NFYFC members from England and Wales attended the first ever five nations conference this month, which was hosted by the Scottish Association of Young Farmers' Clubs in Scotland.
The conference was aimed at uniting the five organisations to share best practice and to develop rural leadership skills.
Participants got to hear from speakers including Sarah Millar, Chief Executive at Quality Meat Scotland, and Finlay Carson, Member of the Scottish Parliament. Both are former Scottish YFC members and shared how their YFC experiences had supported their careers. The conference also included farm tours – although some plans had to be altered due to the weather conditions.
Megan Bailey from Warwickshire took part in the event and said it was a ‘fantastic opportunity’ to meet people involved in YFC in different countries.
“The conference reminded me that Young Farmers is so much broader than we realise. Sometimes, we think our clubs or counties are as big as it gets, but attending events like this make you appreciate the opportunities that are available to you as a member and the personal development that can happen along the way!
“The theme of rural leadership made us think about ourselves as leaders and how our personalities were suited to that. We learnt about how being a member of YFC gives you the skills and confidence to go on to be effective leaders not just within the organisation, but beyond.”
As well as the more serious topics, participants also got involved in cultural activities, including a Burns Supper and a Celidh in Edinburgh. They also visited Craigies Farm Shop, Mawmill Farm, The Kilted Christmas Tree Company and Cuthill Towers to learn more about diversification. Megan added: “The farm tours and our trip to Edinburgh on the last night ended the trip on a high!”
It is hoped that the 5 Nations Conference will now become an annual event.