National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

21 July 2022

A silver seal award and time spent shearing in New Zealand, helped Murray Craig from Cumbria win the Sheep Shearing national final at the Great Yorkshire Show in July.

Murray, who has been part of Penrith YFC since he moved from Scotland to the county for work five years ago, beat last year’s winner Ciaran McNulty to the top spot.

“It felt great to win. I didn’t think I had got it and thought I was third,” said Murray who works on a farm in Cumbria. “I clip a lot of sheep and someone I know encouraged me to take part in the competition. I have spent time in New Zealand shearing too and you shear a lot of sheep there.”

Murray grew up learning shearing skills from his father who does hand shearing.

“I was always going to shows with him as a kid and met all the big shearing boys that way and they told me to get booked on a course,” said Murray who wishes he’d used the 50% discount for the Blue Seal training when he did this course a few years ago before taking his silver. More than 100 YFC members took advantage of the discounted Blue Seal training course offered by British Wool this year.

“The British Wool courses are ideal – you always pick up a few things that you have changed or got wrong. There’s always going to be sheep to shear and it’s a good skill to have and you can make a lot of money from it. If you want to go into farming you need money behind you no matter what. It’s a very handy way for a young person to make some of the cash needed to get into farming.”

Ciaran McNulty from Northumberland, last year’s winner, came second place in the competition and Bob Hargreaves from Lancashire came third.

The full results can be viewed here.

21 July 2022

The winning team from the Dairy Stockjudging competition might be more used to working with sheep than cows but their stockjudging training won out on the day.

The trio from Carmathenshire scored the highest marks to win the Farmer and Stockbreeder Trophy for being the overall team winners at the national final at the Great Yorkshire Show.

The competition, which is sponsored by Rutland Electric Fencing/Kerbl, was held at the showground for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic.

The team was made up of Elan Thomas, from a dairy farm, and two beef and sheep farmers Angharad Thomas and Olwen – who also won the Farmers Weekly Trophy for the 16 & Under Dairy Stockjudging.

Angharad, who was new to judging dairy cattle encouraged other YFC members to give the competition a go.

“Any member of YFC that wants to try, the best thing is, just give it a go. You can come last today and then win tomorrow, so go for it and try and you never know what you’re good at.”

Steven Harris from Cornwall won The Harold Jackson Perpetual Challenge Trophy for the 28 and under category. It was the third time the dairy farmer has won a national stockjudging competition and he puts it all down to his training and love of dairy cows.

“In Cornwall we do a lot of dairy stockjudging training under the guidance of Colin Christophers. The training has brought me a long way, it’s taught me a lot. And I enjoy evenings going looking at cows,” said Steven.

“I really enjoy dairy stockjudging. I love the competitive aspect of it and I love dairy cows as well. I milk cows at home and I love seeing correct cows that will last a long time and produce a lot of milk.”

William Lucas from Lancashire won The J S Clark Perpetual Challenge Cup for the 21 & under category.

Competitors were required to assess a ring of dairy cows and in the Senior category they were asked to use the linear method of assessing characteristics. All competitors also had to present their reasons for placing them in a particular order to the judges.

The winners were all given a Dual Powered Energiser from Rutland Electric Fencing as an additional prize.

Hugh Burnham from Rutland Electric Fencing was at the Showground to present the awards to the winners.

“Rutland Electric Fencing is proud to sponsor young farmers. It’s the future of UK and British farming. The next generation is most important to all of us. Congratulations to all the winners and competitors and we look forward to seeing you next year.”

NFYFC is grateful to the Great Yorkshire Agricultural Societies and the exhibitors from the Jersey, Ayrshire, Holsteins, Shorthorns Society for allowing the Federation to use their dairy cows.

The results for the Dairy Stockjudging can be viewed online here.

21 July 2022

Getting involved in NFYFC’s sports competitions has introduced YFC members to new activities, with teams admitting it has been great for their physical and mental wellbeing.

Tom Greetham was part of the Leicestershire men’s Dodgeball team, which is made up of members from Wymeswold YFC, and he said it had helped give the club a new active focus.

“In the build up to competition finals, we’d book a sports hall and spend an evening down there and get everyone involved from the club. I get that sports isn’t for everyone but in Young Farmers, no one judges you whether you’re good or bad,” said Tom who found practising for the competition gave the senior men in the club something active to do.

“We are only a small club and sports is the one thing we pride our club in. We try 100% every time we do sports,” continued Tom who used to play for the Leicestershire County Cricket team.

“When we made it through to the final, I was proud enough of the team as it was and then to go on and win it was one of the best moments in Young Farmers.”

The Ladies Rush Hockey also inspired some future players of the sport in Cumbria. Rachel Armstrong, Vice Secretary of Greysouthen YFC, was part of the winning team and plays hockey regularly.

“It’s brilliant that we get to play sport with YFC and get everyone together. In previous rounds there were people playing the sport and it turned out they really loved it and decided to join their local hockey club. It really enhances sport in and outside of Young Farmers,” said Rachel who had to call in help from neighbouring clubs for the final due to some of the players having other commitments.

“We didn’t practice together before the final but most of us play hockey regularly for clubs in the county. I got through to the national final last year for Netball but we didn’t do very well in that – we only won one game! This year was a great opportunity. We weren’t expecting to win at all.”

In the Ultimate Frisbee competition, which was supported by the Reta Lila Foundation, the Yorkshire team came first after playing a lively game on a hot morning in Staffordshire.

NFYFC is grateful to the support of judges, stewards and volunteers who help make Sports Day happen.

The final score sheets can be seen online here.

18 July 2022

NFYFC is re-launching its Farm Safety training module this Farm Safety Week (18-22 July 2022) to encourage Young Farmers’ Clubs to be more aware of the dangers on farms.

The training session, which is part of NFYFC’s suite of Curve modules for clubs to deliver, has been revamped with The Farm Safety Foundation (Yellow Wellies) to be more interactive and practical to deliver during a club meeting.

YFC members taking the course will come away understanding the importance of farm safety and be more knowledgeable about what do if they are first on the scene of an incident, what the most common accidents are on farm and how to spot hazards.

The course originally included a section on mental health but this has now been removed and will be developed into a separate module that will be available to clubs soon.

NFYFC’s Training and Development Officer Natasha Dennis said: “Following feedback from trainers and YFC members, we decided to re-look at the Farm Safety Curve module to make it easier to deliver during a club meeting.

“The mental health element was adding extra time into an already full course. It’s important that this is addressed in more detail, so we have removed this section and focused the existing Farm Safety Curve module more on avoiding accidents and knowing what to do if one happens.”

NFYFC is encouraging YFCs to pledge to put the new Farm Safety Curve module on their club programmes in the new membership year. Pledge cards are available to download and share during Farm Safety Week on the NFYFC website.

The Farm Safety Foundation – or Yellow Wellies as they are known - will hold their tenth annual Farm SafetyWeek, a campaign which brings together five countries over five days with one simple goal – to encourage everyone in the industry to make our farms safer places to live and to work.

A decade after the first Farm Safety Week, agriculture still has the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK and Ireland. To mark the start of this year’s campaign, on 18 July the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) will share their annual Fatal Injuries in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing in GB report 2021/22. The Farm Safety Foundation will use these figures to reflection what has been achieved over the past decade and highlight how much there is to do to improve the poor safety record of our industry.

The Farm Safety Foundation is also supporting NFYFC’s Farm Safety Award at the YFC Achiever Awards and YFC members, clubs and counties are being encouraged to enter this during Farm Safety Week too. It’s an opportunity to celebrate all the great work that is being done to promote farm safety.

To enter or nominate someone for a Farm Safety Award, visit here.

For more information on ‘Farm Safety Week’ visit or follow @yellowwelliesUK on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.


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