National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

23 October 2019

It was an unforgettable summer for Steph Watkins who spent six weeks in Canada making friends and experiencing Canadian culture.

Did you travel alone?

I travelled with four other young farmers from all over Europe – including Austria, Ireland, Germany and Northern Ireland.

We stayed with host families organised by the Canadian JFAO (Junior Farmer Association of Ontario).

They all became friends – or you could say my new family. It’s bazaar how close you become to four people who were complete strangers six weeks earlier!

Was it enjoyable?

This summer has been truly unforgettable. Meeting both young and old people in the agriculture industry within Canada. It has been inspiring and I'm sure we have all taken some great ideas back home.

It's true to the stereotype that Canadians are all polite, all the Junior Farmer families have been so welcoming to us and I can't thank them enough – I will be back!

What did you do?

The days and weeks flew by! I visited Toronto, Durham West, Wellington, Peterborough, Renfrew and Ottawa and toured many farms and spent time with JFAO members. One evening I experienced s’mres – the proper way with marshmallows, gram crackers and chocolate.

I toured Hensal Co-op, which is where Branston baked beans are grown before being exported to the UK. I also saw a farm that breeds special cattle that can adapt to extremes of weather and exports embryos to Australia and New Zealand.

There were campfires and sunbathing and amazing Raclette dinners, where we would enjoyed special Swiss cheese prepared with vegetables on a racelette grill.

I also took part in a radio interview to explain why we were visiting the country and all about YFC.

I enjoyed an international Pot Luck evening where we all made traditional food from our home countries for everyone to try.

When I stayed in Renfrew we had a Barn Dance after the “RedNeck Games” which is the equivalent to our rallies.

Any highlights?

  • Canada Day in the capital – Ottawa! It was an amazing day and everyone was so proud to be Canadian. Most people were wearing white, red or a mixture of the two. We joined in going all out with red and white head to toe, hats, flags and a lot of temporary tattoos. We had a great day and a big firework display at night which was fantastic.
  • Axe throwing in Peterborough!
  • Niagara Falls was amazing and definitely worth the early morning rise to get there.
  • Cow patty golf – golf with anything but a golf club. It was fun to see what everyone brought from a squishy mop to a paddle. A great game idea for a new members’ night.
  • Seeing a live bear – I was surprised at how big it was and the fact it just casually walked across the road in front of us.

Would you recommend a YFC Travel trip?

I would encourage everyone to take up the opportunity of going on an exchange, as it certainly is a once in a lifetime experience. Being a delegate has so many advantages and you get to see so much more of an area than if you were just to go there on holiday. I have had countless new experiences, learnt so much about Canadian farming and way of life, met some fantastic people and made some amazing lifelong friends and memories!

The deadline for applying for 2020 YFC Travel trips is 1 November 2019. Find out more. 

23 October 2019

Reeth YFC in Yorkshire has been given a Special Achievement Award for helping to coordinate a clean-up operation following the floods in July that caused devastation in the Dales. 

The club were presented the award  by BBC presenter Harry Gration at the Yorkshire Post’s 2019 Rural Awards in Harrogate, which was attended by more than 200 guests. 

The club rallied more than 100 young farmers from clubs across Yorkshire and County Durham, who turned out to help re-build stone walls, collect debris and escaped livestock, as well as make repairs to buildings and fencing. Members, parents and friends of the club made sure the volunteers were fed, watered and had all the equipment they needed.

Georgia Hird, Secretary of Reeth YFC - who collected the award with Club Chairman Jack Stones - said: “The club was really surprised to be given such a wonderful award, it meant a lot to all of us.

“We are really grateful for the recognition of our work over the floods and we certainly couldn’t have done it without the help of neighbouring club, Wensleydale Young Farmers.”

Chairman of the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs Georgina Fort added: “Reeth Young Farmers’ Club are a credit to young farmers, to the farming industry and to the community.

Picture credit: Gerard Binks/The Yorkshire Post.

22 October 2019

YFC clubs and counties are being urged to submit the results of their fundraising efforts for the membership year 2018-19 so they can be considered for one of two NFYFC trophies.

The Lionel Hill trophy and The Prince of Wales trophy are awarded to the YFC Club and County respectively that have raised the greatest amount of funds per member for charitable purposes over a 12 month period.

The trophies will be presented at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in May 2020. Dartmouth YFC and Essex FYFC were awarded the trophies for their achievements in 2018 at the 2019 AGM.

Dartmouth YFC raised £17,000, with 18 members, meaning they had raised an impressive £944.44 per member.

Essex FYFC raised a total of £39,106.08 with 367 members, meaning they raised £106.56 per member.

The County’s winning formula, said last year’s County Chairman Jack Garwood, is the hard work the clubs put in to support those less fortunate than themselves.

“We all have a great time as Young Farmers and are pleased to be able to put a little back into something else we love,” said Jack. “All the clubs choose a mixture of national or local charities – causes that are close to their hearts.”

NFYFC received 14 County entries for the Prince of Wales Trophy last year, and the total raised from those counties was £489,478.84.

If every County Federation returned the details of their charity fundraising, NFYFC estimates YFCs raise in excess of £1.2m for charity.

Entries should be sent to Sandra Bromley before the closing date of 15 November 2019. 


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