National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 May 2021

At least 12 national competition finals will be held face-to-face this year, as long as Covid-19 restrictions allow at the time.

The Competitions Steering Group met in May to discuss the remaining competitions finals that had not been moved to an online format. It was agreed that, where possible, venues would be sourced so competitors could compete in person. While all decisions are subject to any changes to Covid restrictions at the time, it is hoped that the finals will go ahead. 

This year’s Dairy Stockjudging Competitions will be held at an agricultural college on 18 July 2021. The Sheep Shearing will be hosted by the Staffordshire Agricultural Society on Wednesday, 25 August 2021 and be incorporated into Shearing Competitions already being held. 

A decision about the Stockman of the Year competition will be made later in the year but there are plans to host the competition final on 4-5 September 2021 if restrictions allow. 

The Cookery and Floral Arts competitions will hopefully be held in person at the Malvern Autumn Show on 25-26 September 2021, subject to an invitation from the Three Counties Agricultural Society.

A competitions weekend on 2-3 October is then being organised at the Staffordshire Agricultural Showground for the finals of Fence Erecting, Farm Safety, Tug of War and Clay Pigeon Shooting  on the Saturday and the sports competitions, along with the Jump Rope final, on the Sunday.  

Currently all Public Speaking competitions finals, the Senior and Junior Member of the Year and Situations Vacant have all been moved to a virtual format, with interviews and presentations taking place on Zoom throughout June and July. 

YFC Talent, sponsored by Kuhn, and the Pallet Up-cycling competition, sponsored by Tama, are also online-only finals with voting taking place on 14 August and the results announced the next day.

County Federations have been sent the new updated competition final dates and the website Competitions area will also be updated accordingly. 





 


27 May 2021

This National Volunteers Week 2021 (1-7 June), NFYFC President Nigel Owens MBE says thank you to all the YFC volunteers.

YFC looked very different last year. Gone were the usual rally arrangements, competition plans, training sessions and charity events that keep us all busy. But despite the lack of social gatherings and weekly get togethers in the village hall, hundreds of volunteers across England and Wales still gave up their time to support YFC members and ensure activities continued in some form.

To everyone that carried on in the face of extraordinary adversity – thank you.

It’s the volunteers that keep YFC ticking – and we needed them more than ever last year, when the Covid-19 pandemic threatened to wipe out all the activities we love. YFC refused to stop though – and it was the voluntary efforts of club and county chairmen, secretaries, treasurers, leaders, trustees, advisories and parents who pulled out the stops and helped YFC remain connected.

Physical events were replaced with virtual alternatives – from online rallies to fundraisers – and young farmers showed they could be innovative and use digital platforms to their best effect. But adapting to Covid-19 guidelines, creating online club programmes and balancing the books has been a demanding task for all concerned.

Thank you to all those club committees who never gave up and to all the supporters who generously gave their time to judge, mentor and keep in contact. Your support has helped thousands of rural young people through these challenging months. Be proud of what you have achieved.

As we emerge from the darkness of the past 15 months and hopefully head towards a YFC experience with fewer restrictions, Volunteers Week is an important time to reflect on all those who helped get us through to the other side.

We will never forget the resilience of the volunteers who managed and supported YFC and the commitment they showed when the world turned upside down.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. It’s because of you that YFC has survived and will continue for many more generations to come. 

Diolch yn fawr.

Nigel Owens
NFYFC President 2021-22



27 May 2021

YFCs will benefit from a boost in YFC Trainers thanks to a successful NFYFC Train the Trainer course this month.

The training course, which is ITOL certified, was adapted to be delivered online, meaning members from all over England and Wales could attend the three sessions on Zoom. A total of 23 YFC members successfully completed the course and are now able to deliver the Curve modules to clubs.

Despite it being delivered online – the session was still interactive and members delivered their own practice training sessions during the course too.

Vicki Gilbert (pictured), from Cheriton & Tedburn YFC, is Devon FYFC’s Junior Vice Chair and took part in the training to develop new skills that would support her inside and outside of YFC.

“The chance to help others grow the same enthusiasm as me meant it was a no-brainer! Also, through work I sometimes get to run various programmes and so I felt it would be useful across all aspects of my life,” explained Vicki who is a Family Practitioner for Devon County Council and a recently qualified massage therapist. 

“I totally recommend that everyone does this course! The skills are so transferable and can be used in all walks of life. It also really helps your confidence grow. Plus you get to meet people from all over. Doing the course on Zoom was handy as we didn’t have the costs of travel and an overnight stay. It’s a shame we didn’t get to meet each other in person but we’re in the process of arranging a future social.”

During the course, participants were asked to write a practice programme and Vicki was asked to deliver her 30-minute session, which was a stress-busting experience. Over Zoom, Vicki talked the group through breathing and grounding exercises and then a step-by-step DIY facial massage and stretches.

The course has left Vicki feeling more confident and ready to use her skills to help YFC members throughout the county.

“I hope to use my training within YFC, expanding and growing our County programme both with NFYFC’s Curve modules but also with other courses and opportunities.

“I also hope to use my qualification at work as the practical skills will be invaluable for various programmes we run and hope to develop in the future. Also, as I expand my massage business, the skills are so transferable for the future.”

A future Train the Trainer course will be held in September 2021 and anyone interested in the course should contact training@nfyfc.org.uk


27 May 2021

Growing up on a beef and arable farm in Wiltshire has given Charlotte Taylor an appreciation of agriculture and a desire to represent young farmers' voices through YFC AGRI and Farmer Time. When she's not working on the farm, she's busy running her own rural enterprise – Teasel Floristry. 

Q. What does your family farm and are you still involved?

A. Beef and arable. I’m still connected to the farm and I work a lot with the beef cattle. We have a suckler herd and I’ve also taken on some of my own land.

Q. Why did you decide to be a florist?

A. It wasn’t really planned but I have always loved having flowers in the house and doing the YFC Floral Arts competitions. I would often visit my local florist to ask for advice when I was taking part in YFC competitions and show her photos of what I’d done. I guess the florist liked it as she offered me a job. It was completely different to the office jobs I had been doing but I knew I had to take the opportunity.

Q. Tell us about Teasel Floristry?

A. I have been a florist for just over three years now. I ended up taking over the shop from the owner that first offered me the job. I really enjoy working with seasonal flowers and love to use British flowers. We have a vast number of growers thanks to Flowers from the Farm. I offer flowers for everything from a bunch for the kitchen table to farewells, weddings and events.

Q. Can you tell us more about Agra Wool? 

A. Floristry is an industry where we want to enjoy nature and bring flowers into the home, but we should still be doing this in a sustainable way. Using products such as Agra Wool as a floral foam block replacement is a natural alternative. It holds water, is compostable and can improve the soil as it degrades, which all contributes towards a much more sustainable practice. 

Q. Why did you want to get involved in YFC AGRI?

A. I think it’s a great platform to share views and shape the future for young farmers in agriculture and that’s something I wanted to be a part of and represent YFC members. 

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

A. It represents YFC members in agriculture, helping to shape the future for its members. There are a lot of fantastic projects and farm walks that really support members by providing information and access to resources that can help shape their future – as well as the opportunity to make great friends.

I started taking part in Farmer Time as a result of attending YFC AGRI meetings and it’s a great way for young farmers to help educate the public about the industry.

Q. Has YFC been beneficial to your career?

A. YES! Every job I have done I have put YFC on my CV and this has always been positively acknowledged because of my public speaking skills, floristry and confidence. I have no doubt that If I hadn’t joined YFC, I wouldn’t be running my own floristry business now. I’m also so grateful to all my young farmer friends for buying my flowers and letting me provide flower arrangements for the YFC events.

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

A. Yes. I’m currently Wiltshire Chairman so we have met virtually and tried to keep members engaged. It’s great now we are able to meet again and start moving forward. I’m looking forward to seeing all the clubs at the rally!

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


27 May 2021

YFC members and next generation farmers are invited to a new free event this June to learn more about the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s (GWCT) Allerton Project farm at Loddington, and to debate the business skills needed to forge a future in farming.

The event, which is between 11am-4pm at the GWCT’s Allerton Project farm in Loddington, Leicestershire on 26 June 2021, is part of a Defra-supported NFYFC Business Skills project. The one-day event comprises a farm walk, discussion, research and development of a new YFC guide which participants will help to shape.

As well as an introduction to the Allerton Project Farm from its Head of Farming, Training and Partnerships Phil Jarvis, participants will be able to see the farm’s agri-environment schemes and GWCT’s approach to regenerative farming.

This will be the first YFC AGRI event since restrictions have been lifted and YFC AGRI Chair Tom Pope is excited about what’s in store.

“Our meetings online during the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions were plentiful and so much work was done virtually but having dates in the calendar to meet up and discuss farming and topics of relevance and interest is something we’ve all been looking forward to.

“This is a time of significant and seismic change, so collaborating with industry and Defra is something we’re proud to do and I encourage anyone with an interest in their farming future to come and join the group on 26 June at Loddington. We’ll be talking farming, skills, training and seeing first-hand the benefits of integrated farming as well as practical and achievable conservation.

“Don’t sit back and let decisions be made for you, be part of the decision-making process and bring some practical and common-sense ideas to the forefront.”

YFC AGRI has a range of projects for young farmer involvement in 2021, one of which is an online AGRI Forum featuring guest speakers and including Andrew Meredith, editor of Farmers Weekly and Janet Hughes, Director of the Defra Future Farming Programme.  Young farmers will also be invited to attend future dedicated Defra and YFC events that had started to be held before the pandemic.

Registration is now open via Eventbrite for YFC AGRI’s event at the GWCT's Allerton Project farm on Saturday, 26 June – just click on the link to book your free place and find further details. Spaces are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment.



25 May 2021

Young farmers’ interests and concerns will be represented at this year’s Cereals event after YFC AGRI has worked with organisers to develop relevant sessions.

Cereals 2021 will be one of the first live agricultural events following Covid-19 restrictions and will take place at Boothby Graffoe, Lincolnshire on 30 June to 1 July. It will be a great opportunity to catch up on the latest arable news, see exhibitors, industry contacts and fellow farmers.

With the challenge of enhancing the environment, mitigating the effects of climate change whilst maintaining profits, there’s much to discuss regarding all the necessary components for business and personal health.

There’s a full programme in the two theatres and the ‘Sustainable Solutions sessions’ in association with NFYFC, are held in the AHDB theatre. Themes for the two-day show include Healthy Food, Healthy Environment on day one and Healthy Soil, Healthy Profits on day two.

British farmers hold the key to so many of society’s challenges – from producing healthy food and clean water to fresh air and wildlife recovery. Seminars explore ways that farmers are addressing environmental and soil health to deliver greater natural and economic benefits to their businesses, as well as producing high quality food while protecting and enhancing the environment.

“Although the younger generation are not always in charge of on-farm decision making, they are in a great position to encourage the adoption of new practices,” says Tom Pope, Chair of YFC AGRI.

“They are generally very adaptable, open to change and technologically savvy. They are also happy to collaborate, discuss pertinent issues for business and wellbeing as well as focusing on their cost of production.

“We will be having two YFC discussions at 4pm on each day and want to make sure that as many young – and older – farmers and visitors join us for some robust debate.”

The two YFC AGRI discussion events take place in the AHDB Theatre at the following time and dates:

30 June, 4pm: Sustainable Solutions session: Healthier minds, healthier attitudes.

How does the next generation manage the stresses and strains of the modern era as well as inspire and encourage greater inclusion and diversity into the profession? YFC AGRI’s chair and vice-chair Tom Pope and Sammy Allen, Flavian Obiero and Charlotte Garbutt talk frankly about challenges, opportunities and plans for a positive future.

1 July, 4pm: Sustainable Solutions session: YFC climate change challenge

Young farmers are embracing the race to net zero with new ideas and thinking. This is an opportunity to hear from inspiring young farmers and contribute to the conversation on creating climate-resilient food production and views for the COP26 conference in November. The panel includes YFC AGRI’s chair and vice-chair Tom Pope and Sammy Allen, Dr Ceris Jones - NFU Climate Change Adviser and Elliot Cole - winner of NFYFC's Climate Change Video Challenge.

The Cereals Event will be held in Lincolnshire on 30 June – 1 July 2021 and will comply with all required biosecurity measures against Covid-19. For more information or to register for tickets visit cerealsevent.co.uk.

YFC members can access an affinity deal for tickets to Cereals 2021 here.


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