National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 February 2011

European award for Wales YFC lamb initiative!

A partnership between Wales YFC, Dunbia (Llanybydder) and Sainbury’s has been awarded the title of Rural Youth Project of 2010 by Rural Youth Europe.

Rural Youth Europe is the non political governmental body of all Yong Farmers and Rural Youth groups throughout Europe. They have half a million members in 25 different national organisations. The organisation offers any of the affiliated YFC organisations the chance to take part in training courses, seminars, and other cultural and social events across Europe each year.

The project works in partnership between Dunbia, one of the UK’s leading processors and once of the UK’s largest supermarkets, Sainsbury’s and gives members of the organisation the unique opportunity to supply Welsh lamb to the Sainsbury’s stores within Wales, 52 weeks an year. All members participating in the Wales YFC lamb initiative also support Wales YFC as from every Lamb sold through the scheme, Wales YFC receives 40p/head from Dunbia.

The vision for the Wales YFC lamb initiative is to support and encourage young people to remain within the farming industry and to offer a stepping stone for those trying to establish themselves as a supplier of Welsh Lamb. The initiative gives young farmers the opportunity to be part of an innovative programme of training events designed to meet the needs of the members. Established in July 2008 training to date has included live to dead grading of lambs, farm visits to encourage and share methods of best practice, a walk the chain day from the abattoir, butchery, packing distribution right through to the supermarket. The training and development opportunities offered to members has helped those involved become more knowledgeable, efficient, skilled and reactive to what the market requires. This support assists in young people taking their businesses forward and helps ensure a vibrant and successful future of farming in rural Wales.

Speaking on behalf of the judges Kadri Toomingas, Vice-Chairman of Rural Youth Europe stated,
“The Rural Youth Europe judges were impressed with the multi-faced approach and vision of the project. Not only does the project bring tangible benefits to members through innovative training and practical insight into the Welsh lamb industry but it also aims to promote local agriculture and change public attitudes towards local Welsh products. A young person from Wales Young Farmers came up with the idea and young people are involved in the planning and implementation of the project. The judges also appreciated the clear benefits for local communities in Wales and that the project is sustainable in both the short and long-term.”

Alice Swift of Sainsbury’s explained, “Sainsbury’s are very proud to be a partner with Wales YFC and Dunbia in the lamb marketing initiative.  We congratulate Wales YFC on their achievement and look forward to continuing our work together. ”

Wales YFC Rural Affairs Chairman Rhys Evans noted, “We are delighted to win this award and thanks must be expressed to retailer Sainsbury’s and processor Dunbia for ensuring the success of the scheme. It has been a fantastic opportunity for Wales YFC, and we are delighted that the scheme is continuing to grow, not only for the members of the supply chain initiative but it shows continued commitment for the development of the Welsh lamb industry from some of its key stakeholders.”

28 February 2011

Wales YFC members of the year to be announced during entertainment feast

The senior and junior members of year will be announced during the new Entertainment Feast weekend which will held at the Grand Theatre, Swansea on Saturday the 12th and Sunday the 13th of March.

Wales YFC are expecting applicants from all of the 12 counties in both sections and before attending an informal interview with a panel of judges during the event, the junior members will submit a portfolio, and the senior members a form, both detailing their contribution to the YFC over the past year as well as general information regarding themselves.

Current Wales YFC Senior Member of the Year, Kay Lewis stated, “
“During my time as Wales Senior Member of the Year, I have been actively involved in events and activities throughout Wales. Duties have included; interviews on both Welsh and English radio, newspaper articles, representing Wales YFC at various functions, for example the RABI Harvest Festival and attending the Smallholders and Garden Festival and the Royal Welsh Show to name a few. By carrying out these duties, I hope I have contributed towards raising the profile of YFC and the many opportunities it provides for it’s members. My main aim has always been to promote the Wales YFC movement and also encourage and support members. My proudest moment as Wales Senior Member of the Year was representing Wales at the National finals and achieving the National Young Farmers Ambassador of the Year title.”

Wales YFC junior member of the year, Aled Jones added,
“The last year has been a great honour. I never imagined that I could be awarded such a title as Wales YFC junior member of the year. I am extremely grateful for all of the opportunities during the year and I am looking forward to a future within the YFC organisation.”

Both the Junior and Senior Member of the Year will be ambassadors for Wales YFC during the year and will be called upon as officers of the organisation to assist during various events.

25 February 2011

Bring your old photos to be scanned at Wales YFC entertainment feast!

Wales YFC are asking members and supporters of the organisation to bring along old photos with them to the new event in the YFC calendar – Entertainment Feast.

During the event to be held at the Grand Theatre, Swansea on the 12th and 13th of March members of the Wales YFC Youth Forum, the committee for under 18’s will be scanning old photos on to laptops thanks to support from Culturenet Cymru.  

Aled Jones, Wales YFC Youth Forum chairman notes,
“As members of the Youth Forum we are looking forward to meet with people during the weekend and to hear about their experiences with the YFC and their memories from the photos that they will bring along with them to be scanned on to computers. We hope that the photos will help tell the organisations history sometime in the future. “

Speaking on behalf of Culturenet Cymru, Sioned Rees-Jones stated,
“This event is a wonderful opportunity for Wales YFC to share their story on the People’s Collection Wales website. The People’s Collection is a new bilingual website funded by the Welsh Assembly Government. It provides a free platform to share and engage with Welsh history and culture in a different and exciting way. The YFC has been such an integral part of Welsh life and influenced so many generations, it will be great to have a permanent record to share with others on the web.”

24 February 2011

Cornwall Young Farmers gain Team Leading qualifications

Since November 2009, members of the Cornwall Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (Cornwall YFC) have been taking part in a new initiative; the Club Development Programme. This is a joint collaboration between Duchy College and Cornwall YFC and offers developmental training and the chance to gain a qualification in team leading with The Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM).

Following an extremely successful first year of the programme, a celebratory presentation evening was held on 15th February, at the Pavilion Centre, Royal Cornwall Showground. The evening was chaired by Anthony Ellis (Cornwall YFC’s chairman) and saw Mr. Dave Linnell (CEO of Cornwall College) present 50 YFC members with their NVQ certificates. Mr. Dave Linnell offered his congratulations to the members and explained what a unique and special programme this has been and how important collaborations between the college and YFC are to the development of rural communities in Cornwall. The principal of Duchy College, Mr. Andrew Counsell also offered sincere praise to the members and to the programme.
It was great to see members and assessors in attendance to celebrate the steep learning curve and exciting journey over the past year and also to see the culmination of the programme after its extremely successful first year. We were delighted to welcome Chris Shepherd, manager of the Duchy College Training Agency and also Chris Robinson, the External Verifier for the programme from ILM.   

The overriding aim of the programme is that it has been led by Cornwall YFC and been designed for YFC members. Therefore to ensure the presentation evening celebrated the achievements of members as much as possible, Cat Ede from Callington YFC was asked to share her experiences and describe the benefits of the programme. Cat began by thanking members for attending to collect their certificates and explained how the programme has given members a further opportunity to gain a qualification and skills with YFC. Cat described how the NVQ has given her more confidence to take the role as Chairman for her club this year; by preparing her to chair meetings, to delegate work and to consider the safety of her club by ensuring risk assessments are completed. She explained how members in all clubs are now working as a stronger team, which is being demonstrated by the great sums of money raised and by the achievements of clubs in competitions. Cat then spoke about her progression to the level 3 programme and wished members participating in the programme this year the best of luck. Cat concluded by thanking Duchy College for offering Cornwall YFC this opportunity, the assessors and the YFC county office.   

24 February 2011

Wales YFC officers represent young people at NFU conference!

Representatives from Wales YFC recently attended the National Farmers Union Conference held in Birmingham.

Attending on behalf of the organisation was Enfys Evans, Wales YFC Chairman; Rhys Evans, Wales YFC Rural Affairs Committee Chairman; Marc Jones, Wales YFC Rural Affairs Committee Vice-Chairman; Kay Lewis, Wales YFC Rural Development Officer; Jonathan Williams, Radnor and Meinir Jones, Carmarthenshire. Roland Davies, Montgomery also attended through the Montgomery NFU branch.

The conference entitled, ‘Farming at the heart of the economy’, held over two days gave the opportunity for those present to be addressed by inspirational speakers and to meet leading figures within the agricultural industry.

YFC members attended a number of sessions some of which were politically themed where guest speakers included the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, Secretary of State, Defra and Rt Hon Jim Paice MP, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food. Other sessions focused on business and what the future holds for farming. Members were also able to select a number of breakout sessions e.g Livestock, Dairy, Poultry etc and also breakfast workshops e.g Uplands, Tenants or the Next Generation which they could attend. These sessions enabled those representing the YFC to take part in discussions that were of relevance and interest to them. The conference came to an end with a question time session, which posed the question ‘Is modern agriculture palatable?’, the panel was chaired by Tom Heap, Broadcaster and questions were received thick and fast  for the panel who included Jay Rayner, writer, journalist and broadcaster, Peter Kendall, NFU President and Patrick Holden CBE.

“The informative conference gave YFC members an exclusive insight into issues that will have a great affect on their futures. On behalf of the organisation I would like to thank the NFU for their kind hospitality over the two days,” said Rhys Evans, Wales YFC Rural Affairs Chairman.

Ed Bailey, President of NFU Cymru said, “We always ensure that 10% of the Welsh delegation to the NFU conference is from the YFC. NFU Cymru fully recognises that in there lies the future of our industry. It always gives me a warm feeling to hear their enthusiasm and passion during the conference discussions. I’m pleased those that attended this year’s conference enjoyed the experience as we enjoyed their company and perspective.”

The conference was held on Tuesday the 15th of February and Wednesday the 16th of February 2011.

23 February 2011

Rambling, gambling and dung have brought new hope to stroke victims in Cornwall.

This year St Columb YFC was able to see the fruits of its fundraising efforts over 2010 ¬– a sponsored walk, music and dance evenings, a casino night, and selling bags of dung – help to buy a new machine to support stroke victims at the Royal Cornwall Hospital's Phoenix Ward.

St Columb YFC’s Tristan Thomas and Christine Paull visited the hospital to see for themselves the £1,500 EMG machine, which measures the rigidity of muscles and helps clinicians to gauge the state of the stroke.

Hospital Friends chairwoman Beatrice Dyer said the equipment had “made all the difference” for staff and the donation was a huge asset to the department.

"It's great to see where your money's gone," said Tristan, who issued a chairman's challenge for YFC members to walk from Fowey to Padstow, which they did over a weekend. “Thanks to all our members and families for raising the money.”
YFC treasurer Christine Paull added: “It's nice to know it's going to something local.”

St Columb YFC also donated £500 to Help for Heroes and £500 to Tanya's Courage, to help equip a room geared for teens undergoing cancer treatment.


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