National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

30 July 2020

You could win a £100 e-gift card for luxury knitwear and country clothing company Alan Paine just by sharing your views on rural life.

NFYFC has partnered with Alan Paine to offer everyone who completes the online post-Brexit rural futures survey the chance to win this amazing prize to treat themselves to some stylish new country clothing.

The clothing company is eager to support the survey as the results will help to ensure rural young people’s needs are recognised in post-Brexit rural policies and life beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

Everyone who completes the survey – and all those who have already done so – will automatically be entered into the prize draw to win the £100 e-gift card.

AGRI Chairman George Baxter said: “We’re really grateful to Alan Paine for supporting this important survey by offering a prize to encourage more people to complete it. It’s so important that young rural people take this opportunity to share their concerns about their future rural lives. Don’t miss out on the chance to have your say – and also the chance to win a great prize too!”

You can complete the survey and enter the prize draw online here.

Terms and conditions:

  • The prize is an Alan Paine E-Gift Card worth £100 (the “Prize”).
  • The Alan Paine E-Gift Card may be registered, redeemed and used in accordance with the Alan Paine website terms and conditions, a copy of which can be found at the website.
  • Alan Paine E-Gift Cards can only be used on the Alan Paine website. 
  • The Alan Paine E-Gift Card will expire 12 months from its date of issuance and must be redeemed by the winner prior to such date.
  • Gifts, prizes and other promotional items are not transferable, may not be re-sold and are subject to availability. The Promoter and Alan Paine Knitwear Ltd reserve the right, in their reasonable discretion, to substitute any such gift, prize or item with a gift, prize or item of equal value.
  • Alan Paine accepts no responsibility for any costs associated with the Prize not specifically included in the Prize.

29 July 2020

More than 200 entries were received for Devon’s online County Show – an alternative to the popular event that’s usually held at the showground in Exeter but was this year cancelled due to Coronavirus.

YFC members in Devon didn’t let the virus ruin their competition fun because everyone was able to enter classes online instead.

Held across three days in July, the online event showcased members' talents, from club videos promoting British agriculture, to individual entries such as cake decorating, needlework and floristry.

Out of the 19 different classes, with 243 entries, judges chose to award Katie Grist, from Cheriton & Tedburn YFC, the ‘Best in Show’ for her woodwork entry.

Michelle Batting, Devon FYFC’s Competitions Chairman, said: “We wanted to recreate the fantastic show of YFC talent that the show provides online, with various classes for members to enter and partake in as we usually would. This gave members something to keep them occupied during lockdown and enabled us to keep some small sense of normality in these strange times."

As well as showcasing members’ talents from home, the show also included demonstration videos. John Malseed from Chagford YFC provided a sheep shearing demonstration, explaining what the judges look for during a shearing competition. Fran Mobbs from Newton St Cyres YFC gave a demonstration on butter making – a competition that would have previously taken place in the YFC tent during the show. 

Sophie Pratt from Withleigh YFC, who was awarded the Senior Award for most points overall, said the online alternative was a great replacement to the real thing.

“Rally season is one of the highlights of the Young Farmers’ year for me so the announcement of DFYFC’s Online Show was met with great enthusiasm. The initiative was a fantastic way to adapt and will be one for the history books. Watching the entries and results come in virtually was a very exciting and engaging way to view everybody’s creations!”

Devon FYFC also hosted an online Agri-Debate webinar, supported by NFU Mutual and chaired by David Fursdon, Lord Lieutenant of Devon and Devon YFC President. The debate asked “Driving production or the environment; what takes priority for farming?” and panellists included Devon YFC’s Agri-Chairman Helen Bellew; organic farmer and former Devon YFC County Chairman, Liz Priest; Farm Manager at Clinton Devon Estates, Sam Briant-Evans; and Cornwall NFU Chairman.

John Varley, Director of Clinton Devon Estates, who is a key supporter of the Devon YFC Feature at the show, expressed his support for the online alternative: “Devon YFC represents the next generation of farmers, at probably one of the most exciting and transitional times for agriculture for many decades. To top it all, we now have a global pandemic, which has meant the Devon County Show cannot go ahead. But the resilience of Devon Young Farmers has come to the fore, carrying on with an Online Show.”

To catch up on the show you can check out Devon YFC’s Facebook and Instagram pages, or read the full list of results on Devon FYFC’s website

28 July 2020

Plans for a new professional body that will support a skilled workforce in agriculture and horticulture are underway and NFYFC has contributed to its development.

The aim of the professional body is to be the go-to place for key information that encourages lifelong learning. It would make the best use of information to achieve skills for on farm improvements and demonstrate the career opportunities in the sector.

The concept has been developed by the Agri-Hort Skills Leadership Group (SLG), which was set up in 2018 and has involved NFYFC. The SLG, which is sponsored by Lord Donald Curry, considered how to best inspire and support those currently farming and growing to acquire new skills and also to attract new talent.

It has advanced its work through industry-led groups on professional framework, including continuing professional development and careers and recruitment.

NFYFC is an advocate of the acquisition of skills and training for its YFC members and has been involved in the Agri-Skills Forum, Agri-Skills Forum Management group and latterly the Agri-Skills Development Strategy for many years. 

Chairman of the NFYFC Board of Management Delme Harries has attended recent meetings and said:

“The aims of the strategy group are a commitment to the long-term vision of gaining external recognition of the professionalism within the industry, and building on this through continuous professional development and lifelong learning.”

The SLG has also held consultation events ahead of the Covid-19 lockdown, including one with the NFU Next Generation Forum at the Oxford Farming Conference Fringe in January. The 200 attendees at this event gave 97% support for the work and concept of a professional body. 

There was also broad agreement for the professional body at a roundtable event at the House of Lords in early March and subsequent meetings with individual institutions have also been constructive.

All the work has been undertaken with the support of AHDB, NFU and also Defra officials.

Following a Ministerial proposal to Defra in June, the SLG is now working with Defra to establish the next steps to develop the proposal.  Over the next few months, a consultation group for the professional body, which is in the process of being established, will meet to inform further developments.

To find out more about the development of the professional body visit here. You can also register for updates here and tick the subscription option for 'Future of skills'.

28 July 2020

Five of the 11 new farmers chosen by the NFU to join the Student & Young Farmer Ambassador Programme are YFC members and will help to represent the future generation of British farmers over the next 12 months.

This is the second year that the NFU has run the programme and the 11 farmers beat off stiff competition from more than 130 applicants. YFC AGRI has been pleased to welcome student ambassadors to join the regular YFC AGRI Zoom meetings this year and looks forward to continuing this relationship.

NFU President Minette Batters said: “We were delighted with the first year of our Student & Young Farmer Ambassador Programme. Those taking part played a vital role in helping us tell the incredible story of British farming at public events, in magazines and across national, regional and trade media and on social media.

“This new group of ambassadors will be representing British farming at a unique and critical point in time for our industry. This autumn will see the formation of a new Agriculture Bill, a new Environment Bill and a new Trade Bill. And from the start of 2021, UK agriculture is going to be finding its feet in a new world outside of the EU and we will need this next generation of farmers to be advocates, representing a bright and progressive future for farming

“It’s great to see these young people already making their mark in the farming industry and reaching out to different audiences to share our Back British Farming message. The programme aims to give them a fantastic opportunity to amplify their voice and I can’t wait to start working with them.”

The NFU’s Student & Young Farmer Ambassadors for 2020/2021 are:

Zoe Legg, South West – young farmer and social media campaigner (Member of Devon FYFC)

Karl Franklin, South East – former chef and new entrant sheep farmer (Member of Oxfordshire FYFC)

Nia Borsey, Wales – rural planner and newspaper columnist (Member of Betws-yn-Rhos YFC)

Lauren David, Wales – livestock farmer and University of Reading student (Member of Maendy FYFC)

Josie Troop, East Midlands – agri-education advocate (Member of Nottinghamshire FYFC)

Matthew Rollason, North West – beef farmer and British Farming Awards winner

Joe Bramall, North West – dairy farmer, YouTuber and Harper Adams student

Cameron Knee, North East – agri-consultant and agronomist

Katie Smith, West Midlands – new entrant farmer and Harper Adams student

Harriet Bartlett, East Anglia – University of Cambridge PhD student

Eveey Hunter, East Anglia – arable farmer with a passion for education.

NFYFC Chairman Dewi Parry said: “It’s great to see so many YFC members among this line up of young people chosen to represent the next generation of farmers. All the ambassadors will have some amazing opportunities over the next year and we hope they will all continue to share those experiences with the YFC community too. Congratulations to everyone who has been successful.”


28 July 2020

Putting their lockdown experience to good use, members of Cumbria FYFC have been training for an epic bike ride in August to visit all 15 clubs in the Northern District of the Federation to raise money for two charities.

The cycle challenge, which will cover more than 130 miles, will start in Drigg on 29 August and finish the following day at Raughton Head YFC, the home club of Northern District Chairman Robbie Tuer, the instigator of the mission.

Robbie wanted to organise the fundraiser during his year in office to raise money for Carlisle & Eden Mind and West Cumbria Hospice at Home and so far donations have been made in excess of £600. Robbie also wants to increase awareness of mental health issues affecting rural young people.

“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on everyone’s everyday lives and people in rural communities and locations have been hit hardest of all. With exercise of any form proving to better people’s mental health, what better way to raise some money for two amazing charities than bike round the 15 clubs of Cumbria FYFC? I’m hoping for a good turnout and have only had positive support from the clubs I have spoken to,” said Robbie who has had a positive reaction so far from clubs. The County hope that the fundraiser will be an ideal way to slowly re-start YFC safely in the area before getting back to what Robbie describes as a ‘new’ normal. 

“Carlisle & Eden Mind and West Cumbria Hospice at Home have been working tirelessly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to provide the help and care that people require, and they are both making a wonderful difference to the Cumbrian Community,” added Robbie. 

With outdoor exercise being encouraged by the government it has allowed YFC members to train throughout the lockdown period and now restrictions have relaxed, plans for the event were able to be put in motion.

Northern District YFC President Richard Gardiner supported the initiative and explained the impact the pandemic was having on young people in rural communities.

“We have never before seen what we have in the past few months and young people have been more isolated than ever before. What is being organised is a great opportunity. Everyone struggles with the pressures of growing up from time to time and young people in rural areas have the added difficulties of accessing real social networks, education, transport and services. In some cases, these issues can lead to a feeling of rural isolation or social exclusion.”

If you would like to support the event, you can donate at their Virgin Money Giving page and follow the Facebook event page.  

20 July 2020

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs has set a Farm Safety Week challenge, supported by sponsors gas distribution company SGN, to encourage YFC members to share farm safety ideas they implemented during lockdown.

From regularly checking equipment, changing processes or taking care of mental wellbeing – YFC members are urged to share their farm safety improvements throughout Farm Safety Week (20-24 July).

The Federation is also asking clubs to make their annual pledge to put the Farm Safety Curve training module on their club programmes in the new membership year. While training sessions will need to be socially distanced or run online during the pandemic, it’s still crucial that farm safety messages are shared.

Farm Safety Week is organised by leading farming charity the Farm Safety Foundation and encourages the farming community to recognise the real dangers of working in the industry and the importance of looking after their physical and mental wellbeing.

Throughout Farm Safety Week, the Farm Safety Foundation, supported by the Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health & Safety Executive, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and the Health & Safety Authority, Ireland, will demonstrate the impacts of the recent COVID19 situation on the industry. The week will also promote the support available as well as highlight the positive moves to changing the poor safety record and introduce some exciting new innovations in technology to help us all farm safer.

NFYFC Chairman Dewi Parry said: “We are proud to support the annual Farm Safety Week campaign especially as YFCs represent the next generation of farmers. It’s why we’re keen to hear from our members about the farm safety changes they have been making and grateful to SGN for helping us promote this challenge.

“Lockdown restrictions have impacted the amount of training that clubs have been able to deliver. It’s important as we move into a new membership year that YFCs find a way to continue to deliver those crucial farm safety messages.”

SGN Maintenance Operations Manager Tim Pearce said: “We’re delighted to partner NFYFC because we want to reach out to all its members. Please, always get in touch with us before starting any work on your land to avoid injury, or even death, to yourself and others. Damages to our pipelines can also lead to a disruption to gas supplies, claims for costs to repair the damage, HSE investigations and environmental issues.

“We’ll visit you free of charge to help you plan your work, confirm and mark the location of any pipeline, and advise what work is permitted.” 

For more information on ‘Farm Safety Week’ visit or follow @yellowwelliesUK on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. 


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