National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

Member of the Year (19 & over) 2021

Congratulations to the seven finalists of the Member of the Year (19 & over) competition 2021. The finalists will take part in an online interview process and the winner will be announced on Sunday 20 June.

Charlie, 26, Coleshill YFC, Warwickshire

What I love about YFC:

I've been lucky enough to be a YFC member since I was 13 (heck, half of my life!) and I have so much to thank the organisation for – friends, contacts, skills and so much more. There are activities and competitions to suit anybody and everybody, whether you were born and raised on a farm or you simply enjoy the countryside. From public speaking to all manner of sports – YFC offers it all.

On a personal level, I have met my best friends through YFC and I am simply the person I am today because of it.

Why I should win the title:

I have so much to thank YFC for. I am a confident public speaker, I have contacts in a range of industries across the country and I have a group of incredible friends.

Having realised these past couple of years the sheer amount that YFC has given and done for me, I know it is my time to give back. I love to see new members joining the club and knowing that they have so much to gain. But the future of YFC isn't a given and I am doing everything I possibly can to ensure that NFYFC is in a position for our junior members (and hopefully one day my children) to take as much from their time as members as I have been lucky to have done.

Hannah, 21, Bradfield YFC

What I love about YFC:

I love the spirit, the camaraderie, the competition, the opportunities and the ability to connect with like-minded people and help educate others about a life and industry that is vitally important.

I am the person I have always wanted to be and that is all down to YFC. The endless opportunities that are provided at Club, County, Area and National level are almost unlimited. If you are prepared to 'give it go' and get stuck in, you will learn some incredible life skills. When I first joined YFC I never thought I would or could ever become Club Chairman, let alone County Vice Chairman and County Competitions Chairman!

Being a part of YFC has given me so much confidence, I have made so many friends, and learnt so many invaluable skills. I am constantly amazed by the YFC family spirit, it doesn't matter if you are 10 or 28, everyone supports each other and are always there when you need them.

YFC is such a positive influence on so many people, whether by helping them learn new skills or by competing in sports, cookery, public speaking, reading and so on, there is a world of opportunity presented to members by NFYFC. In addition, it always feels very much like a family, everyone knows that they can call on support from across their club, county or area if ever needed. YFC is about fun, learning, competition and opportunity and not necessarily in that order!

Why should I win the title:

I believe that I should win Senior Member of the Year because of an attitude instilled in me by YFC; I am not afraid to give things a go, whether a competition or a challenge, most recently this has been about taking on roles within YFC.

Two years ago (in "normal " times) I took on two big roles, County Vice Chair and Competitions Chair and, as is now apparent, I completely threw myself in at the deep end!

Within the County no one was willing to step forward and without these roles being filled there would be no competitions run and our County Chair would have no-one to "organise" him!

The roles are a lot of work, made especially "interesting" as we worked our way through Covid times and created virtual competitions to enable members to gain experience and participate in our normal competitions.

Trying to run every competition virtually has certainly come with a number of challenges, but in true YFC style I didn't give up and the success of our Club, County and Area virtual competitions is partly why I am competing in Senior Member of the Year now!

Vicky, 27, Stamfordham YFC, Northumberland

What I love above YFC:

I love everything about YFC. It is the best youth organisation there is and you don't have to be from a rural background to enjoy every aspect YFC has to offer. The organisation offers opportunities like no other. I have met so many lifelong friends through being involved in YFC over the years and for that I will be forever grateful.

YFC has opportunities for everyone involved - no one is forgotten about no matter what stage you are at in your YFC journey. It gives you the chance to learn new skills, make a difference to your local community and even travel the world.

Over the last 11 years I have taken part in a range of competitions including speaking, sports, stock judging, drama, entertainments and pantomime to name a few; a varied programme that you won't find anywhere else. I have so many great memories from trips for Northern Area weekends to National Finals representing Northumberland in Entertainments, Netball and also Choir, not to mention the many AGMs. 

As we live in these uncertain times due to Covid-19, I think YFC has really shown to members what it can offer. Being able to continue virtually making sure members are kept involved has been amazing and shown YFC really reaches out to members when they need it the most.

I was always told "the more you put in, the more you get out" and looking back there is never a truer statement when it comes to YFC.

Why I should win the title:

I joined YFC many years ago and have never looked back. I have taken on many roles at club level, at county level and now National becoming a member of the Competitions Steering Group.

Throughout my time in YFC I have developed many new skills through the organisation which have not always been in my comfort zone. I always make an effort to encourage younger members and hope that they will seek advice from me to make sure they get the same out of YFC that I have. Personally, it is important to me that everyone enjoys their time in YFC, that all members feel valued and are encouraged to be actively involved.

I hope I inspire younger members to get involved and make the most of every opportunity offered to them. Giving something back to YFC is very important to me which is why you will find me organising many events and volunteering on many committees.

I believe I am a good ambassador in promoting YFC and I am proud to be a member taking part in this competition. As I start to come to terms with becoming an "old farmer" winning NFYFC Senior Member would really finish off the best 11 years I could have hoped for.

YFC is such a huge part of my life and I am the person I am today because of this fantastic organisation.

Zak, 25, North Holland YFC, Lincs 

What I love above YFC:

I love how YFC is such an inclusive community which offers every member so many skills and life experiences, along with a strong social platform. These qualities of YFC have helped carve both my personal and career paths for which I'm extremely grateful. I have also loved how even during the pandemic, YFC has offered us all a sense of normality and constant during what is certainly far from normal circumstances, which has personally been extremely important.

Why I should win the title:

Having joined Young Farmers at 18, I was relatively 'late to the party' but have made every effort to pack as much into my time as a member. Having learnt and done more than I could have ever imagined, I have since used my knowledge and experiences to influence members at club, county and more recently, national level. I have always put 110% in to all that I get involved with and this has been reflected in my personal and club achievements.

I also feel that I am a clear example that you don't have to be a farmer to be a Young Farmer and having reached the finals, am extremely proud to be proof that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I'm also a proud ambassador of the fact that we are an organisation for everyone, no matter their background.

Sian, 23, Pontfaen YFC, Brecknock

What I love about YFC:

I am deeply proud to be a member of YFC at all levels, from club to county to country. My experiences borne out of being a YFC member since the age of 10 have equipped me with life skills that I’ve drawn on in my journey through school, university and now into my nursing career.

YFC has seen me through the toughest of times as a teen when my parents separated and has given me some of the best times, through competing, fundraising, travel, supporting and socialising.

There are so many layers to being a YFC member, it really is like peeling an onion! Simply entering a competition can involve a meeting, followed by practice sessions with fellow members, surrounded by the support of club leaders, parents and friends. Then comes the excitement of competition day, the nervous wait for results, the reunion with county friends and God willing a result that takes you to National. The small act of completing a competition entry form can create numerous intersections in YFC life just to be with people, to bond with people, to learn, to laugh and to grow.

To put it simply, YFC creates moments, and that is what I love most.

Why I should win the title:

I have benefited so much from being a YFC member, mentally, emotionally and academically. I passionately believe that the more you put into being a member the more you get out of the experience. At club level I lead by example, I encourage and support our members to join in and partake in as much as possible in the YFC calendar. Slowly but surely this growing collaboration and commitment of our club membership has led to a unified team of people, who now, more than just being a pool of members, are a solid team of friends, deeply bonded in the fabric of our community.

As I take stock and contemplate the 13 years of my YFC membership to date I am proud of everything I’ve taken part in. The list of achievements is gratifying but it’s the whole experience in the round that gives me deep gratitude for an organisation that has played a huge part in my life. I am committed to sharing that message with our members as they come up through the ranks.

As the senior years of YFC roll out for me, I look forward to always being involved, always promoting, always encouraging and supporting the survival of the movement wherever possible because I am YFC.

Thomas, 20, Blunham YFC, Bedfordshire

What I love most about YFC:

It’s the Young Farmers’ community. Not only do you make great friendships but you also have fun, learn new skills and achieve a lot along the way.

Why I should win the title:

I think I should win because I have thrown my heart and soul into Blunham YFC as Chair this year. We’ve been adaptive in holding weekly meetings, such as football rounders to reduce the Covid risk. We have also increased our agricultural knowledge through meetings with the NFU and Forage Aid, as well as growing moustaches for Movember.

In taking part in the development of the Rural+ Curve module I have learnt a lot about mental health so I am better able to support our own members. One of the main focuses has been involving as many local clubs as possible in virtual joint meetings to ensure connectivity amongst members throughout the pandemic.

For me YFC is all about enjoyment and I would like to continue to share the positive messages with young farmers for many years to come.

Sarah, 25, Wedmore YFC, Somerset

What I love about YFC:

I love the variety of opportunities given to members and being able to mix with people outside my normal social circle and take part in competitions like this one.

Why should I win the title:

I am very keen to have the chance to represent the Federation as their Senior Member of the Year, hopefully meeting and speaking to many and varied interesting people and organisations. I want to use this platform to inspire others to get involved with YFC at all levels from club to county and national level, and finally to give back to the organisation that I have learned so much from.


 

 

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