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Young Farmers' Clubs support membership subscription increase

Young Farmers' Clubs support membership subscription increase

More than two thirds of Young Farmers’ Clubs voted in favour of a motion to increase the annual membership subscription to £35 at NFYFC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday 21 April 2024.

This fee is charged per member and provides partial support towards the services provided by NFYFC, which include support for county federations with legal compliance and governance, training, national representation of members’ views, a national competitions and travel programme, as well as marketing and resources for clubs.

James Nixey, NFYFC’s Vice Chair of Council, proposed the motion to increase the subscription by outlining the escalation in support County Federations needed from NFYFC.

“Our successful recovery from the Covid pandemic shows the grit and resilience of our organisation,” said James at the meeting. “However, this has led to an unprecedented demand on NFYFC’s services, and support for the county federations has increased significantly.”

James highlighted how many new county staff there were in post who relied on NFYFC to “learn and build experience.” This was being achieved by two new NFYFC Field Officers, as well as dedicated support from NFYFC’s safeguarding team.

James urged members to “act to ensure the next generation will be able to enjoy all that YFC membership has to offer.”

James’ proposal was seconded by Alex McMenemy from County Durham who also outlined the support she had received from NFYFC when recruiting new county staff.

“Consider what your YFC experience would have looked like were it not for some of the benefits provided by NFYFC,” said Alex who referred to the competitions, training and travel opportunities.

Opposition to the motion

Opposition to the motion was presented by Rosie Finney from Lincolnshire who suggested the organisation should be “exploring other areas,” to plug the deficit, such as through more fundraising and national events.

Currently 56% of NFYFC’s income comes from fundraising, sponsorships, grants, fees, events and investments.

Matt Denby, also from Lincolnshire, argued that more should be done to increase membership numbers rather than charging more money.

It was a speech made in favour of the motion that was awarded the Sidney Fawcett trophy by the judges for making the greatest contribution to the AGM.

Zoe Stanbury from Somerset spoke on behalf of the Youth Forum who represent more than 50% of the membership age. With a lack of younger members’ voices in the room, Zoe asked voters to remember who they were representing.

“I ask you to consider our growing number of younger members. They need you to be their voice for their future. Voting to cut support to our counties and members is what you are doing if you vote for no price increase,” said Zoe.

The motion to increase the subscription was adopted after 61% voted for the motion, 38% against it and 1% abstention. The membership subscription will therefore increase to £35 per annum from 1 September 2025.

Membership subscription Q&A

What is the membership subscription?

NFYFC charges an annual membership subscription to every member to be part of the national organisation. This subscription is a contribution towards NFYFC’s services. It currently represents less than half of NFYFC’s income.

How is NFYFC funded?

  • 44% of the NFYFC income is from YFC members’ subscriptions.
  • 47% of income comes from sponsorship, grants, events, fees and similar.
  • 9% of the NFYFC income is from returns from NFYFC’s portfolio of investments.

What services does NFYFC provide?

NFYFC is an umbrella body that coordinates and represents a group of smaller independent bodies (YFCs and county federations).

NFYFC has an essential support role to help YFCs and county federations manage their charitable activities and affairs within the law. It does this through the development of policies, tools and learning opportunities for YFCs and county federations to use as well as ensuring a comprehensive scheme of insurance is in place.

The NFYFC also designs and delivers programmes of work such as competitions, travel and training that meet the charitable objectives of YFCs and county federations.

The organisation also represents YFC members’ views on a national scale and manages the marketing of YFC’s brand and reputation.

Why is the subscription fee increasing?

The annual subscription was due to rise in 2020 and 2021 by 20%, as voted for by YFC members at the 2019 Annual General Meeting. Thereafter it was to increase in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI). On this basis, the annual subscription should have been at £42.14 by September 2023 if the pandemic had not happened.

The pandemic put huge pressure on county federations’ finances and NFYFC’s Board of Management reduced the annual fee to just £10 per member in September 2021 to help with their recovery, returning to £25.80 the year after.

Since the pandemic there has been huge price increases as inflation rose. NFYFC has also needed to give county federations more support with new staff teams and work around safeguarding compliance.

If you have more questions about the annual subscription, please speak to your Council representative.