Staffordshire County Federation of Young Farmers Clubs have now formed a Covid-19 Response Committee comprising of the following officers: Jon Sarsfield (County Trustee), David Beswick (County Trustee), Philip Bourne (County President/County Trustee), David Heminsley (County Trustee), Kay Hulse (HR Officer/County Trustee), Margaret Bennett (County Trustee), Ange Woodward (County Treasurer/County Trustee), Sandra Hockenhull (Payroll Officer), Will Freeman (County Chairman), Amy Boothby (Vice County Chairman), Toby Hall (Deputy Vice County Chairman), George Hawley (Senior Deputy Vice President) and Julia Taylor (County Organiser)
In accordance with the Charity Commission and NFYFC guidance at this time, the above individuals will now form the Staffordshire YFC Covid-19 Response Committee, with the full authority to run the County Federation and make the essential management and operational decisions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The committee will operate to safeguard the federation’s finances, plan operations/activities now and plan future operations/activities for the recovery period. They will be meeting “remotely” via video and there will be minutes taken to record decisions made and reports presented to the County Exec Committee on a regular basis via email.
The County Office at the County Showground is currently closed, with Julia Taylor, County Organiser working from home, Monday to Thursday. Julia can be contacted on email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
For any further information relating to Staffordshire YFC or if you need help with any aspects of YFC at this difficult time, please do not hesitate to contact William Freeman, County Chairman on 07425 621007 or Phil Bourne, County President on 07523 691669.
As the news of the Coronavirus develops and following today’s publication of the governments Coronavirus action plan, NFYFC have produced the attached advice note. Please click here for the details.
As and when the situation develops the NFYFC will publish further advice to each county federation and will ask that this is shared with each YFC as well.
Cheadle Young Farmers will be taking to the roads with a Charity Tractor Run on Sunday 26th April in memory of one of their founder members, Stan Eyre and raising funds for Dementia UK and Cheadle YFC.
To book your place, please download a booking form here
Staffordshire YFC are holding their Annual Dinner Dance on Saturday 14th March 2020 in the Ingestre Suite on the County Showground, Stafford from 7pm onwards. The evening is set to be one to remember, with the theme of “Viva Las Vegas!” Guests will be entertained by Mark Clay, local Elvis Impersonator and also be able to have a flutter in the casino as part of the evening which usually attracts around 400 members and supporters of the Federation.
This year, the Annual Dinner Dance is very kindly supported by Howard Worth, Accountants. Andrew Hagues, Partner – Farming and Rural Business at Howard Worth said “We are delighted to support the work that the Staffordshire federation of young farmers carries out in supporting the future of next generation farmers. Howard Worth are pleased to sponsor this years Dinner Dance and look forward to working with farmers across Staffordshire in 2020 and beyond”.
To book a table, download a booking form here and return along with full payment no later than Monday 10th February 2020.
For more information, contact the YFC Centre on 01785 248645.
YFC members have been given an exclusive opportunity to tour around the JCB Headquarters in Rocester on the evening Thursday 19th December 2019. Anyone who wishes to go must book their place via their Club Secretary or Club Chairman. All under 18’s must bring a completed Permission Slip which can be downloaded here and be accompanied by a current YFC member who is over 18.
For more information, contact Will Freeman, Staffordshire YFC’s County Chairman on 07425 621007.
The Staffordshire countryside saw 82 festive tractors take to the road in a charity Christmas convoy on 8 December.
Arranged by South Staffs Water and Staffordshire Young Farmers Clubs, the cavalcade of tractors were lit up with Christmas lights and some even had an inflated Santa along with a rotating Christmas Tree! They travelled a 20-mile route through the villages of Hamstall Ridware, Blithbury, Abbots Bromley, Blithfield and Hill Ridware.
The event was held in aid of three charities; WaterAid, Staffordshire Young Farmers Clubs and The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and has raised over £3600 so far, giving each charity over £1200 each.
Nina Yiannoukos-Benton, senior catchment advisor at South Staffs Water, said:
“It was amazing to be involved in arranging this tractor run. We were so pleased at the numbers taking part and to see the smiles on the people’s faces as we drove by was wonderful. It was so much fun and we raised more money than we expected too. We’ve already had people asking if we’ll do it again next year.”
Julia Taylor, County Organiser at Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs, said:
“The Christmas Tractor Run was a first of its kind for us to organise, working alongside South Staffs Water. We were completely overwhelmed by the amount of people who came out to support and give generously in the local villages as the convoy passed through and the feedback from the tractor drivers, general public and all those involved has been really positive which is a very good for the agricultural industry.”
After the run was completed, the drivers and many supporters enjoyed an evening of socialising at Cowley Hill Farm, Hamstall Ridware by kind permission of the Roobottom Family. A band, Prosody, played some great Christmas tunes as well as classics and the awards for Best Dressed Tractor and Best Dressed Drivers were made.
Following the great success of this year’s Tractor Run, it is hoped that a similar event may be held again in the future. To make a contribution to this year’s Tractor Run charities, a JustGiving site has been set up https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sswyfctractorrun for donations to still be made.
To view a selection of photos from the event, click here
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
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
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