarah, was a member of Wrington & District YFC, the first club to be formed in Somerset, taking on many roles throughout her time in the club even after she and Andrew married in 1999. When away at college in Plymouth Sarah joined Devon club, Roborough, for a short time and was pleased that YFC was there to turn to. “I hated being away from home but joining the local club made me feel less homesick,” she said.

The whole family have made friends for life through the YFC, with whom they still regularly meet up.  “One of the good things about young farmers is that it’s run by the members for the members – the advisory don’t get involved unless you want them to,” said Andrew and Sarah's son George who is a current member. “Club numbers do vary each year with people going to university or being out of age, but we’re optimistic about the future of our club.”

The meetings on the club's programme are much the same as in Carol’s day. Stock-judging, talks from companies, ten pin bowling and visits to local businesses to name a few, as well as practice in public speaking and sports. “Hockey was a big part of young farmers – we used to play on Sunday mornings on Weston sands,” says Carol. Hockey is something that has continued down the generations, with their daughter Sarah playing for Somerset at South West Area weekends.

George revealed how things have changed since his parents' day in YFC. “We don’t have as many regular dances and they aren’t in village halls, but the other elements remain.” The introduction of technology has certainly changed things massively. In Andrew’s day, events were listed on a monthly green newsletter, with further details obtained by calling people via the landline. “Now, social media is how we hear about what’s going on,” added George.

YFC members can save £10 off the ticket price to The Royal Bath & West Show from 29 May – 1 June. For more information see here. 


10 May 2019

A bank holiday weekend of fundraising activities has helped YFC members in Staffordshire raise an impressive £9,000 for charity.

The fundraising started on Saturday at the County Rally, where members of Uttoxeter YFC went for the chop to raise £1,100 for Cancer Research UK. Club Chairman Mark Whitehurst had his head shaved by the High Sheriff of Staffordshire Ashley Brough while four of the clubs’ female members had their long locks cut off. The hair was donated to The Little Princess Trust so it could be used to make wigs for children living with cancer.

Mark said: “A massive thank you to those that took part in our fundraiser and to everyone who was so generous to donate. It was fantastic to raise so much for this worthy cause!”

It proved to be a successful day for Uttoxeter as they also won the overall rally trophy for the fourth year running.

More than 250 members, sponsors and supporters joined in Staffordshire’s rally, which was held at Blore Farm near Market Drayton. There were more than 30 competitions including a bungee challenge and potato launching as well as the more formal floral art.

Building on their fundraising for Cancer Research UK, County Chairman Polly Baines hosted a charity lunch called Give Cancer the Boot on the Sunday after the Rally and raised a further £8,000.

The lunch, which was inspired by Polly and her family, included canapés and a delicious meal of roast beef followed by apple pie or pavlova. And for those that could still move after their Sunday roast, there were five races sponsored by local companies for people to place bets on as well as a raffle that helped to boost funds.

Polly said: “This weekend has been a true representation of everything YFC! From teamwork and competitions to multiple incredible skills and best of all, fundraising for Cancer Research! Having been directly affected by my mum having the disease, it made the urge to raise funds for Cancer Research even more important.

“Being a part of the Staffordshire YFC is fantastic, the support is amazing and I cannot thank everyone enough for their hard work, time and backing throughout this weekend!”


09 May 2019

Alberbury YFC has been announced as one of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Top 100 Heroes following their epic fundraising success last year.

The Shropshire club raised over £25,000 after completing a mammoth cycle challenge taking them around the entire perimeter of Wales. In recognition of their achievement club members have been invited to attend Birmingham Children’s Hospital 100 Heroes' Afternoon Tea on Sunday 19 May.

It took the club seven days to complete their charity fundraiser last year, where they covered around 100 miles a day during one of the hottest weeks in June on record.

The mission to raise money for the hospital pushed the riders both physically and mentally as they took on some of the most challenging terrain in the UK.

Melissa Evans from the club said "jelly babies, countless costal tyre changes and the support of family and friends" saw them through the challenge. She added: "It’s an honour to support Birmingham Children’s Hospital, a charity that couldn’t be more deserving.”

The Afternoon tea event will pay tribute to the wonderful fundraisers who have challenged themselves, exceeded expectations and been an inspiration to many, throughout 2018. Alberbury YFC's achievements will also be commemorated on a special red balloon at the front of the hospital for the next 12 months.


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