National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

30 January 2019

Two YFC members are feeling optimistic and proud of agriculture since attending the Oxford Farming Conference as NFYFC’s scholars in January. 

Lee Pritchard, a livestock farmer from Glamorgan FYFC, and Amy Panton, a Technical Manager and Livestock Procurement Manager for Dunbia Cumbria and a member of Cambridge FYFC, attended the three-day conference in Oxford after successfully applying for an NFYFC scholarship sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Farmers (WCF).

The conference – this year titled ‘A World of Opportunity’ – included speeches from leading figures in industry, including the NFU President Minette Batters and Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove.

Lee, who along with Amy also attended an OFC Scholars Day in November last year, said: “It was an honour to be chosen as a scholar and to represent the YFC movement at the biggest farming conference in Great Britain. I will take this experience with me through the future of my farming career.”

Amy found plenty of optimism at the Conference in the wake of Brexit and is inspired to do more to promote the industry.

She said: “I feel passionate, energised, inspired and proud to be involved in the agri-food industry. I am delighted to have attended and would urge other young farmers to apply for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Both scholars also took part in the NFYFC’s and Rural Youth Project’s Fringe event – titled Will There be a Next Generation?, which was sponsored by KUHN.

Chaired by Farmers Weekly columnist and farm businessman Matthew Taylor, the event included presentations from Jane Craigie about the Rural Youth Ideas Festival and research and from NFYFC’s Sarah Palmer who outlined the AGRI work the organisation is involved in.

Young farmers also discussed their farming experiences. These included a presentation from Lee who told his story about how helping and working on a farm led to him being part of the farm business – with help from Welsh Connect’s Venture matching service.

In answer to the question ‘will there be a next generation?’ that was posed during the fringe event Amy said: “There is most definitely a next generation. We are here and learning and embracing the opportunity to collaborate with our older counterparts because we can learn a lot from them."

Every year the Worshipful Company of Farmers sponsors two YFC members to attend the conference and any YFC member can apply for these places. Master of the Worshipful Company of Farmer’s Rosie Carne expressed her enthusiasm:

“Amy and Lee were excellent delegates and perfect examples of the profile we’re looking for in our sponsored scholars. They are enthusiastic young people who are engaged in the wider farming industry. As enthusiastic mixers, they will benefit hugely from the Oxford experience.”

For more information about future scholarship opportunities at the Oxford Farming Conference, contact Sarah Palmer. 


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