National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

Merrick Burrell Trophy

Awarded to the County Federation with the largest percentage increase in membership over the past three years ending the 31 August 2019

Winners: Nottinghamshire FYFC

A 47% boost in the number of members put Nottinghamshire top of the county federations for growth during 2017-2019. A combination of good promotion, a new club opening and good club programming are credited with the reasons for their success in the previous three years.

County Chairman Callum Kendall said that the County focused heavily on programming.

“If you have a decent programme that attracts new members and they see there’s a tour of a farm they would like to have a look around in three weeks time, they might stick around and be fully fledged members by then. It doesn’t take much to grow the members across the county if every club recruits new people. It’s those little increases that can make a big difference.”

Callum credits the County Show, bale sculptures during National Young Farmers’ Week and ploughing matches with being good long-term sources for attracting new members but says it’s important that club officers also welcome new people.

“It takes the first few meetings to really secure someone as a member. Club Chairmen should always acknowledge new members and encourage them to stay. It’s important that the chairman and secretary keep everyone informed of what’s going on and avoid forming their own bubble,” said Callum who had plans for a residential training weekend to help develop club officers’ skills but had to be put it on hold due to Coronavirus.

The growth of clubs is due in part to a good succession process too, believes Callum. Ensuring that older members pass on their knowledge to the next generation provides a continuous cycle – and improves retention and recruitment. That and a bit of luck – such as a club re-opening. Retford YFC started up again in 2017 and bolstered the County’s numbers.   

“It was a lot of little things rather than a massive recruitment drive that made Notts successful,” said Callum. “It’s an accumulation of lots of little things all coming together.”


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