National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 July 2021

After a year off from shows and rallies, YFCs have been making the most of the events that have managed to go ahead in 2021.

Despite the challenges of keeping members safe from Covid-19, organisers of Devon FYFC’s marquee at the county show say the benefits far outweighed the extra work.

The County Federation needed to ensure its marquee was Covid-Secure, which involved re-designing the layout to enable a one-way system and recruiting stewards to carry out lateral flow tests and restrict the number of people entering the tent.

Dan Grist, Devon FYFC’s Events and Marketing Administrator, said: “It was so important for us to have this event take place this year and it was the first opportunity for members across the county to meet up and compete in person in over a year. Although the marquee couldn't be quite the same this year, the whole team felt that it was definitely worth the extra effort!”

The County’s presence at the show was a big success – with competition classes in floristry, cookery and stockjudging showcasing the best of YFC to spectators. They were joined by representatives from Yellow Wellies and The Farming Community Network, and also welcomed Farming Minister George Eustice MP into the tent to talk about YFC's position in helping to communicate changes to agricultural legislation.

Devon also held its annual agricultural debate at the show too, which can be viewed below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5AtNNnJsc4.

Vice President of Kent FYFC Claire Eckley supported YFC members at the Kent County Show and told BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme how much the event had been missed.

“Young people have missed out on so much in the last 18 months and just to come together, and camp, get wet and show our livestock and gossip … is just what we need at the moment.

“My club Weald of Kent YFC have never brought livestock to the show before as we’re still less than five years old. They have got a really nice little haul of red and blue rosettes, so we’re delighted,” said Claire.

Listen back to Claire on Radio 4 here (around 3 mins into the programme).

Further north in Yorkshire, the county federation was excited to have a stand at the Great Yorkshire Show this year after the event was cancelled in 2020. While members were desperate to be back at the show, there were challenges to hosting a YFC stand there.

Ed Bentley, Yorkshire FYFC’s County Chair, said: “We had to jump through a lot of hoops and making all activity Covid-safe was a particular challenge, but well worth it because we had missed last year’s show.

“The Great Yorkshire Show is a holiday for many people – including our members, past and present. Many pride themselves on the stock they rear and produce, and this has been the first shop window to showcase them for 16 months.”

While all YFC activities had to be held outside at the show this year, which restricted some plans, the glorious weather more than made up for it.

“We had a number of new member enquiries, so it was great to see an appetite for YFC still, following Covid," added Ed who was also thrilled to meet The Prince of Wales when he visited the YFC stand. Prince Charles chatted to members of Reeth YFC who helped clear up after the floods hit the region in 2019.

NFYFC’s Chair Rachel Goldie and Vice Chair Ed Dungait also spent time at the Great Yorkshire Show on the YFC stand.

Rachel said: “It was brilliant to see YFC members out and about enjoying themselves again. While we have all adapted to doing most things online, it can never compare to actually being together. It was one of the first times I had met with Ed at an event since he was elected as Vice Chair last year. We had a great time – even if I did get soaked on Yorkshire’s dunking chair!”

In Lincolnshire, YFC members supported the Cereals event and were praised by organisers for their volunteering efforts. YFC AGRI also held two debates, Healthier Minds, Healthier Attitudes and YFC Climate Change Challenge, in the show’s AHDB and Young Farmers’ Sustainable Solutions Theatre featuring young farmers and industry guests. 

And as the summer progresses, more counties are hosting rallies for the first time since 2019. While clubs need to remain vigilant to Covid-19 and ensure safety precautions are in place, face-to-face meetings are certainly a welcome relief for everyone involved in YFC. 


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