National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 February 2020

Flo Giles from Warwickshire FYFC was one of 39 YFC members who was given the opportunity to attend the recent NFU Conference in Birmingham.

How did you get a place at the conference?

I was nominated by Luke Ryder (NFU Group Secretary for Stratford and South Warwickshire), after he gave a presentation at Shipston YFC. I was horrible and kept asking all the questions.

Why did you want to go?

I saw it as a fantastic opportunity to build up connections and find out about key areas for the year ahead in agriculture especially after Brexit.

Do you live/work on a farm?

I am a farmer’s daughter. I live on a farm as well but privately rent. I currently work for Meadow Quality Livestock Trading in the marketing department and do relief milking at weekends.

What were the major themes of the conference?

The conference title was ‘Farming Without Barriers’ and the main topics were around trade; seasonal labour; the flooding and whether the three crop rule would stand this year; and the government's support for flood victims. Trade, especially chlorinated chicken, and fighting to keep our meat where the welfare standards are lower than the UK’s.

Any highlights of things you heard that you think other Young Farmers should be aware of?

Young Farmers should be aware of everything that was discussed at the conference. We are the future of farming and if we are not aware of what is happening now it will affect our future in the industry – especially coming out of the EU.

Did you network and pick up any contacts while you were there?

I met representatives from YFC clubs in the West Midlands. I also met Dr Christine Kennedy while going to the meal and she was absolutely lovely! She introduced me to Minette Batters and we spoke for a while about issues of the day, which seemed a little unreal!

Did you have fun as well as gaining so much information?

Yes definitely! I met some lovely people and learnt a lot.

Would you recommend the experience?

I would 100% recommend going and I would love to go again next year.

YFC members (aged 16-26) across England and Wales can join the NFU for free. Find out more here.  

27 February 2020

Every YFC member will receive a new Rural+ card that contains important contact information for mental health support services, thanks to funding from Tama.

The folded cards include telephone numbers and email addresses for national organisations that are available for young people to contact if they need someone who can listen to their concerns. There’s also space inside for members to include contacts for any local services that they might want to use.

The cards were first produced in 2014 and have been kindly reproduced thanks to funding from Tama, leading manufacturers of Twine, Netwrap and Stretchwrap. All of the cards have been sent to County offices for distribution to their YFC clubs and every member should receive a copy.

Designed to fit easily into a wallet or purse, the cards are ideal for YFC members to keep in case they face difficult times now or in the future.

Personal Development Steering Group Chairman Steph Watkins from Gloucestershire FYFC said: “These cards are a great reminder for YFC members that you are not alone. If you’re struggling and don’t feel like you can talk to a family member or friend, then the next best step is to speak to a confidential support service.

“Just knowing you have the contacts to hand, should you need them, is reassuring and the support at the end of those telephone lines could be the life-line some people need. We are very grateful to Tama for their on-going support of Rural+ and enabling us to re-print these essential cards for our members.”

Rural+ was launched in 2013 as a campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues in rural communities. The campaign evolved into a Rural+ awareness session that is now delivered during club meetings by YFC Trainers with the support of a professional mental health worker.  You can find out more about these sessions here.

The Rural+ cards have been sent to your County Office, so if you have not yet received yours, please contact your County Office. 

11 February 2020

Ruth Cooper, 17, from Lowick YFC in Cumbria is passionate about YFC and sharing younger members’ voices inside and outside of the Federation. As the new Chairman of the Youth Forum we found out a bit more about her plans for the year ahead.

Q. How do you feel to be the new Chairman of the Youth Forum?

A. I am very excited and honoured to take on the role. I’m looking forward to continuing my work with a group of individuals who are all very passionate about YFC. It really has been an honour to shadow Lucy Jeyes as her Vice-Chairman over the past year and if I only gain one thing in the role of Chairman, I hope it is Lucy’s passion for British agriculture.

Q. Why did you decide to stand for election?

A. Since joining the Youth Forum back in 2017, it has been great to work alongside like-minded young people who want to help change the face of NFYFC. I have achieved so much thanks to the skills I have gained from YFC and I want to give something back and ensure that younger members get the best possible experience from YFC.

Q. What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

A. I hope that throughout the year, we can continue to work on improving our organisation for younger members. Over the next year, we plan on supporting the motions submitted by the Forum to the British Youth Council back in 2019.

To do this, we plan to encourage clubs to deliver the Future Farming Curve module and also, as members, we plan on delivering it when going into schools or colleges to improve knowledge around food provenance.

We will also be continuing our work with LEAFEd to develop the Open Farm Sunday guidance for members. And we will maintain our work with all four steering groups and help them in delivering any projects for younger members.

Q. How important do you think the Youth Forum is?

A. It’s very important because it is a way for younger members to have their voices heard. YFC is an organisation run by its members, so it is vital for the younger generation to be listened to because they are the future of our organisation. We are very fortunate that the Youth Forum is able to feed into other steering groups as it means that we can represent our views at all levels of Council.

Q. How do you think this experience will help you in your own personal/professional life? 

A. It will help me to develop my leadership skills and further my presentation skills when delivering reports. Most importantly, however, this experience will help me to build on teamwork skills, both as a team leader and a team player.

To find out more about the Youth Forum, visit here.  


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