National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

11 December 2020

Seven days after leaving the EU, three YFC members will represent NFYFC at the first-ever digital Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) on 7 January 2021.

Jack Seigneury from Lincolnshire FYFC, Jessica Spencer from Nottinghamshire FYFC and NFYFC’s Vice Chairman Ed Dungait from Northumberland FYFC will take part in the one-day virtual conference after being awarded an NFYFC Scholarship by the Worshipful Company of Farmers.

The trio also joined other scholars on 10 December for a half-day online scholars’ event in conjunction with McDonald’s. They had the opportunity to have a McDonald's virtual franchise tour; attend an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion workshop and a conference overview and networking session. Scholars are also encouraged to communicate with each other in the build-up to the conference in January.

The OFC Scholars programme aims to provide the next generation with an opportunity to experience the UK’s leading agricultural conference and to share their views and ideas.

This year’s OFC has a theme of Business as Unusual to reflect the fact we will have just left the EU and how our lives have changed since the start of the pandemic. It is also the 75th anniversary of the conference, since the first one was held in 1936.

During the digital event, the scholars will watch presentations from key industry figures, listen to inspirational speakers, hear from Government officials and network online with others from across the sector.

Every year, the Worshipful Company of Farmers (WCF) supports YFC members to attend the conference – and all YFC members are invited to apply. This year’s three chosen scholars will have a very unique experience.

Jack, 25, is a fifth-generation farmer who is eager to learn more about sustainable farming so he can prepare for the future.

“Having returned to the family farm at the start of the year to try and drive the business on to survive the changes that are going to occur in agriculture, there are many challenges to overcome from changes in government support to the NFU's ambition to become carbon neutral by 2040,” said Jack who is an active member of Louth YFC. “These challenges will be incredibly difficult to overcome and to find profitable solutions will take some time. With this in mind I feel trying to learn as much as possible now is the best way to start.” 

A recent graduate from Harper Adams University, Jessica, 23, is also back on the family farm and aspires to be a next generation food and farming industry advocate.

“I strive to represent our essential industry by engaging with British consumers and hope to inspire fellow farmers and food producers to take pride in feeding the nation quality British produce,” said Jessica who is excited about attending the conference for the first time. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, learn from others’ experiences and bring home valuable advice to implement innovative ideas on our family-run mixed arable and livestock farm, as well as discovering further adaptations for our on-farm farm shop!”

Edward, 28, is eager to progress his arable farm and diversification business in Northumberland and hopes to pick up more information at the conference. He is committed to sharing his experience with other YFC members and mindful of highlighting the benefits and opportunities of YFC membership.

“I’m really looking forward to attending the half-day scholars’ online event and the conference. I will share my experience with YFC members from across the country, and especially members in Northumberland and the rest of the Northern Area, as I don’t know of many people from my area that have attended the OFC before.”

The Oxford Farming Conference takes place on 7 January 2021 and tickets are now on sale at £75 + vat per person until 31 December 2020, £125 + VAT thereafter. Registration will close at midnight on 5 January 2020 or when tickets sell out, as seats are limited. Book your ticket here.





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