National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

29 January 2020

Staying with four families in Colorado through YFC Travel was like being in a movie says Adam Ringrose, 27, from Leicestershire.

Who did you stay with in Colorado?

I spent seven weeks with four different families and it was the experience of a lifetime.

The families I stayed with were all different – one managed a John Deere dealership, another had a small holding where I milked goats, the third was a tree farm in a remote rural location and the fourth family lived on a cattle ranch.

With one family I got to see inside a massive meat processing plant, where they process 5,000 cattle a day. My family have a livestock farm and butchers so this was really interesting to see something on this scale.

The families had a lot of questions about farming in the UK and about the butchery where I work. Mainly though they wanted to know what life is like in England. We got Google Maps up and I compared the grid system of roads that they have with our “higgledy-piggledy” roads. They thought that word was hilarious!

How did you travel to each family?

It was all arranged through 4H and IFYE (The International Farming Youth Exchange) program. They coordinated al

l the families who would help me get from one location to the next. I did catch a train through the Rockies, which was amazing, but the rest of the time the families helped me.

Did you work?

I worked with most of the families. I didn’t have to but you’re expected to do a bit. The most work I did was at the tree farm as I was able to be quite useful there. Most of the time I did what I wanted to do and tried to help out as much as I could as they were doing me a favour.

For a lot of farmers work is their life so that’s how you become involved in it.

What were some of your highlights?

It felt like being in the movies! You look around you and all the small details are things you only recognise because of films. Seeing water dispensers on the side of roads and finding a gun counter in Walmart!

My highlights though have to be:

  • Working with a cowboy for a week with one of the families. He taught me how to lasso.
  • Going to the Greely Stampede, a huge rodeo, which was fantastic as it was absolutely huge. You can’t believe that people still do these things but it’s a real sport there.
  • Camping in the mountains.

Did you prefer the YFC Travel experience to being a tourist?

There is no way I would have had the breadth of experiences I had if I’d have gone as a tourist. Camping in the mountains with the ATVs was on off-road routes and you wouldn’t have known where to go. The visits I had, such as going to the meat processors, were swung by the families I stayed with.

I went travelling afterwards on an epic road trip, which highlighted how different YFC Travel is from being a tourist. The experiences can be a lot richer as you get access to places and activities you can’t do on your own. There’s stuff I did you just can’t do as a tourist – like the rodeo and lassoing with the cowboy.

How much did it cost?

I spent around £400 in total and that includes my flights, insurance  and expenses. I got help from Leicestershire County Federation to help with the costs of my flights so that brought my spend down a lot. It doesn’t cost you much at all. I spent more money on my road trip afterwards!

Would you recommend YFC Travel?

Absolutely, without a doubt! You learn so much, you grow as a person. It’s a different way of seeing another culture. 

It has been described as Young Farmers’ best-kept secret by a number of people. It baffles me that more people don’t apply because the trips are fantastic. I went to Germany a few years ago with YFC and all of my experiences have been brilliant. I’m off to Slovenia this year!

You get everything done for you, it doesn’t cost you as much as it would if you travelled alone and you get the real richness of the culture. 

Find out more about YFC Travel, which is kindly supported by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust.  

27 January 2020

A series of regional talks around the country are allowing YFC members to share their views with Defra on proposals for the new Environmental Land Management scheme (ELM).

More than 100 YFC members have been involved in the events so far that have been held in East Riding of Yorkshire, Cumbria, Herefordshire and Hampshire, Northumberland and Cambridgeshire.

Many of the events, which started last year, had to be postponed to early 2020 due to the general election being called towards the end of last year.

Cumbria FYFC hosted a successful event in January, just a few days after the reintroduction of the Agriculture Bill giving YFC members plenty of issues to debate. In Herefordshire, the event even attracted the attention of its mascot Bertie the Bull.

There are two more events planned for 13 February in Somerset and Nottinghamshire.

NFYFC’s AGRI Steering Group Chairman  David Goodwin said: “These are important discussions with Defra – both to hear about future plans for farming and the environment and most importantly to have your say.  

“NFYFC AGRI encourages all interested YFC members to come along and share their views, concerns and much-needed local and regional knowledge with Defra representatives.”  

Refreshments are provided at these free events that are being hosted by County Federations. 

23 January 2020

NFYFC’s plan for the future is underway following a meeting with YFC members and leaders from England and Wales.

The ‘Summit Day’ event was held in Coventry in January and involved facilitated workshops where county representatives, including staff, discussed the organisation’s current situation, and the needs and wants of YFC members, clubs and counties.

The groups went on to discuss the new strategy for NFYFC and identified where responsibilities for delivery of work should be held (eg, with a YFC member, a club, county or NFYFC).

The feedback is now being analysed and will be used to prioritise areas of work for the next three to 12 months.

New Working Groups will be established to examine topics in more detail, such as the digitalisation of YFC work, membership ages (start and finish), streamlining and changing communications, governance structures for NFYFC,  County Federations and clubs and practical help from NFYFC for counties.

Delme Harries Chairman of the Board of Management said: “The day captured an enormous amount of very useful data that adds to all of the input YFC members have been giving over the past year and a half, since we started this transition. 

“Things will be changing in YFC – we are looking at introducing modern digital systems to link every member, club, county federation and the NFYFC.  The work will be prioritised as finance and resources allow but most importantly our members will be at the heart of these changes. Being a member of a YFC has a huge impact on improving social lives and connections in rural areas. This will always be championed and continue to be a key focus of our future plans.”

At the next Council meeting in February, members of the NFYFC Council will study the priorities that have emerged from the Summit to move the strategy on to the next stage. A phased plan of development will be put together following this meeting.

20 January 2020

Four YFC members have put themselves forward to lead the NFYFC Council and their official elections will take place during the Council meeting in February.

Current NFYFC Vice Chairman Dewi Parry from Clwyd FYFC is running for the position of Chairman of the NFYFC Council unopposed. After a year serving as a Vice Chairman and as Chairman of the Competitions Steering Group, Dewi feels he is equipped for the top job.

Dewi said: 'YFC is an amazing organisation, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the last year seeing how it has such a positive impact on the lives of so many people up and down the country. I would love the opportunity to spend a year as NFYFC Chairman of Council and to listen to how members want the future of NFYFC to look. Our biggest responsibility will always be to ensure YFC thrives so it fulfils the same purpose in the future as it has done for all of us.”

Dewi joined YFC back in 2008 and has held local and national positions – including supporting Wales YFC with its strategic review. Dewi has been an active member of NFYFC’s Board of Management for the last year and has contributed towards the organisation’s strategic plan.

Vice Chairmen 

In the supporting Vice Chairmen roles, there are three YFC members running for the two available positions.  Rachel Goldie from Great Smeaton YFC in Yorkshire is looking for re-election for a second year after standing for the position in 2019-20.  Rachel has had a busy year in the role as one of the leading members of the Vision:2023 strategy group. She has also been Vice Chairman of the Personal Development Steering Group. 

Rachel said: “I have really enjoyed my first year as Vice Chairman and getting out to different county events and meetings. Unfortunately my work and home life don’t allow me as much time as I would like but I will always endeavour to make as many events as possible and I am only on the other end of the phone for anyone that needs any support. I would really love to continue as Vice Chairman for a second year to support the Federation in moving forwards and working with the members.”

Lucy Stowell from Norfolk FYFC and Ed Dungait from Northumberland FYFC are also nominees for the position of Vice Chairmen and will present their cases for why they should be elected at the February Council meeting.

Lucy has held numerous positions at a club, county and area level and is now seeking a new challenge as one of the leading Council officers. In 2019-20 Lucy served as the Events and Marketing Steering Group Chairman, helping to shape the marketing of the organisation through activities such as National Young Farmers’ Week and YFC Ski.

Lucy said: “I am standing for the role as I have worked my way up through all the YFC roles in my club, county and area. I have enjoyed being a steering group chairman over the past twelve months and want to give myself a new challenge. I work with a lot of junior members and I want them to believe that if they want to achieve something then they can if they set their minds to it. I want to visit different counties and see how they do activities and events and work with counties on how to include junior members in activities.”

For Ed Dungait from Northumberland FYFC, it will be his first Council role – and it is thought it is also the first time anyone from Northumberland has stood for a top officer role. The arable farmer has been a member of Tritlington YFC since he was 16 years old and is eager to unite the organisation and promote how much it has to offer.

“If I get the job, I am looking forward to getting around the country and offering help where I can. I want to promote YFC and build unity across the country so we all work better together,” said Ed.

“Young Farmers offers so many opportunities but not all members make the most of them so I always spread the message to embrace YFC while you can. I have had a lot of success encouraging members at club and county level to do this so I would like to continue at national level too.

“I have enthusiasm in abundance, which is the most important thing. I want to promote the social and fun aspect of everything we do, as that’s the main reason we all join Young Farmers,” he added.

Board of Management 

All elected YFC members will also sit on the Board of Management during their year in office, alongside five other YFC members who have been appointed based on skills and experience.

The NFYFC Council will meet on 16 February where each candidate will be proposed and seconded for the roles ahead of Council voting on their appointments.

During the weekend, new Chairs and Vices of the five Steering Groups (AGRI, Competitions, Events and Marketing, Personal Development and the Youth Forum) will also be elected.

All YFC members should consult with their elected members of Council before the meeting to ensure their voices are heard on decisions that will be voted on. Full details and an agenda have been sent to all Council representatives. 

Opportunities for YFC members to join the NFYFC Council by being co-opted on to it are currently available too. For more information about getting involved, see here

Council biographies  

Chairman of Council

Dewi Parry, Betws-yn-Rhos YFC,  Clwyd FYFC

Assistant Manager of a Builders Merchants

As a Club Leader and one of the only active senior members of a small club, Dewi has learnt organisational skills, perseverance and how to motivate others. He has developed leadership skills through roles at County level and enjoyed organising the charitable Chairman’s challenge to cycle to every club in the county with members from every club during one weekend.

He got involved in helping Wales to compile its manifesto and strategic plan and was a member of NFYFC’s governance review working group. He is currently the Vice Chairman of Council and is also serving as NFYFC’s Competitions Steering Group Chairman, helping to shape the national competitions programme for 2019-20.

Nominees for two positions of Vice Chairmen of Council

Ed Dungait, Northumberland FYFC

Arable farmer

Ed is an enthusiastic member of Northumberland County Federation and joined his local club Tritlington when he was 16 years old. He has taken on club level roles – such as Secretary and Chairman, as well as being County Chairman in 2018-19, where he organised what members described as the best County AGM ever. Ed has won many awards during his time in YFC, including the Sidney Fawcett trophy for giving the best speech at NFYFC’s AGM in 2019.

Ed describes himself as positive, eager to listen and open-minded and has a mission to unite YFCs across the country. Ed claims YFC has given him confidence and friendships and he’s eager to promote the opportunities the organisation offers rural young people. 

Lucy Stowell, Dereham YFC, Norfolk FYFC

NFU Mutual Accounts Handler

Lucy has been an active member of Norfolk County Federation since she was 10 years old, rising from leading roles in Norfolk’s Countrysiders to becoming Chairman of Dereham YFC and County Chairman. Lucy has also held numerous area level roles and is currently NFYFC’s Events and Marketing Steering Group Chairman through her position on the NFYFC Council. She is passionate about supporting younger members to achieve their best and plans to visit counties to see the activities they run and work with them to involve younger members. Lucy believes YFC helped her to find her voice after joining as a shy 10 year old and she has gone on to gain qualifications and confidence. Lucy has a passion for the agricultural industry and the NFU’s work.


Rachel Goldie, Great Smeaton YFC, Yorkshire FYFC

Homeless Prevention Worker for 16-25 year olds 

Rachel is one of the two current Vice Chairmen of Council and has supported the Chairman of Council in their role in 2019-20. Rachel has been an active member of her club since she was 13 years old, holding club and county positions.  During 2019-20 Rachel has held the position of Vice Chairman of NFYFC’s Personal Development Steering Group, has been an active member of the Board of Management and also helped to steer the early work of the Vision:2023 group to gather feedback from YFC members.  

15 January 2020

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) welcomes the introduction of a new Agriculture Bill to help guide the future of the industry.

The legislation offers reassurance to young people working in farming and sets out a clear plan for the future and the support available.

YFC members have been involved in the consultation process in the build up to the new Bill and have opportunities to share their views further on proposals. Consultation is still ongoing for the Environment Land Management Scheme (ELMS) and young farmers have also been invited to share their views on this with Defra at regional events across the country. (See here for more details).

David Goodwin, NFYFC’s Agriculture and Rural Issues (AGRI) steering group chairman, said:

“Many members of our Young Farmers’ Clubs will play a key role in the future of food, farming and the environment and this new legislation offers more certainty about the impact they can make.

“Young farmers will optimise future opportunities and rise to the challenge of problem solving. Unity, clarity of detail and direction are key for our future success.

“It is reassuring to see that the new bill encourages diversification and innovation, as well as aiming to create opportunities for new entrants to break into the industry.”

Highlights from new Agriculture Bill

The new Bill sets out how farmers and land managers in England will in the future be rewarded with public money for “public goods” – such as better air and water quality, higher animal welfare standards, improved access to the countryside or measures to reduce flooding. This will contribute to the government’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, while at the same time, helping to boost farmers’ productivity.

This will replace the current subsidy system of Direct Payments which pays farmers for the total amount of land farmed, skewing payments towards the largest landowners rather than those farmers delivering specific public benefits.

The new Bill champions British food by improving transparency and fairness in the supply chain from farm to fork and through investing in new technology and research to ensure Britain’s world-renowned food producers remain competitive and innovative.

In order to spend more on boosting productivity and environmental benefits, Direct Payments will be phased out over an agricultural transition period, which is due to start in 2021 and run for seven years.

Later in the agricultural transition, the government plans to ‘delink’ Direct Payments from the requirement to farm the land, a requirement that currently exists under EU law. This will give farmers greater flexibility to plan for their future as these payments will be able to be used by farmers to invest in their business, diversify their activities or help new people enter the sector.

To read the new Agriculture Bill, see here.

To see the NFU’s response to the Bill, see here.

To debate the future of the industry, why not take part in NFYFC’s AGRI Forum on 5 February at Daylesford Farm. See here for more information and to book your place


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