National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

31 March 2021

Nine of the national competition finals will be held online this year due to the difficulties for County Federations and Areas holding competition rounds, caused by restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Area eliminators for Commercial Dance and On the News have also been taken out of the NFYFC 2020-21 programme.

Despite the easing of lockdown, restrictions would still pose significant challenges for County Federations and Areas to host competition rounds in May and June. The Competitions Steering Group has decided to move some of the national finals to an online format to ensure they can still go ahead – especially as many County Federations have been successfully hosting virtual rounds for their public speaking competitions in this way.

Online competition finals will be held on the following dates:

Situations Vacant – Sunday 13 June 2021

Member of the Year (18 & under) Saturday 19 June 2021

Member of the Year (18 & over) Sunday 20 June 2021

Junior Reading – Saturday  3 July 2021

Public Speaking – Sunday 4 July

Brainstrust – Saturday 10 July

Debating – Sunday 11 July (in two sessions)

The YFC Talent and Pallet Up-cycling competition finals will also be held online in August. The judging will take place on social media enabling competition entries to be enjoyed by a wider audience.

Competitions Chairman Katie Sanderson said: “It’s great news that the lockdown is starting to ease but there are still restrictions in place making it difficult for counties and Areas to host competing rounds. We wanted to ensure that national finals can still take place in some form this year and by hosting these nine competitions online, we’ve guaranteed that members will get the recognition they deserve.”

Decisions about the remaining competitions will be made later in April once the steering group has assessed the latest official guidance. 


31 March 2021

The Give it Some YFC Welly relay has raised more than £20,000 for County Federations and YFC members have been getting even more creative in the ways they are covering their miles.

Clubs in Pembrokeshire FYFC raised more than £1,300 by each choosing a fun way to cover the distance between each YFC and pass the welly on. Hermon YFC chose to do a Welly ‘egg and spoon’ relay, while Brawdy Haycastle YFC did a litter pick for 10 miles wearing wellies. Others chose to wear fancy dress, cycled or skipped in wellies – and one club, Martletwy YFC, even did a 10-mile Zumba!

Most counties have now completed their leg in the welly relay but some are still getting ready to take part.

Staffordshire FYFC kick off their relay tomorrow where members plan to cover their 500 miles by any form as long as it doesn't involve an engine.

County Chairwoman Amy Boothby (pictured) will cover the first six miles of the challenge by walking from Staffordshire County Showground into Weston and Sandon.

Amy said: “The last 12 months have been difficult for everyone, so it is reassuring to be able to launch the #GiveItSomeYFCWelly challenge which I think will be a great opportunity to bring our members together again. It also encourages everyone to exercise in the fresh air to help them with their mental wellbeing, which in YFC, we all know is so important.”

You can still take part in the Give it Some YFC Welly Relay – find out how to get involved here. You can also donate to the campaign here.


31 March 2021

As a trainee farm business consultant and part of her family’s mixed farm, Sammy Allen understands many of the issues facing the industry today. It’s why she is happy to be championing agriculture in her new role as Vice Chair of YFC AGRI

Q. What's your role in the industry?

A. I work for Active Business Partnerships, an independent strategic agricultural consultancy based in Newark, as a trainee farm business consultant.

Q. What are the enterprises on your family farm and do you still get involved in the farm?

A. My family farm is a mixed, pigs, sheep and arable farm. We farm around 1,000 acres, and I still get involved in most aspects of the farm helping out mainly during busier periods such as lambing and harvest.

Q. What do you hope to bring to the YFC AGRI group in your new role?

A. I hope to be able to bring a different point of view to the group and help to support its ambitions. Being vice chairman was a great opportunity for me to become a bit more involved in the YFC AGRI steering group.

Q. What role do you think YFC AGRI plays in NFYFC?

A. YFC AGRI gives our members the chance to raise, discuss and in some cases action any concerns or opportunities within the agricultural sector. As a group we are all very geographically spread and from different sectors in the industry with a variety of expertise, so we are able to represent a large proportion of the industry.

It is always important to discuss the outlook of the industry, but even more so now with so much change. We are the future of the agricultural industry and we need to have our say on shaping its future.

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

A, Yes. I am a member of both Collingham YFC in Nottinghamshire and Harmston YFC in Lincolnshire and neither one has let the pandemic faze them. We’ve met weekly on Zoom with some great meetings and speakers that we may not have heard from had we not been in this situation.

Q. Has YFC been beneficial to your career and why?

A. Definitely, I have learnt so much from YFC from simple organisational skills to growing confidence through entering competitions such as Stockjudging. And it is still beneficial now through always meeting new people in the industry and networking.

If you would like to be feature in a future profile, please email media@nfyfc.org.uk



29 March 2021

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC), The Farming Community Network (FCN),  and The DPJ Foundation are working together to support young farmers’ mental health and wellbeing through the development of new Rural+ training modules. 

This initiative, titled ‘Supporting Together’, has been made possible by funding from The Westminster Foundation, which is Chaired by the Duke of Westminster and aims to encourage young people in farming families to take action early and to plan for the challenges and restructuring that the industry now faces.

NFYFC and FCN have worked in partnership to develop and deliver mental health awareness training to Young Farmers’ Clubs in Wales and England through the Rural+ module since the launch of the project in 2013.

About Rural+  

The name Rural+ was chosen to encourage young people to feel positive about rural life and to utilise the great network of friends and support that comes with being a member of a Young Farmers’ Club. Rural+ was the brainchild of the National Chairman of Council (2013/14) Claire Worden.

FCN, along with NFYFC and The DPJ Foundation, are working together to develop the new Rural+ mental health training module, which is aimed at 10-26 year old YFC members and 16-25 year old agricultural students yet to embark on their first placement or role in the industry.

The training is collaborative and is being developed with young farmers, young agriculture professionals and volunteers from FCN and The DPJ Foundation to ensure it is relevant and beneficial to young farmers.

The training will focus on understanding stress and anxiety; managing personal mental wellbeing; how to talk about mental health; seeking support and supporting others.

Increase in calls to helplines 

This focus on mental health awareness is timely. FCN, a charity and voluntary organisation with volunteers in Wales and England, has seen an increase in the percentage of calls to its Helpline (03000 111 999) from the farming community over the past year that contain a mental health component, such as stress or anxiety. 

Meanwhile, The DPJ Foundation has seen an increase in access to professional counselling through its Share the Load service (0800 587 4262) and high demand for its Mental Health Awareness Training.

Richard Jeyes, NFYFC’s Youth Forum Chairman, said:

“The development of the Rural+ training module will give Young Farmers’ Clubs an essential resource to support their members’ wellbeing. We hope this training will help to improve resilience as we face major changes in the industry and additional pressures from the pandemic. We are delighted to be working with FCN and The DPJ Foundation to develop training that will equip young farmers with vital skills to help them manage future challenges.”  

Jude McCann, Chief Executive of The Farming Community Network, said:

“This training comes at an important turning point in farming. With significant change and restructuring affecting farmers and farming families throughout the UK, supporting young farmers’ personal resilience and providing mental health training will help to ensure they’re equipped with the knowledge, understanding and tools needed to thrive and create a sustainable farming future. We look forward to collaborating with The DPJ Foundation and NFYFC to deliver this training, working together to support future generations of farmers.”

Kate Miles, Charity Manager of The DPJ Foundation said:

“We know that the last 12 months have been especially difficult for young people. We have supported many with concerns around isolation, social anxiety and adapting to studying online alongside farming as well as supporting parents who have concerns about their children. As such, we are really pleased to have been able to work alongside NFYFC and FCN to develop this resource which will enhance the offer available to the farmers of the future to help them cope with the challenges that they may face.  We are now looking forward to rolling this training out and reaching as many young people as possible.”

The Duke of Westminster, Chair of the Westminster Foundation said:

“It’s widely recognised the farming industry has some of the highest levels of mental health issues compared to other sectors, yet too many people still suffer the silent pain of loneliness and isolation, without knowing how or where to seek help.

“Rural+ will play a vital role in enabling the next generation of farmers tackle the pressures facing the industry with renewed resiliency in the years ahead. It is a brilliant example of how the most positive initiatives for young people are usually borne out of collaboration among like-minded organisations and through listening to youth voices. The farming sector is an important community to us all, whether you are from a rural background or not, and we owe it to the next generation of young farmers to provide them the best possible opportunities to succeed.”

With Covid-19 restrictions still in place, the training will initially be delivered remotely by experienced Rural+ trainers, however, additional in-club modules and activities will be available later in the year.

The first of the new training modules are planned for delivery from April.

For more information about the Rural+ training, please contact Vicki Beers, National Partnerships Manager. Watch videos about the new training and find out more details here


25 March 2021

YFC members are being offered a new informative resource that will support career development and provide insight on key industry topics through a joint venture between Kuhn Farm Machinery and NFYFC.

Representatives from Kuhn are recording a new podcast series with Meet the Farmer podcaster Ben Eagle that will explore topics such as careers, regenerative farming and quality forage.

The first podcast has been recorded and discusses Kuhn’s history, dating back to 1828, and introduces some members of the team – Managing Director Sian Pritchard, Marketing Manager Kate Hughes and John Lovell Technical Support Manager in the South of England – all of whom are former YFC members. The discussion highlights why the company has supported NFYFC for a number of years, the roles in the business and also passes on tips to people looking for a career with the farm machinery giant.

Kate, who has been working with Kuhn for six years, talks about the impact YFC has had on her career in the first podcast. She said: “I would say to [YFC] members at the moment, take advantage of all the skills and opportunities you can take from Young Farmers. There are so many different things such as organisational skills, public speaking that you can really use and transfer into job roles in the future.

“Take pantomime organisation or cookery, or being a club chairman or secretary – you might not realise at the time the skills you are taking from it. I wish I had done more public speaking – I have had to try and develop it afterwards so I wish I’d had a go at it more in YFC.”

Company progression 

Shortly after the recording of the podcast, both Kate and John were promoted to new roles, which Managing Director Sian says is testament to the progression that can be achieved in the company.

“I knew Kate and John were going to be promoted to managers before the podcast but wasn’t at liberty to say at the time, but I think their promotions only further demonstrate the opportunities at Kuhn, which we highlight in the podcast.

“The team are really looking forward to recording the next two podcasts for NFYFC members and I hope that they prove to be useful for career development.”

It is hoped that the podcast can be used by YFCs for club programming and prompt discussion between members about the issues they raise. Throughout the series the podcasts will highlight future farming and offer advice on efficient production, land management and cultivation.

Presenter Ben Eagle, who hosts the successful Meet the Farmer Podcast, is producing the podcasts with Kuhn for NFYFC.

NFYFC’s AGRI Chairman Tom Pope said: “It’s good to continue developing projects with the team at Kuhn, with whom we have a long-standing relationship. These podcasts are ideal for YFC members wanting to learn more about the industry and progressing their career.

“This first podcast highlights how important YFC skills are for preparing young people for their future career and it’s ideal for anyone wanting tips on how to seek employment in farm machinery. A huge thank you to Ben Eagle too for helping us by presenting and producing these podcast episodes for members.”

The first podcast can be listened to below and YFCs are encouraged to share with their members. 


24 March 2021

British Wool has launched an exclusive competition for one YFC member from England, Scotland and Wales YFC Federations to win a place on the organisation’s new training and development programme.

The new programme will mean the lucky YFC members will each receive one year’s free access to British Wool’s training courses, including machine shearing (two courses), gear training and wool handling. 

The successful entrants will also be invited to Bradford to visit British Wool’s head office and grading depot as well as learn more about the wool processing chain.

The competition is also supported by Lister Shearing who have provided a package of shearing equipment to the value of £500 for each country’s winner.

Competition winners will be expected to work with British Wool by sharing their training journey over 14 months on social media, in the press and online. 

Rachel Goldie, NFYFC’s Chairman of Council, said: “NFYFC is delighted that one lucky YFC member will have the chance to go on British Wool’s new training and development programme.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for a young person, with or without shearing experience, to learn more about wool and the shearing industry. Good luck to everyone who takes part and we look forward to seeing updates about their experiences.”   

How to enter

To be in with a chance of winning one of the places available in England and Wales, entrants will need to be a registered YFC member, with or without shearing experience. You will need to submit a short video or send an email explaining why you should be chosen for the opportunity. You must also have been 16 + and under 27 on the 1st September 2020.

Send your video or email entries along with your name, date of birth, address and YFC membership number to; England - alisongould@britishwool.org.uk Wales - sashaashton@britishwool.org.uk

Closing date for entries is 31 March 2021 and the competition will be judged by a panel of industry experts from the shearing sector and British Wool. 

More information on the competition rules and how to enter can be found here






 


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