National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

24 February 2021

YFC members who are in their final year can compete again in 2021-22 thanks to a decision by the NFYFC Council to increase the age to 28 for one year.

The Competitions Steering Group put the proposal forward to give YFC members who are missing out on competing properly during the 2020-21 membership year another year to take part.  It means the competing age group of 21-26 will increase to 28 for one year only.

Katie Sanderson from County Durham FYFC, presented the proposal during the online Council meeting in February and was delighted to get the support of Council members.

Katie said: “Your final year in YFC is always special and is when you often give your favourite competitions one last go – or even try something new! The Competitions group is pleased the rest of Council agreed with us and this decision is great news for YFC members across England and Wales.”

It was also agreed at the meeting that the membership figures for the year ending August 2019 would be used to determine teams/individuals from Counties to Area and National Finals – for example, one team per 600 for Counties and one term per 3,000 for Areas.

The Area representation for the Performing Arts competition (Pantomime) for 2021-22 will also be based on the membership figures submitted by the 31 August 2019. This means two teams can enter from South West Area, Northern Area and Wales and one team from  the East Midlands, West Midlands, South East and Eastern Areas. 

24 February 2021

Staying connected with YFC during the pandemic has been essential for Tom James who works on his family farm in Herefordshire.

Q. What do you farm?

I farm beef, sheep and arable in Herefordshire in the heart of the Golden Valley. This is a family farm and one we have lived on for over 100 years.

For further development I studied a BSc Agriculture with Animal Science degree at Harper Adams University and then went on to be a farm services consultant before coming back to the family farm.

Q. What are your views on sustainable farming?

Sustainable farming is becoming somewhat of a mixed message in agriculture. Being a sustainable business in agriculture means you need to make your business less volatile to political, social, economic and environmental influences. This needs to be done whilst also finding a way to balance all of these to help benefit your business, society and the environment.

Farming is and has always been focused on the environment, with farmers being the biggest advocates for it. For example, if I don't maintain my soil health, soil microorganisms and structure when I plant my spring barley seed this coming April, I will have a poor return on that crop. I take great pleasure in seeing trees blossom, bees foraging for nectar and a wealth of wildlife, as my office is largely outside.

Like many other farmers, I will always look for new ways I can increase the amount of biodiversity. This is not to say agriculture can't do more, it can and it will, but we must protect our farmers and make them completely sustainable – and not just environmentally.

Q. How have you stayed connected to your YFC during the pandemic?

Social media plays a huge role in this for me, regular messages with friends and members of YFC along with Zoom calls.

YFC AGRI (NFYFC’s Agriculture and Rural Issues group) has been a real breath of fresh air during lockdown with really good discussions on rural youth issues and agriculture with like-minded people, with a common goal.

Q. Has being a YFC member been beneficial to your farming life?

Massively. A lot of my friends tend to discuss successes and disasters on the farm and together we can help build more efficient businesses going forward. It's also important to remember COVID or no COVID, farming is an exceptionally isolated industry and hearing from people who are also in the same position as you can help give you the boost you need to get through the week with a smile.

If you would like to be featured in one of NFYFC’s profiles, please email

24 February 2021

BASC (The British Association for Shooting and Conservation) has launched a new Shotgun Safe Shot Theory and is encouraging YFC members to take the test – especially those competing in NFYFC’s Clay Pigeon Shooting competition this year.

The online test helps people demonstrate they know how to use shotguns confidently and safely in a field-based situation.

After completing the online theory test YFC members are welcome to demonstrate what they have learned to one of the BASC accredited Safe Shot Assessors and be awarded for their practical skills and knowledge of how to handle a shotgun. Participants will then be permitted to wear the BASC bronze Safe Shot pin badge, which is worn by many in the field on their shooting attire.

BASC has asked that all competitors in this year’s Clay Pigeon Shooting competition take the test before competing to set the standard for the competition. Those who pass the test will be given a certificate, which will be a positive addition for CVs.

Competitions Steering Group Chairman Katie Sanderson from County Durham FYFC said:

“This test is a must for anyone taking part in the NFYFC Clay Pigeon Shooting competition this year and offers recognition of your knowledge in this sport. It’s important that YFC members take the test before the national final to demonstrate the skill and commitment of our members.”   

To take the test, visit the BASC website here

18 February 2021

The new Chairman of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) has been elected to the position a quarter of a century after her father held the title.

Rachel Goldie, 27, has been a member of Great Smeaton Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) for 15 years and was elected as NFYFC’s new Chairman at its first-ever online Council elections on Thursday 18 February. She follows in the footsteps of her farming father Alan Goldie who was voted in as Chairman of the Federation in 1996. (Rachel is pictured with her dad Alan, right)

Alan’s year in office during the 90s was probably not as challenging as the one his daughter now faces (see photo of Alan below right, wearing the chain of office in 1996). YFCs are currently unable to meet and social distancing is expected to be here for some time during the pandemic. Clubs have moved to online delivery and Rachel, who has been NFYFC’s Vice Chairman for the last two years, is preparing for another very different YFC year.

The organisation has had to move quickly to adapt to an online programme and has recently successfully bid for funding to help improve its website and digital offer. But the national office and county federations still face significant financial shortfalls due to cancelled events and reduced membership numbers – something Rachel hopes to start to turnaround this year. 

Rachel Goldie, Chairman of NFYFC, said:

“I am really proud to be elected as the national Chairman and to bring the title back into the Goldie family after 25 years! I hope I do as good a job as my dad and I’ll certainly be tested as I’m taking on this role amid a pandemic.

“The last 11 months have not been easy for YFC members, with clubs forced to close during lockdowns and having to follow restrictions when we could meet up. The levels of isolation rural young people are facing at the moment is immense and during my year as Chairman I’m keen to encourage YFCs to reach out in their communities and support others.

“Many of our YFCs are offering an online programme of activity – including online training, competitions, guest speakers, quizzes and online crafts. YFC is working hard to keep rural young people connected during these challenging times and I am proud of what we have achieved so far. Even though it’s not the same as meeting in person, our clubs’ online sessions are still helping people socialise, learn new skills and even achieve awards through our online competitions.”

Two YFC members were elected as Vice Chairmen and will support Rachel in her year in office. Ed Dungait from Northumberland Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (FYFC) was elected for a second year and Rosie Bennett from Devon FYFC was elected for the first time.

Rachel and her two Vice Chairmen will be responsible for leading the Federation’s Council and ensuring its members continue to develop their local clubs and enhance the image of YFC.

More than 100 members gathered online to pass motions that affect the running of the organisation and elect the new officers of NFYFC’s Council.

The National Council is made up of 63 members, associate members and co-options from across England and Wales and is elected by YFC members to represent their views.

Through steering groups, the National Council also decide and shape the programmes of work at NFYFC - planning events, competitions, projects and training for members.

Steering Group Chairmen elections 

Agricultural and Rural Issues Steering Group: Tom Pope, Cambridgeshire FYFC

Competitions Steering Group: Katie Sanderson, County Durham FYFC

Events and Marketing Steering Group: Sarah Emmott, Cumbria FYFC

Personal Development Steering Group: Polly Baines, Staffordshire FYFC

Youth Forum: Richard Jeyes, Warwickshire FYFC

10 February 2021

Supporting the training and development of the next generation of shearers and wool handlers is crucial to a thriving UK sheep sector and for ensuring the highest standards. 

British Wool and the national federations of Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFC) in England, Scotland and Wales have enjoyed a strong relationship and collaborated in many different areas over the years, including for the third year in 2021, with a YFC training offer.

The beginner shearing course, which is one aspect of the offer available, enables YFC members to work towards a Blue Seal award.  The course will be over two days, covering all the essential aspects of achieving a successful shearing season, including health and safety, the use of shearing equipment and hands-on shearing practice to develop your technique.

This British Wool offer is open to YFC members who have not previously attended a British Wool shearing course.  The exclusive price YFC members will pay for this training offer is £96 (Inc. VAT) – the normal cost for this course would be £210.

Excellent fleece presentation starts at shearing but equally important is the work of the wool hander in ensuring the wool is presented correctly and to a high standard.  British Wool is therefore extending its training offer to YFC members to also participate in its wool handling course. This one-day course will be delivered by a successful competitive wool handler at a discounted price for YFC members of only £60 (inc. VAT).

Richard Schofield, Shearing Manager, British Wool, said: “We are once again delighted to be working with Young Farmers’ Clubs to give this exclusive offer for our beginner shearing and wool handling courses. Covid restrictions permitting, we look forward to welcoming young farmers onto our courses again this year and would encourage any interested YFC member to contact British Wool’s regional coordinator for their area before the 31 March closing date.”


To be eligible for the discounted courses, your YFC membership must be affiliated to one of the national federations of England, Scotland and Wales, and you should not have previously attended a British Wool shearing or wool handling course. 

  • Closing date: 31 March 2021
  • All Courses held will be dependent on Covid restrictions
  • For more information or to register your interest please contact:


Alison Gould

01647 24804


Sasha Ashton 

01686 626811 


Richard Schofield

01294 229000 / 07966 291618





05 February 2021

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) is pleased to announce that HOPS Group Ltd has on 28 January 2021 acquired HOPS Labour Solutions Ltd. HOPS Group Ltd has many years’ experience of providing workforce solutions for the UK farming and growing sector and is led by Jimmy Davies who worked for HOPS from 2004 until 2013.

HOPS is proud to have enjoyed a relationship of over 30 years with NFYFC, firstly as its commercial arm and now HOPS will continue to support NFYFC through an agreed sponsorship for an initial seven years. Both HOPS Group and NFYFC see this transaction as the next part of the journey together.

Jimmy Davies says: “Having started my career in seasonal labour recruitment at HOPS in 2004 I see this as a huge opportunity, responsibility and privilege to be able to guide the organisation through the next phase of its development.  HOPS and what it stands for has always been close to my thoughts and I am excited for what the future holds.  I would like to thank NFYFC for its support, guidance and progressive approach to our discussions and I look forward to maintaining and building on the close connection between HOPS and the Federation and the client farmers and growers.”

James Eckley Chief Officer, NFYFC says: “The NFYFC is pleased that ownership of HOPS Labour Solutions Ltd has passed to Jimmy Davies, and is confident that under his ownership, it will continue to provide a quality service to its clients – many of which have been working with HOPS LS Ltd for very many years.  As part of the transition, we are thrilled that HOPS has committed to a continued close relationship as a sponsor for our organisation.”

HOPS is one of the largest providers of temporary and seasonal labour to the horticulture and agriculture industries. HOPS has specialised in sourcing workers for direct employment in seasonal positions by client employers throughout the UK.  HOPS will remain true to its core offering and seek to add further services to diversify its offer to farmers and growers moving forward.  HOPS will remain committed to continue to work with client farmers and growers, DEFRA and other industry stakeholders to ensure the demand for seasonal labour is met. 

In a period of changing rules and regulations for the UK temporary and seasonal agricultural workers, HOPS is a name you can trust, dedicated to being at the forefront of the new environment for our industry and championing best practice. HOPS led the industry as an operator of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme in the past and aims to return to this position.  


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