The Staffordshire countryside will see around 100 festive tractors take to the road in a charity Christmas convoy this December.
Arranged by South Staffs Water and Staffordshire Young Farmers Clubs, the cavalcade of tractors will be lit up with Christmas lights on the evening of 8 December and will travel a 20-mile route through the villages of Hamstall Ridware, Abbots Bromley, Blithfield and Colton.
The event is being held in aid of three charities; WaterAid, Staffordshire Young Farmers Clubs and The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.
Nina Yiannoukos-Benton, senior catchment advisor at South Staffs Water, said:
“We work really closely with the Staffordshire Farmers, to make sure their work doesn’t affect the quality of the river water and in turn, the water that we treat and provide to our customers, so it’s amazing to be involved in arranging this tractor run. It’s going to be a lot of festive fun, as well as raising money for three important charities. We want everyone to get involved; come and watch the convoy along the route or join the festivities at the finish held at Cowley Hill Farm, Hamstall Ridware.”
To find out more, book a place in the convoy, please click here
On Friday 8th November, Staffordshire County Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (YFC) held their County AGM in the Ingestre Suite, County Showground, Stafford. The evening was kindly supported by Pickering and Butters Solicitors, a firm of Staffordshire Solicitors who were founded over a century ago, with offices based in Stafford and Rugeley. The County AGM was attended by over 250 invited guests and members of the Federation and is the most prestigious meeting of the Staffordshire YFC year.
Polly Baines, gave her County Chairman’s report on last year of Staffordshire YFC activities, highlighting her favourite memories and moments along the way. Polly, a member of Lichfield Young Farmers said “No year as a County Chairman could ever be called boring or easy. You must plan ahead and have support around you from as many directions as possible. So long as you have passion and drive to want to achieve something and have fun at the same time, you can make anything happen. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as County Chairman, thank you to all the members and everyone who has supported my year in post.”
During Polly’s report, she presented a cheque for £8000 to Cancer Research following monies raised from a ‘Give Cancer the Boot’ Charity Lunch held in May. Polly also gave a thank you and goodbye memento to The Bishop of Stafford, Bishop Geoff Annas, who is retiring from his post at the end of the month and who has been very supportive during his time in Staffordshire to the clubs and members in Staffordshire YFC.
It was reported during the meeting that Staffordshire YFC has 601 members aged 10 – 26 years. The members have benefited from taking part in some amazing charity work and playing an active part in their local communities. From Eccleshall YFC raising over £10,000 from a Charity Speed Shear with over 1200 people attending to Uttoxeter JNFU raising over £1200 for Cancer Research with members having their hair cut for a ‘Brave the Shave’. These are just two examples of the many ways in which the eleven clubs in Staffordshire, all of whom are charities themselves, take time and plan events in order to raise funds for other charities across the Country. In total this year, the Clubs in Staffordshire have raised over £17,000 for worthwhile causes.
Philip Bourne was elected as County President for his first year. He has been very involved in Stone YFC as two of his daughters were both members of the club, serving on the Clubs Advisory Committee and as their Club President for a number of years. Philip, on accepting the position, said “I am very much looking forward the next two years and hope to encourage clubs to engage with more young people and increase the membership of the Federation.”
George Hawley was elected the Senior Deputy President. George is a former Staffs YFC County Chairman after time as a very active member of Cheadle YFC which in recent years he has been the Club President following his very hands-on involvement in the reformation of the Club. George, on accepting the position, said “Young Farmers has always been a very large part of my life and I am really looking forward to working with Philip and the rest of the County Officer team in the coming year. I am also looking forward to getting out and meeting the Club Members, which I will be doing lots this year as one of the Club Efficiency Judges.”
After a busy three years as County President, David Heminsley retired from his position. He said “It has been a great honour and privilege to be your President, and I trust Philip and George will get as much from the role in the coming years, and I wish them both all the very best for their terms as President with Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs.”
David was presented with gifts to mark his term in office, from members and supporters of the federation.
The presentations of awards were made by Mr Robert Bourne, Staffordshire & Birmingham Agricultural Society Chairman, to the following Clubs and Individuals:
Most Outstanding County Officer: Beckie Phillips & Emily Phillips, Social & Funding Chairman
David Palij Award: Awarded to the Club that has done the most for charity/community work during the last 12 months
Winner: Eccleshall YFC; Runners up – Uttoxeter JNFU
Manifold Marketing Award: Awarded to the Club who best promotes their Club and engagement in Club, County & Community Events.
Winner: Eccleshall YFC, Runner-up: Uttoxeter JNFU
The Richard Mottershead Club Programme Award: Awarded to the Club gaining the highest number of points within the Club Efficiency Competition for the Club Programme section.
Winner: Cheadle YFC; Runners up: Uttoxeter JNFU
Scrapbook Award: Awarded to the Club who produces the most interesting and unique scrapbook based on the activities of their own Club over the past membership year.
Winner: Leek YFC, Runner Up: Ashley YFC
Most Improved Club – Competitions Cup: Awarded to the Club that has achieved the highest improvement in points for competitions from the 2017/2018 year
Winner: Ashley YFC; Runner Up: Leek YFC
Small Clubs Trophy: Awarded to one of the five smallest Clubs in the County with regard to membership, that has achieved the most points throughout the year for competitions.
Winner: Chase YFC; Runner Up: Lichfield YFC
Mr Ken Unwin MBE Memorial Cup: Awarded to the Club who most improves in Public Speaking, Stock Judging, Carcase Judging and Tug of War.
Winner: Cheadle YFC; Joint Runners Up: Abbotsholme YFC & Uttoxeter JNFU
Overall Competitions Cup: Presented to the club with the most points for the Competitions that have been held for the last 12 months:
Winner: Uttoxeter JNFU; Runner Up: Eccleshall YFC
W.H.D. Hobson Cup: Awarded to the Club with the highest increase in membership.
Winner: Ashley YFC, Runner Up: Uttoxeter JNFU
Newsletter Shield: For the best contribution to the Young Farmers’ Book of the Year
Joint Winners: Chase YFC & Waterhouses YFC; Runner Up – Uttoxeter JNFU
Mr & Mrs W.A. Taylor Senior Merit Award: Awarded to the most outstanding individual at Club or County level was presented Hannah Britland of Uttoxeter JNFU. Hannah has been a very active Competitions Secretary and ensured they have had not only one but more often two teams in every competition. She organised practices, encouraged younger members and gone well and truly above and beyond to make sure everyone was included. This member has been very active in Staffordshire YFC for over 10 years and during this time their positivity and enthusiasm for the organisation is something which we would love to bottle!
Junior Merit Award: This is presented to the most outstanding junior individual at Club or County level was presented to Lizzy James of leek YFC. Lizzy has been a consistent and loyal support, acting in a mature and reliable way when working with their Club Advisory to overcome challenges within the Club. This member is not afraid to get stuck in, get their hands dirty and do whatever needs doing behind the scenes. Importantly, this member is well respected by her fellow members and the supporters of the club.
YFC Travel Certificates are awarded to club members who had travelled through the YFC Travel Programme. Certificates were awarded to: Grace Gibbs (Waterhouses YFC) – New Zealand, Lizzie Chapman (Ashley YFC) – Austria, Michael Grigg (Stone YFC), Sam Fowell (Eccleshall YFC) & Amy Nicholls (Ashley YFC) all travelled to Costa Rica.
YFA Travel Award – Grace Gibbs of Waterhouses YFC, for her report and presentation following her visit to New Zealand on the C Alma Baker trip.
Junior Stockjudging Cup: The winners were Chase YFC and the runners-up were Uttoxeter JNFU.
Intermediate Stockjudging Cup: The winners were Eccleshall YFC and runner-up was Uttoxeter JNFU.
Senior Stockjudging Cup: The winner was Uttoxeter JNFU and the runner-up was Eccleshall YFC.
Overall Stockjudging Cup: The winner was Uttoxeter JNFU and the runner-up was Eccleshall YFC.
The final awards of the evening are the most prestigious to receive and are judged throughout the year as a “Club Efficiency” Competition, which encapsulates all aspects of a YFC Club. The aim of the competition is to encourage members and Club Officers to work together as an effective team for the benefit of all. Judges look for all aspects of how the clubs are run and hope to see good club administration and record keeping, strong leadership and governance and active promotion of the clubs through publicity and community engagement. They also want to see teamwork, ideas and enthusiasm from all club members. From this competition, the following awards were presented:
Most Outstanding Chairman: Winner: Kat Clarkson, Cheadle YFC
Runner-up: Harry Bowers, Eccleshall YFC
Most Outstanding Secretary: Winner: Amy Boothby, Uttoxeter JNFU
Runner-up: Emily Cartmail, Eccleshall YFC
Most Outstanding Treasurer: Winner: Hannah Norton, Uttoxeter JNFU
Runner-up: Nicole Brereton, Ashley YFC
Most Outstanding Club Leader: Winner: Jake Manning, Lichfield YFC
Runner-up: Mel Bexon, Uttoxeter JNFU
Club Efficiency Shield: Winner: Uttoxeter JNFU
Runner-up: Eccleshall YFC
As can be seen from the above young people between the ages of 10 and 26, experience fun and excitement, whilst enjoying competitions, discos, sports, travel, meeting new friends and learning new and different skills. For photos from the evening, please click here
Staffordshire County Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (SCFYFC) took to the stage at Abbotsholme School Theatre, just outside of Rocester, on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd November with their very own production, entitled “Pantomime Pandemonium!” There were past and present members of the federation involved in the production, making up a cast of over 50 altogether! One of the Federation’s County Vice President’s, Helen Phillips wrote and directed the pantomime which included a “mash-up” of characters include “Baby Bear”, Robin Hood, Snow White and a number of “Dames” including the classic “Widow Twanky” who were all trying to escape the evil clutches of the “Dentist” and his “Dental Nurses!” Helen’s encouragement and guidance for the members, many of whom had never been on stage before, was invaluable. All the cast have loved performing on stage giving them all a confidence boost and with an age range of 11 years to 60 years plus, it has bonded the generations of young farmers from across the ten clubs in the County.
Polly Baines, County Chairman said “We enjoyed two fabulous performances that bought members past and present from across the county together. We all had so much fun in the rehearsal nights every Sunday since August as well. I really loved seeing our members showcase themselves and try something a little different again to the usual YFC activities. It’s definitely built our younger members confidence and teamwork skills!”
The federation are very grateful to Abbotsholme School who very kindly supported the event with the generous loan of their theatre and all equipment to create a great show. Both performances sold out each night with a full audience of members and parents, generating a surplus to help the federation’s fundraising for the year. As a registered charity, Staffordshire YFC is reliant on fundraising events like this to generate an income to continue to provide the current level of service and support to its members and clubs throughout the year.
To view photos from the evening, please click here
Teams from Clubs all over the County travelled to Powerleague, Stoke for the annual Male & Female 5 A Side Football Competition. The wet weather had cleared and the sun shone all day!!
The results were:
Male – 1st – Cheadle YFC, 2nd – Uttoxeter B JNFU, 3rd – Eccleshall YFC
Female – 1st – Waterhouses YFC, 2nd – Cheadle YFC, 3rd – Leek YFC
9 teams travelled to Abbotsholme School for the annual Mixed Hockey competition, the results were:
1st – Lichfield YFC
2nd – Eccleshall YFC
3rd – Uttoxeter A JNFU
Click HERE for photos from the day
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
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
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
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 email@example.com.
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.