National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 November 2019

Taking on a new role as Worcestershire’s County Chairman, Cameron Wood has got a busy year ahead but it’s YFC friendships that he claims have helped him achieve so much already.

When did you join YFC?

I Joined Vale of Evesham YFC at the start of 2015 for the social side and to make new friends while on my university placement year. I’ve hung around Worcestershire ever since finishing my studies and came back to work in the area.

What roles have you held in YFC?

Stockjudging Co-ordinator and now County Chairman.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced in a role with YFC?

I would say this is one that I’m facing right now as we had to make the difficult decision to cancel our annual Winter Wonderland Ball. We decided to cancel it due to declining ticket sales in recent years and low numbers sold just a week and a half before this year’s event. This obviously leaves a hole in our income for the year, which will need to be filled. As a County we are trying to take it back to all the members at club level to see what they want to get from their County Federation and what sort of events we should be looking to put on in the future.

Best thing you have done with YFC?

Going outside of my comfort zone. When I joined, if you had told me I would be organising the County’s stockjudging events and now being its County Chairman, I would have probably laughed and said no chance! But now looking back at all the fun I’ve had setting up various County events, and the friends and contacts I’ve made along the way, I’m not sure what I would have been doing over the last couple of years.

Greatest achievement in YFC? 

Probably stockjudging for the first time at my first country show and coming third for beef carcase. Learning a new skill and trying something new is one of the main things YFC is all about.

Greatest achievement outside of YFC?

It would have to be graduating with a FdSc degree in agriculture because studying was not always my strong point!

Best thing you have ever made with YFC?

Great friendships and good memories along the way.

Who would you like to thank in YFC and why?

All the friends I’ve made who make it fun and worthwhile doing all the hard work. Also to all those that have helped me and directed me in my various roles and continue to do so – your help and advice is very much appreciated.

27 November 2019

YFC can open up lots of opportunities to get involved in industry groups that can help broaden your experience. Nicola Palfrey from Somerset FYFC shares her involvement as a YFC representative on one such group.

What do you do?

I am the NFYFC Tenancy Reform Industry Group (TRIG) representative. The group advises on measures that assist the tenanted sector within the agricultural industry and aims to maintain and invigorate the sector.

Why is YFC a part of TRIG?

The NFU, CLA and TFA are amongst the stakeholders who attend the meetings and represent their members’ views so it’s particularly important that young farmers are represented and provide input to this industry group.

What do you discuss at the group?

The latest meeting was held in early November at the Defra offices in London. We had hoped to review the response to Defra’s tenancy consultation held earlier in this year, but were unable to do so due to the election campaign. However, there was much conversation from all stakeholders at the meeting regarding different types of farm and land occupation both now and in the future, with the obvious consideration of politics and future policy change that will impact on our farming future.

How can other YFC members get their voices heard?

I’m delighted to take up the mantel from our previous TRIG representative Rebecca Heal and hope that you will share any thoughts or concerns regarding tenancy or rural land occupation with me or our AGRI member of staff so that we can represent you at the next meeting.

27 November 2019

County Federations will benefit from stronger leaders after a weekend of training for new chairmen and vice chairmen, supported by the Henry Plumb Foundation.

The Equipped training weekend, is an annual event organised to give County Chairmen and Vices essential skills to support them in their new roles.

Dan Frost, Cambridgeshire County Chairman, attended the course last year as a Vice Chairman but says he found it beneficial to be there again in his new role.

“I leant more about how to run my County more efficiently – especially in terms of the right way to manage staff and how to use your volunteers’ skills sets,” said Dan. “It was good to network with the other County Chairs and I took a lot of ideas from other counties. I’d recommend the course to every county chairman –if you think you know everything, go on Equipped because you’ll learn a tonne more.” 

There were indoor and outdoor activities for members to participate in during the weekend. Formal sessions discussed NFYFC’s structure, and workshops focused on leadership and management as well as topics on AGRI, drugs awareness, inclusivity and equality.

Will Freeman, 23, Chairman of Staffordshire Federation, said he and his Vice Amy Boothby, found the drugs awareness session useful.

“The drugs awareness workshop made me and my Vice more aware of the issues and learn what actions we need to take,” said Will who had also attended the Equipped training last year as a Vice Chairman. 

“It was a very informative weekend and I definitely learnt a lot, even going back for a second year. It was good to catch up with Vices from 2018 who have now gone into the Chairman role and share some experiences from last year.”

Equipped is an annual training weekend for all County Chairmen and Vice Chairmen and will be advertised from September 2020 onwards. 

18 November 2019

For the first time in its history, the Went Valley district Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) winter rally didn’t go ahead. Instead, members donned waterproofs and shifted over 60 tonnes of rubbish to help the flood-stricken residents of Fishlake.

Lewis Marshall, chairman of the Went Valley district of young farmers, which is made up of clubs in Doncaster, Pontefract and Selby, said the suffering of local residents had made it impossible to continue with the day of competitions and fun.

“What we’ve got is plenty of vehicles and trailers and strong young people,” explained Lewis, whose mum cooked breakfast for the helpers in Sykehouse Village Hall - which had already been booked for the cancelled rally.

“We aren’t the biggest of clubs but there were about 35 of us and we split into groups, going around collecting rubbish to fill multiple 14-ton skips and 15-ton bin lorries.

“We’d all seen the pictures on the news but until you are actually there in real-life you have no idea of the devastation. There were fridges in fields, cars in ditches. It was very humbling to feel we’d made a difference. Facebook has been full of residents thanking us and the council has gone from being wary of us arriving to so grateful for all that we got done and the money we will have saved them.”

The young farmers’ efforts were featured on local ITV television news programme Calendar. Several businesses made donations of cleaning equipment, food and drinks, including workwear company Arco which gave full protective equipment kits of body suits, goggles and gloves.

Georgina Fort, chairman of Yorkshire FYFC, added her praise:

“We were all devastated to see on the news the damage the rainfall has done to South Yorkshire,” she said. “Farming has been hit hard by the weather once again.

“In true farming spirit the area is pulling together and it is tremendous to see that YFC members put others first and cancelled plans for their winter rally and got together to help those that needed help.”

Young farmers won national praise earlier in the year when they helped with the clear-up after the floods in the Yorkshire Dales. 


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