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Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs

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Archive for the ‘Staffs Young Farmers’ Category

Staffs YFC Club Officers enjoy a weekend of Training

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

On Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th October, over 20 newly elected Club Officers across the Staffordshire Young Farmers Clubs (YFC) attended a very full weekend of training, learning new skills and meeting their fellow officers who hold the positions of Club Chairman, Club Secretary and Club Treasurer.  The weekend was funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and The Rural Youth Trust Grant and is designed to introduce the specifics of what is involved in a Club Officer role including best safeguarding practice, risk assessments and leadership, looking at the impact and value that their youth-work within the clubs can have and how to inspire their members and fellow officers to become good communicators.  Also being able to enjoy and understand the benefits of teamwork, become more organised and build their confidence in their role.  There was also a session held where each club specifically looked at their current practices within the clubs, called “YFC on Track” which has been introduced by the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (NFYFC) Personal Development Steering group, to check that the club officers and clubs recognize and meet the minimum expectations to run their own club, operating in line with their constitution, Charity Commission guidelines and best practice.

The weekend of training was delivered by Polly Baines, Club Chairman; Julia Taylor, County Organiser and Beckie Phillips, one of the trained trainers within Staffordshire YFC.  Alongside Polly, Julia and Beckie, the federation also employed the services of Matt Turner and Jane Reynolds, both Development Workers from Staffordshire Council for Voluntary Youth Services, who delivered a bespoke session about Youthwork including leadership styles, active listening and challenging behaviour.    Within the two-day programme, Julia Taylor, the County Designated Safeguarding Lead also delivered a session about Safeguarding in YFC Clubs and the correct procedures to follow.

The Club Officers Training Weekend is one of 5 training opportunities offered to all new Club Officers as they start in their voluntary role, which is a great responsibility for the young leaders with a vast club membership age range of 10 to 26 years, in Staffordshire YFC.  The Club Officers are the vital point of communication and contact to those members for the County Office and it is essential that they feel well supported in their role.  The feedback from those who participated in the weekend has been very positive, with Club Officers agreeing that they would recommend the weekend to future Club Officers and that they now feel more confident for the year ahead, which will make a positive impact on their club and members.

To help the Club Officers to keep themselves organised, the Staffordshire YFA (Young Farmers Ambassadors), which is a subcommittee of Staffordshire YFC, also presented them with large hessian bags to keep their books and paperwork in.  The Staffordshire YFA is made up of current and past YFC Travellers who help current members to apply for the various YFC Travel opportunities available via NFYFC.

Staffordshire YFC has ten clubs operating in the county, with over 600 members aged between 10 – 26 years.  Each club provides a weekly programme of regular activities ranging from sports, public speaking, farm walks and trips away.  Members come from all walks of life including nursery nurses, agronomists, schoolteachers, chefs, students and farm workers.    The name “Young Farmers” can sometimes be misleading, but anyone who is keen to get involved and become a member can be reassured that absolutely no farming background is required – not even a pair of wellies!

Young people who have taken up voluntary leadership positions within Staffordshire YFC have often progressed into taking up other roles of responsibility within their own community, as they have built up their confidence and knowledge to do so, after their YFC experience.

To view photos from the weekend, please click here

Carcase Judging Results 2019

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

65 members from 8 Clubs travelled to Sargeants, Bramshall for the Carcase Judging Competition.  The results were:

Junior Team – 1st Leek YFC, 2nd Waterhouses YFC, 3rd Eccleshall A YFC

Intermediate Team – 1st Cheadle YFC, 2nd Chase YFC, 3rd Eccleshall B YFC

Senior Team – 1st Uttoxeter A JNFU, 2nd Waterhouses YFC, 3rd Eccleshall A YFC

Overall Team – 1st Uttoxeter A JNFU, 2nd Cheadle YFC, 3rd Waterhouses YFC

Photos from the evening can be found HERE

Harvest Thanksgiving at Lichfield Cathedral

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

On Sunday 6th October, Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (YFC) were very proud to be a part of the Harvest Thanksgiving Service at Lichfield Cathedral, along with Staffordshire National Farmers Union (NFU).   As the Staffordshire NFU are celebrating their centenary year this year, both organisations decided to join together, to give thanks with the congregation at the Cathedral for all that is involved in the production of food and drink.   Members of YFC and the NFU presented Harvest Offerings and gave readings, with themed baskets including “The Offering of Animal Produce” and “Gifts of Resourcefulness” as part of the service.

The County Chairman of Staffordshire YFC, Polly Baines, along with Richard Bower, County Chairman of Staffordshire NFU, also led the Prayers of Intercession during the service.  Displayed outside the Cathedral housed under the Staffordshire NFU Discovery Pod and in keeping with the rural theme, the Robinson Family of Oxclose Farm, Lichfield brought along some young calves and the Bower Family of Lower Drayton Farm, Penkridge brought along a lamb and a couple of goats.  These were very well received, especially by the Sunday School children.    Also, on display, there was a vintage Massey Ferguson tractor supplied by the Gray Family of Whittington alongside a brand-new Massey Ferguson tractor from B and B Tractors of Fauld.

After the service, all the congregation enjoyed refreshments including locally baked cakes and savouries, served and supplied by Staffordshire NFU and Staffordshire YFC, showcasing what wonderful produce can be eaten and enjoyed within the county.

Staffordshire YFC have been filling social media with the good news of the work that their ten clubs and over 600 members aged 10-26 years across the County do this week, as it has been National Young Farmers Week, a country wide campaign raising the profile of the organisation.  Members have been sharing about how being in YFC has helped them including Emily Cartmail, aged 22 of Eccleshall YFC said “I would not be in the career I am today with the skills and confidence I have gained through being in YFC.” 

Participation in events such as the Harvest Service at Lichfield helps Staffordshire YFC members to build their confidence through public speaking, also meeting new people and having new experiences.

To view a full gallery of photos from this event, please click here

Staffs YFC welcome BCW to their Public Speaking Day

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

Staffordshire Young Farmers Clubs are pleased to announce that their Public Speaking Competitions Day which is held on Sunday 24th November, is being supported this year by B.C.W (Agriculture) , Crop Production, Animal Health and Seed Specialists.   B.C.W (Agriculture) have been established since 1991 with their head office being based in Market Drayton, Shropshire.  The busy day sees nine competitions organised by the Competitions Committee, for the members of the ten clubs across Staffordshire to compete in. Staffordshire YFC is very fortunate to be able to hold the day at the Staffordshire County Showground in the excellent facilities of the Ingestre Suite rooms, by kind permission of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society.

 

For the younger age group, there is a Junior Reading and Junior Speaking Competitions which for many of our members, is the first experience of public speaking they will ever have.   Our Intermediate members aged between 17 – 21 years, will compete in a “Call My Bluff” Competition, which involved a team of four members who can develop their skills in public speaking by trying to outwit the opposition by engineering two plausible “bluff” explanations to a given word.  For Senior members, a Debating Competition will be held, which involves teams of five members, who are given a debating subject three weeks prior to the competition.   These members can then develop their knowledge of the subject whilst enhancing their speech writing and public speaking skills.

 

As well as Public Speaking, The Member of the Year Competition will also be held, split into two age categories for members aged 17 and under and 18 and over.  All members are asked to submit a synopsis form prior to the day and will then be interviewed by a panel of judges.  The younger members are also asked to present a PowerPoint on their experiences both in YFC and outside of the organisation and for the older members, they have a “live” interview on stage by the judges as well.    Situations Vacant is the final more “formal” competition of the day, which involves members applying for a job of their choice, completing their CV and submitting a formal application.  On the day of the competition they are then interviewed for that job.

 

Jonathan Dolbear from BCW Agriculture said “BCW, a trading division of Frontier Agriculture Ltd, are committed to supporting young people looking to enter the Agricultural industry. Supporting events organised by YFC such as this one is a great chance to promote who we are and demonstrate the opportunities available as well as further developing young people’s skills to give them a positive view of a career in Agriculture.”

 

To round off a busy day of competitions, two more “entertaining” ones will also be held. Firstly, a Commercial Dancing competition, where teams will be practising to perform a commercial dance, which is the type of dance performed by dancers who are hired for music videos.  The routine is to be between 3-5 minutes long and may be to one track or a compilation of tracks.  In addition to this, the dancing competition will be followed by a Cheerleading Competition.   Each team is required to perform a Cheerleading routine which may contains the many elements of this skill including dance, jumps, cheers and stunts, again lasting between 3 – 5 minutes.  Staffordshire YFC have seen club teams in the Cheerleading Competition reaching the National Finals of this competition twice before, with Cheadle YFC in 2004 and Chase YFC in 2013.

 

Polly Baines, County Chairman said “As a charitable organisation we are reliant on sponsorship and donations in order to continue to provide the great service and opportunities to our members. Therefore, we really appreciate companies like BCW Agriculture, who have chosen to support Staffordshire YFC, and the future generation of the rural community in this way.”

 

All results from the various competitions are announced on the day and awards will be made to those coming out on top.  Each competition is part of the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs Competitions Programme and the teams or individuals placed in first or second place will progress to the next round of competitions which is organised for the West Midlands Area, competing against four other counties.

 

For any further information on any of our YFC Clubs, or for more information about supporting Staffordshire YFC, please contact Julia Taylor on 01785 248645 or email countyoffice@staffsyoungfarmers.org.uk.

Statement regarding Eccleshall YFC Dinner Dance

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs is saddened that one of its YFC members was injured during Eccleshall Young Farmers’ Clubs’ Annual Dinner and Dance at Tillington Hall, Stafford, on Friday 21 September. The YFC member involved has received hospital treatment and is now back home with her family. We are in contact with the YFC member and their family to support them during this difficult time. YFC members have also rallied round to show their support to the family.

We are grateful for the quick actions of the club’s first aiders who dealt with the injury on the night before further hospital treatment was needed.

The cause of the injury is not yet known however Staffordshire Police are investigating the incident and we are working with them to help with their enquiries. If anyone has any further information, please contact Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting the reference 163, 21 September 2019.

Pickering and Butters continue to support Staffordshire Young Farmers

Friday, September 20th, 2019

Staffordshire Young Farmers Clubs are pleased to announce that their Annual General Meeting (AGM) which is held on Friday 8th November, is being supported again this year by Pickering and Butters, a firm of Staffordshire Solicitors who were founded over a century ago, with offices based in Stafford and Rugeley.   The County AGM is attended by over 250 invited guests and members of the Federation and is the most prestigious meeting of the Staffordshire YFC year.   A full report will be given by the retiring County Chairman, Polly Baines about her year in office.  In addition to this, numerous presentations which will be made to the award winners from the year 2018/19 around the County, including The “Most Outstanding Chairman” and “The Merit Award” which is given for the most outstanding contribution made by an individual to their club and/or county as well as club awards for Community Work and Overall Competitions.  Polly will also be presenting a cheque to Cancer Research, the charity she chose during his year as County Chairman, to support via numerous fundraising activities around the clubs in Staffordshire.

Polly Baines, County Chairman said “As a charitable youth organisation we are reliant on sponsorship and donations in order to continue to provide the great service and opportunities to our members. Therefore, we really appreciate companies like Pickering and Butters, who have chosen to support Staffordshire YFC, and the future generation of the rural community in this way.”

Sean Spinetto, Head of Department for Business at Pickering and Butters said “We benefit from a substantial and loyal list of clients in the farming industry and continue to work closely with them to ensure the ongoing success of their businesses. We are privileged to be given the opportunity to support the next generation of farmers in Staffordshire by sponsoring the 2019 AGM”

For any further information on any of our YFC Clubs, or for more information about supporting Staffordshire YFC, please contact Julia Taylor on 01785 248645 or email countyoffice@staffsyoungfarmers.org.uk.

Staffs YFC are ready for the year ahead!

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Staffordshire County Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (SCFYFC) is about to join in a National celebration to shout about just what their organisation is all about!  SCFYFC, who have been affiliated to the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (NFYFC) since 1952, has ten active clubs across the county and just over 600 members aged between 10 – 26 years of age during the last 12 months.  As the Clubs started their new membership year on 1st September this year, many evenings joining up new and existing members as well as Club AGM’s are being held across Staffordshire.

As a democratic and membership led organisation, SCFYFC can offer young people living in and around rural communities of Staffordshire a host of opportunities and competitions to get involved in, all for around £1 a week!     And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a farmer – in fact you don’t have to know anything about farming, all you need is a sense of adventure and a love of the countryside! Our members come from all walks of life including Receptionists, Hairdressers, Dog Groomers, IT Consultants, Students, Teachers, Chefs… the list is endless!    Led by young people, for young people, SCFYFC provides anyone aged 10 to 26 with a fantastic chance to meet lifelong friends, learn new skills, make a real difference to the local community and even travel the world!

During the year, Staffordshire YFC holds a varied Competitions Programme which can lead to Area and National Finals competing against fellow members across the county.  Competitions on the calendar this year include Kwik Cricket, Football, Netball, Cookery, Darts, Fence Erecting, Floral Art, Raft Races plus many more.  Our members often achieve highly in the NFYFC finals including Eccleshall and Uttoxeter Young Farmers who came 2nd in the NFYFC Show Choir Competition and Waterhouses YFC who took 2nd place as well in the NFYFC Male Tug of War Competition over the summer.

Also, in the summer, one member went a step further and was named Senior Dairy Stockjudge of the Year at the NFYFC Finals.  This was a very proud moment for Staffordshire YFC in this very popular competition.  Johnathan Wilson of Uttoxeter Young Farmers is in his last year of membership after joining Uttoxeter Young Farmers 13 years ago at the age of 14.

Johnathan Wilson said “Dairy stock judging has always been my favourite YFC competition. To win the NFYFC Dairy Stockjudging at The Great Yorkshire Show has always been a dream that I never thought was possible.  I am incredibly happy and shocked to win, especially in my last YFC year made it ever more special.  I’ve learnt so much from doing this competition from trainers, judges and fellow competitors and have gained some incredible friends too.”

The highlight for many of the members in Staffordshire YFC, is the Annual Rally which is a day filled with over 40 competitions and the County Show where all clubs showcase themselves on a Show Float which is paraded in the main ring.  There is also an exciting and unique YFC Travel programme, via the National Office, that includes homestays and working holidays – as well as a fun ski trip in January.  Full support is given to any members wishing to apply for these opportunities.   Training and learning opportunities also play an integral part of the YFC Calendar, with all clubs putting on evenings including Team Building, Good Communicators and Mental Health Awareness.

Staffordshire YFC have certainly packed a lot of community work and fundraising into the last 12 months, with clubs coming together to raise funds for Cancer Research, the day after their Annual Rally this year.  At the County AGM in November, County Chairman Polly Baines will be presenting a cheque for over £8000 to Cancer Research, which was raised at her family home, where the Annual Rally was hosted back in May. Polly Baines, County Chairman of Staffordshire YFC said “This year has been a true representation of everything YFC! From teamwork and competitions to socialising and great laughs.   My year as County Chairman has shown how much “teamwork really does make the dream work!” Being a part of the Staffordshire YFC is fantastic, the support and opportunities are amazing and once you join, you will never look back!”

Staffordshire YFC ten active clubs across the county are Abbotsholme YFC (School Club); Ashley YFC, Chase YFC, Cheadle YFC, Eccleshall YFC, Leek YFC, Lichfield YFC, Stone YFC, Uttoxeter JNFU and Waterhouses YFC.

 

President of NFYFC and Farming Today presenter Charlotte Smith said: YFCs are a great way for young people to learn more about agriculture, develop skills for life and celebrate the countryside. They play a key role in connecting young people in remote locations and National Young Farmers’ Week is the perfect time to support them in their growth and development.  It’s also an ideal opportunity for anyone to get along to their local club and find out more about being part of this amazing organisation.”

 

The fifth National Young Farmers’ Week runs from 30th September to 4th October and the aim of the week is to promote YFCs to more rural young people so they are aware of the benefits the clubs can offer them by providing an active social network and developing skills.

 

Katie Hall, NFYFC Chairman of Council 2019-20, said: “National Young Farmers’ Week is a great opportunity for everyone to celebrate the amazing work of NFYFC’s 615 Young Farmers’ Clubs across England and Wales. These individual clubs support rural young people and their local communities. You don’t have to be a farmer to be a Young Farmer, but YFCs are a great way to learn more about British food and farming and to celebrate living and working in the countryside.”

Look out for posts on social media throughout the week and join in using the hashtag #NationalYoungFarmersWeek.

For further details on joining one of the clubs, please do not hesitate to contact Julia Taylor on 01785 248645 or email countyoffice@staffsyoungfarmers.org.uk

 

Entries now being taken for the YFC Classes at the English Winter Fair

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

A prize fund of over £700 is on offer in the Young Farmers’ Stock and Carcase judging Competitions at this year’s English Winter Fair, Stafford, thanks to backing by AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board – Beef and Lamb). Teams from across the Country will be competing in the Stock and Carcase Judging competitions, held at the English Winter Fair on Sunday 17th November along with the NFYFC Live and Carcase Judging two day competition over the weekend.

The teams made up of 8 members will be judging Live Beef, Live Lamb, Beef and Pork Carcase on Sunday 17th November from 9.30am. The Secretary for the Young Farmer Classes, Mrs Julia Taylor explained, “Young Farmers will be able to judge the Beef and Pork Carcase in the purpose-built Carcass Hall, which is a fantastic facility available to us thanks to support from AHDB and the show’s organisers, the Staffordshire & Birmingham Agricultural Society.

Young Farmers will pit the skills picked up in county rounds of the YFC’s Stock and Carcase competitions against others in this nationwide event to secure prizes. “It is a great way for members to test their skill at judging stock on the hoof and on the hook. Each team is given 10 minutes to assess stock and then two minutes to give reasons to the panel of judges for their choices. It is always a popular date on the YFC calendar and well supported by counties across the country” adds Mrs Taylor.

In addition to cash prizes YFC teams will also compete for the Birmingham Agricultural Exhibition Society silver cup for the team accumulating most points which last year went to Warwickshire YFC.

This year again there will be a 2 course meal being held in the Boden Room, exclusively for YFC members followed by entry into the Herdsman’s Supper Disco entry for only £10 on the evening before the competitions, Saturday 17th November. This evening is also kindly supported by Bagshaws Auctioneers.

Young Farmers attending the event will also be able to see the Show’s championships take place in the main arena in Bingley Hall as well as witness the spectacle of the grand auction of prize-winning animals from both the live arena and Carcass Hall on Sunday afternoon.

For details on how to enter your County team, please click here

Johnny takes the top spot in Dairy Stockjudging

Monday, July 15th, 2019

At The Great Yorkshire Show on Thursday 11th July, 6 Staffordshire Young Farmers Club (YFC) members competed against the highest ranking Dairy Stockjudgers in the country.  After judging a ring of 4 Dairy cows and giving reasons to the Master Judge, Johnathan Wilson of Uttoxeter Young Farmers came 1st in the Senior Section, out of 33 other individuals.  His team, consisting also of James Robinson of Lichfield YFC and Peter Cotton of Waterhouses YFC, came 2nd out of 39 teams.    This is a massive achievement again for Staffordshire YFC in this very popular competition.  Johnathan is in his last year of membership after joining Uttoxeter Young Farmers 13 years ago at the age of 14.

Johnathan Wilson said “Dairy stock judging has always been my favourite YFC competition. To win the NFYFC Dairy Stockjudging at The Great Yorkshire Show has always been a dream that I never thought was possible.  I am incredibly happy and shocked to win, especially in my last YFC year made it ever more special.  I’ve learnt so much from doing this competition from trainers, judges and fellow competitors and have gained some incredible friends too.”

 The cup which Johnathan bought home, The Harold Jackson Perpetual Challenge Trophy, has not been won by a Staffordshire since 1958, so this win has been 61 years in the making too!  Competitions are a very important aspect of YFC, offering members new opportunities to develop their confidence, skills and learning.  The Dairy Stock Judging Competition is aimed to help members by giving them the opportunity to put their training to the test by judging high quality livestock and presenting their findings to industry experts.

Young Farmers hit all the right notes!

Monday, July 8th, 2019

Members of Eccleshall and Uttoxeter Young Farmers Club (YFC) sang their way to second place at the National Federation of Young Farmers (NFYFC) Competitions Day on Saturday 6th July, held locally at the Stafford Showground.  The club formed the joint choir made up of a group of 15 members aged between 13 and 27 years, many of whom had not sang in public before, after their success at the West Midlands Area round of this competition.  They have been practising for many hours with the enthusiastic guidance of Eccleshall members Imogen Bloxham and Harriet Wilson, who choreographed the two singing pieces, one of which had to be from the Top 40 singles from 1st January 2018 to 1st January 2019 and the second piece could be of the teams own choice.  The team sang “I’ll be There” by Jess Glynne and then in contrast, “Africa” by Toto, both of which were very originally performed including some solo sections and six very bright umbrellas as props.  The national competition was marked with the following criteria: Choice of Programme; Accuracy and Intonation; Quality and Balance; Interpretation; Overall Ensemble and Presentation; Appropriateness and Creativity of Movement.  The team scored 207 marks out of a possible 240 and were only 5 marks away from the first placed team, Devon YFC.

Harry Bowers, Club Chairman of Eccleshall YFC said “It has been great to see how the members from two clubs have all come together.  The final performance showcased our weeks of hard work and we have come such a long way since the county competition back in November last year.”

Competitions are a very important aspect of YFC, offering members new opportunities to develop their confidence, skills and learning.  The Choir Competition is aimed to help members learn new performance techniques, develop musical skills and experience singing to a large audience which, on Saturday, was over 400 members, supporters and associates of YFC from across the country.

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