National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

27 August 2020

YFC members have voted to change the way the national subscription fee is calculated to make it easier and more affordable for YFC members.

The changes mean that from September 2020 all members will pay £25.80 to the national body for their annual membership fee – members also pay fees at a club and at a county level.

An online vote was held during the meeting and the motion was passed by a majority of 89% of the votes cast. The £25.80 per member is the subscription for the new membership year, commencing on 1 September and, like before, the subscription can only be changed by motions brought forward at future Annual General Meetings.

Previously the national subscription was worked out by dividing a sum of money between the total number of members the organisation has at the end of each membership year. This would mean that an increase in membership reduced each individual member’s fee but a decrease in membership had the reverse effect. 

At last year’s AGM, members voted for an annual 20% increase on the national levy.  This meant the membership fee would have increased to £31.66 in September 2020 based on the number of members recorded at the end of the 2019-20 membership year.

Brecknock FYFC successfully proposed a motion to change this system and argued that increasing the fee in the usual way would impact members heavily, especially during the pandemic when membership numbers are expected to reduce.

Rebecca Prothero from Brecknock said the County Federation’s proposal was “common sense” and provided an “easy and straightforward” approach to calculating the membership fee. Rebecca also explained that while the motion was submitted before the pandemic, it had only highlighted the need for it. 

“For those members who do sign up, the current method of determining the national levy is going to punish those members even further,” said Rebecca in the speech she made online during NFYFC’s first virtual Annual General Meeting. “We are in need of a substantial change about how we look after our grassroots members and we are now in a position to protect and nurture the membership through what could be a dangerous and shattering time for the organisation.”

Amy Powell from Radnorshire FYFC seconded the motion and also said that the current system meant the County’s members “were feeling punished for remaining loyal to the Federation.”

NFYFC will not be receiving an increase to its income from subscriptions due to the changes to the membership fee, and some YFC members expressed concern during the meeting about the loss of planned increased income to national services.

Chairman of the Board of Management Delme Harries and NFYFC Vice Chairman of Council Ed Dungait reassured members that programming cuts were not planned due to the changes this motion brought to NFYFC budgets in 2021. The Board of Management also expressed its support of the Brecknock FYFC motion in light of the extreme financial effects being faced by individuals and clubs due to Covid-19.

During the online meeting, YFC members also elected world renowned rugby referee and former YFC member Nigel Owens MBE as the new NFYFC President.

Seven deputy presidents were also elected as follows: Eastern Area – Teresa Pemberton, East Midlands Area – Bryan Lovegrove, Northern Area – Diane Coles, South East Area – Alethea Snelling, South West Area – Nigel Howe, Wales – Owen Elliott, West Midlands Area – David Fellows.

This was the first time that NFYFC had held its Annual General Meeting online and the meeting involved a mixture of live and recorded presentations. Attendees at the meeting were able to vote online and comment throughout the meeting while watching presentations from homes. 


26 August 2020

Young Farmers have voted unanimously to elect world-renowned rugby union referee and TV presenter Nigel Owens MBE as the new President of The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) in August.

Nigel, a fluent Welsh speaker from Carmarthenshire, is a Welsh international rugby union referee and a TV presenter on the S4C Welsh language chat shows. Nigel was officially elected as President at the Federation’s online Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 26 August 2020, following the postponement of the original AGM at Stoneleigh in April due to Coronavirus.

In the 2016 Birthday Honours, Nigel was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to sport, and is a fellow of Cardiff University.

As a former member of Llanarthne YFC, Nigel is no stranger to YFC. He held the positions of secretary and chairman for the club and was also a former President of the Wales Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs.

Before becoming a professional rugby union referee, Nigel worked on a farm and also as a youth worker. He recently rekindled his farming career and now combines rugby refereeing with running his own farm near Llanelli.

Nigel said: “It is an honour to be elected as the President of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs. I have been involved with the Welsh Federation for many years so it’s really exciting to now extend my experience to the wider organisation.

“I am passionate about farming and see YFCs as an important stepping-stone for many young people to start or further their careers in this industry. YFCs have a challenging year ahead with the impact of the pandemic changing the way they operate but I hope my election will offer some encouragement and enthusiasm for clubs

“The lack of physical club meetings and the cancellation of rallies and county shows due to the pandemic will have had a significant impact on mental health. I know from my own experience of growing up in a rural area, just how important YFCs are for providing connections and combatting feelings of isolation – this is needed now more than ever.”

Nigel takes on the role of President following a three-year tenure in the post from Farming Today presenter Charlotte Smith.

NFYFC Chairman Dewi Parry said: “We are delighted that Nigel Owens MBE has been elected as the new President of NFYFC and look forward to him representing YFC members across England and Wales.

“Nigel’s farming connections and his personal experience of being a member of a Young Farmers’ Club make him the perfect choice for our organisation. Nigel’s impressive career should inspire others from rural backgrounds to strive to achieve their best and we are very much looking forward to working with him.” 

 


24 August 2020

After four years as a member of Howden YFC, Lucy Dale feels passionate about YFC and the impact it can have on rural young people.

Her passion for the organisation shone through at the recent final of the Junior Member of the Year competition, which was held online for the first time this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Despite strong competition from six other finalists, it was Lucy that impressed the judges the most.

Judge Lynne Griffin said: “What made Lucy stand out was her effervescent personality and her enthusiasm for the organisation and what it has to offer young people. She had a clear vision of the direction it should take to secure its future success and how she could play a part in that journey.”

Lucy had been involved in helping to organise the county rally – before it had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 – and is also the stockjudging secretary for her cluster. Despite lockdown restrictions. Lucy still managed to fulfil her roles by supplying videos of cattle to support a virtual stockjudging competition.

Lucy is an active participant in YFC competitions – and she took part in eight of them during last year’s rally day, helping Howden YFC achieve third place overall. But perhaps her proudest moment to date is being crowned the Junior Member of the Year title for 2020.

“Winning the Junior Member if the Year competition feels like a massive achievement. To represent my county and the whole of the northern area at the national finals was a honour in itself however winning the competition all together has made me grow with confidence and broaden my horizons for the future," said Lucy. "The feedback from the judges was amazing and made me more passionate about the opportunity I have to further raise the profile of British agriculture through YFC and the Youth Forum. Winning the competition is a start and in years to come I hope to carry on promoting agriculture through YFC and continued involvement in the farming community. ”

Lucy wants to become the chairman of the Ousevale cluster – a group she has been supporting throughout her time in YFC and she also has her sights on becoming secretary for her club too.

“I think it’s important to promote Young Farmers and therefore if I was to take on a bigger role I would definitely make sure I encouraged more young people to get involved,” said Lucy. “Agriculture is an industry that faces increasing scrutiny in modern society therefore I want to use my time in Young Farmers to ensure that more people get behind British farmers.” 

Lucy took part in an online Zoom interview as part of the final competition process and the judges were impressed with all the finalists they saw. All seven of the finalists will be invited to join the NFYFC Youth Forum.

Lynne said after interviewing the seven finalists: “Watch out for these rising stars. They will all be an asset to the Youth Forum and to the organisation in years to come.”

You can read more about all the finalists here. 


20 August 2020

Grace Millbank might not have joined a Young Farmers’ Club until she was 18 years old but her enthusiasm for the organisation over the last six years has earned her the title of Senior Member of the Year 2020. 

The 24-year-old started at Thrapston YFC in Northamptonshire and threw herself into YFC from the off – becoming Club Programme and Competitions Secretary in her first year. She held various posts in the club for her first two years before moving to Oundle YFC where she more recently became its Chairman.  She has also supported the County with roles in PR and competitions – a passion she has taken to a national level as she is currently NFYFC’s Competitions Steering Group Chairman.

Grace said: “I’m delighted to have won this prestigious competition, and my thanks to NFYFC for making this competition go ahead despite the challenging situation. The virtual interview worked well, and although we all hope we don’t have to use this format in the future, it has shown us all what can be achieved!”

Judge Derek Carless was impressed by how much Grace had achieved for her age. 

“Grace was able to demonstrate very detailed YFC knowledge and her range of YFC experience for someone of 24 is incredibly broad,” said Derek. “Overall, her enthusiasm and ability to articulate the essence of the YFC movement was very impressive and she is a great ambassador.”

As well as committee roles, Grace has actively taken part in the NFYFC competitions programme and YFC Travel – spending six weeks in Montana in 2018. A keen mentor to junior members, around competitions especially, she was brought to tears by the success of the County Junior Public Speaking team at the East Midlands Area Finals earlier this year.

“The team was made up of two members of my Club, both of whom only started competing in YFC this year and I was very proud of them winning at this level,” said Grace. “I used my experience, gained through stewarding this competition at Area and Regional level, to mentor and guide the team.”

After taking on a national role, Grace has played an active part in NFYFC initiatives – such as attending the summit event at the start of the year to help determine the organisation’s future direction. “I was left with a feeling of positivity towards the organisation’s future, and I am encouraging all to attend if a future summit is put on,” said Grace.

As well as working towards qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor, Grace is supporting her club as best she can during the pandemic and has been organising weekly virtual meetings to keep everyone connected. She has set her next YFC target at a County level.

“I envisage that my next challenge in YFC is to be County Chairman and would really like to undertake this role in the coming years.”

Grace was revealed as the winner of the Senior Member of the Year during the Challenge Finals Day in August. All seven finalists of the competition were involved in interviews with the judges over Zoom.

Derek said: “All competitors were very smartly turned out, enthusiastic, very worthy finalists, and they were a credit to their clubs, counties and areas.”

You can read about all seven finalists for the Senior Member of the Year here.  





20 August 2020

British Food Fortnight is from 19 September to 4 October and YFC members are encouraged to get involved and help share their love for British food and its producers. 

British Food Fortnight celebrations may have to be on a different scale this year but there are still ways you can get involved. Schools are signing up to take part with themed British Food Fortnight menus, family celebrations and meals are being planned on a smaller scale and many independent shops are working on listing more British products and themed window displays

With the hospitality trade back up and running after lockdown, many need our support.  The team behind British Food Fortnight will be suggesting themed menus, food  and drink matching, supplying promotional material, plus providing ongoing support on social media encouraging customers to visit and support the venues taking part in celebrations.

There are lots of ways YFC members can get involved in your local community and here are some ideas:

1. Social Media – tag in #BritishFoodFortnight and/or #BritishFoodisGreat on any relevant posts.  Highlight seasonal foods and recipes, plus ideas on how to celebrate  #BritishFoodFortnight or highlight local British producers, independents or pubs, bars and restaurants highlighting British Food Fortnight activity or themed menus.

2. Competition – Raymond Blanc will be leading a national competition.

3. #BritishFoodisGreat poster campaign showing the face of the farmer behind our food. Share images on social media if possible and suggest producers and retailers to take part.

4. There will be BFF assets for your use on social media.

5. The BFF Online Show will launch for the first year on Saturday 19 September, new features and content will be added daily during the fortnight until 4 October, but the show will stay live until Christmas.   The show will include:

  • Panel discussions on specified topics – ideas include: Sustainability, why school British ingredients, etc
  • Meet the Producer – webfilms
  • Recipe demos – pre-recorded, highlighting British Seasonal products. 
  • Kidzone – feature lessons for children growing produce and recipes using the ingredients.
  • Trade stand
  • Nutritional chats/discussion.

Tag @NFYFC in posts you make about BFF too and so the Federation can help to share them even wider. 

For more information about British Food Fortnight visit the Love British Food website here.  



17 August 2020

A homemade hamper for a key worker, a dog performing some clever tricks and a photo collage of a virtual competitions week, were all voted as the winning entries during NFYFC’s last Challenge Finals Day in August.

The event on Facebook and Instagram reached more than 60,000 people as members, family and friends voted on their favourite finalists for the Pet, Hamper and Flashback Challenges.

A hamper including a homemade gingered beef and vegetable pie and a fruity milkshake using homegrown produce received the most votes and its creator Lizzie Smallwood from Beacon YFC was delighted.

“Winning the hamper challenge was an amazing feeling. However, I did really enjoy the lead up to winning with friends and family from the YFC community liking, sharing and commenting on the post throughout the day. Even though we’re not all with each other at the moment it really did show the team spirt of the Club and County which is why I love YFC so much,” said Lizzie who gave her hamper to a family friend who works at the local hospital.

The hamper was constructed over a couple of evenings (around Zoom calls and quizzes) – with scones and cakes being baked one evening and the pie and milkshake created the next. 

“I enjoy cooking and baking but unfortunately, I don’t always have as much time as I would like to enjoy cooking,” added Lizzie. “Although after the YFC Ready Steady Cook challenge it inspired me to make time and get my apron on a bit more!”

For Max Powell, from Builth Wells YFC, the preparation for winning the YFC Pet Challenge had been ongoing for 11 months. Since his dog Hunter was born 11 months ago, Max has been teaching him tricks.

Max, who was “stoked” to win the challenge, said: “Hunter loves learning tricks so it’s not hard, he’s very intelligent. We were planning on taking him to lots of local shows this year but because of the Coronavirus they have all been cancelled. Hopefully next year I can take him and I will teach him some more tricks over the summer.”

Rounding off the challenge finalists was Becky Blanchard’s collage of images entry for the Flashback Challenge. The graphic included the winning entries from Cornwall FYFC’s Virtual Competitions Week, which was hosted in May.

“We had over 120 entries, from decorating a cake for our key workers, to a selfie with your pet, to beef stockjuding,” said Becky who is the General-Purpose Chairman of Cornwall FYFC. “The virtual event was a huge success and with our social media posts reaching more than 31,000 people, we were able to showcase some of the amazing work YFC do.”

Winning the national Flashback Challenge was an extra boost for Becky during a challenging few months. 

“Winning this competition was the icing on the cake and highlights what we achieved over lockdown when the events we loved got cancelled. Thank you to everyone who took part and voted.” 





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