On the usual week that would have been the Staffordshire County Show, the highlight of the rural calendar in Staffordshire, YFC members from across the county have been busy entering virtual competitions organised by the Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs. The competitions were along similar lines to what would normally take place during show week, except for Tug of War, which would have proven tricky to execute. Instead, using the county’s Facebook page as a platform, with over 4000 followers, five competitions were held. On Tuesday 26th May, which would usually be the Pre Show Reception, an evening held for over 250 invited guests to attend at the YFC Marquee, the YFC Clubs entered into two competitions.
Firstly, The Leslie T Chester Competition which is a challenge to write a 500 word story using 15 given words. The winner of this competition was Beckie Phillips of Uttoxeter Young Farmers Club, who wrote a very entertaining story about Hedgerow Farm and two resident goats called Hetty and Horatio who dreamt of flying in a spaceship! The Award for the Leslie T Chester Story will be presented to Beckie at the County AGM which is due to be held later in the autumn. The second and very popular competition held on Tuesday was the “YFC’s Got Talent” which is always greatly entertaining for guests usually at the Pre Show. There were six strong entries including a comedy sketch in a Two Ronnies style from Cheadle YFC and an entertaining “Summer Loving” Grease duet from Uttoxeter Young Farmers. After votes were counted via the Staffordshire YFC Facebook page as well as two independent judges giving their verdict, Eccleshall Young Farmers were declared the winners with a video compilation featuring members past and present from their Club, singing Bohemian Rhapsody, edited carefully by Daniel Moseley with flawless links, amusing costumes and varying vocals. Tuesdays competitions were very kindly supported by Abbotsholme School and HSKS Greenhalgh Accountants.
On Wednesday 27th May it was the turn of the younger members of YFC aged 17 and under to take the lead, with two competitions displaying their love of animals. The first competition was photos entitled “Pets we are Proud of” which included a Bearded Dragon, an array of dogs and cats and even a horse which regularly turns into a unicorn for local young children. The winner was declared as a prize-winning sheep put forward by Ellie Roobottom of Chase YFC. The second competition was “Best Trick with my Animal” where members were asked to submit photos or videos displaying their tricks. The winner was Heidi Clark of Uttoxeter Young Farmers with her spaniel Tilly who completed an extensive obstacle course in great enthusiastic canine fashion. The two competitions on Wednesday were kindly sponsored by Shires Vets, who would normally be part of the Staffordshire YFC marquee during the County Show week. Dave Allen and Jen Robinson of Shires Vets also judged the two classes and said “We would like to thank Staffordshire YFC for asking us to get involved in this year’s Virtual YFC County Show. All of the team here at Shires Vets are proud to continue to support such a brilliant group of young people. We have had a great selection to choose from so thank you to all the members who have taken part and submitted photos and videos for today’s competitions we have really enjoyed judging them, well done to the winners and we look forward to seeing you back in the marquee next year!”
One of the most popular competitions is usually held on the Thursday of the County Show, the Show Floats Competition, which always attracts a great crowd around the main ring at 2.30pm. The creative idea to make “Shoe Box” Show Floats was put forward by Leek Young Farmers and was soon made into a reality, with 17 entries taking to a “virtual main ring” created on the Staffordshire YFC Facebook page. Supporters of YFC have been giving some great feedback about how it was great to see the efforts made by YFC members during lockdown, cheering them up on social media newsfeeds, despite not being able to meet up weekly as they would normally. The 17 floats were judged again by the number of “likes” each float received as well as Dewi Parry, Chairman of the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs, giving his top placings too. On a normal County Show year, YFC is always very well supported by BD Fuels of Hixon who generously sponsor this competition with prize and entry money for all clubs who take part. Despite the challenging climate, BD Fuels very kindly donated club prize money for 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed floats again this year, for which Staffordshire YFC is very grateful.
After a very active day on social media and a tense wait after “likes” and judges placings were combined, the results were Liv Larsson of Ashley YFC in first place with her “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” float which had some very familiar faces superimposed onto the contestants. The set up was complete with the Dingo Dollars Challenge and a helicopter Sky Dive setting! In second place was Beth Allen of Cheadle YFC who recreated that daytime favourite, “Supermarket Sweep!” The attention to detail with the aisles of food and trolleys inside the shoebox were a big hit with the judge. There were two entries taking joint third place, Jemima Brown of Abbotsholme YFC with the ski gameshow, The Jump and Emma Mayers of Ashley YFC with The Great British Bake Off.
Dewi Parry, judge said “The competition standard has been immense, all seventeen entries were fabulous and everyone made a great amount of effort!”
Staffordshire YFC currently has 430 members across ten clubs in Staffordshire. Club meeting nights usually run on a weekly basis, with a wide range of activities available for members of all ages including sports, public speaking, cinema and bowling trips, quizzes and farm walks. Although not all members are from an agricultural background, the clubs in Staffordshire are based in rural and isolated communities and provide the much needed social life, new skills and learning opportunities, for any young people aged between 10 and 26 years, with an interest in rural life and activities. The Covid 19 situation has meant that all planned competitions and events for the coming months are either cancelled or postponed, however Staffordshire YFC is continually adapting to the current situation and thinking of new ways to connect and provide a valuable service to its members.
For any further information about Staffordshire YFC’s Clubs and County during Covid 19, please contact Julia Taylor, County Organiser on 07841 422706 or email email@example.com .
To view all the entries into the above competitions on our Facebook page, click here
On Saturday 2nd May, Staffordshire County Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (SCFYFC) held a first in their history since forming in 1952. Their traditional Annual Rally, a day with over 40 competitions held on a farm site in the County, had to go virtual! As Staffordshire YFC clubs and members are no longer able to hold meeting and activities, many members have been busy helping in their local communities, some are working hard as key workers on the farm and for others, not having the YFC activities on a weekly basis has left a large gap in their social life. Forward thinking YFC members, who are all aged between 10 and 26 years, decided that they still wanted to give their members the opportunity to get creative in the various competitions and showcase their skills, and of course have some fun too. With County Organiser, Julia Taylor now relocated from the County Office based on the Showground at Stafford, to working from her dining room table at home, the “Staffordshire YFC Virtual Rally” received over 160 entries. Members of all ages, encouraged by their Club Rally Secretaries, got stuck into making and creating their entries and judges commented on how refreshing it was to see the effort and enthusiasm made.
Judging took place via the Staffordshire YFC Facebook page, which has over 4000 followers. The number of “likes” for each entry was calculated along with an independent judge’s placings to give the overall result.
For the younger members of Staffordshire YFC, there were two craft classes – Decorated Wellies and A Decorated Pint Glass. The winning decorated wellies from Leah Trubshaw of Chase YFC, were painted with chicks and displayed beautifully complete with a real chick. The winning glass was artistically turned into a dairy cow by Molly Bratton of Eccleshall YFC.
Floral Art is always a popular competition with YFC members of all ages, who usually compete at the Rally to win a chance to take part in the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (NFYFC) finals at the Malvern Autumn Show. Due to all NFYFC Competitions being postponed for the current competition’s year, this class was adapted to a “Spring Garden Bouquet” which saw twelve stunning entries, ranging from displays in bicycle baskets to quirky floral tributes in wellington boots! The winning display was from Pip Titley, Ashley YFC member, who also won the Floral Art Competition at the Rally the previous year. Her display was described by the judge, Victoria Nicholls, as “a bold and colourful display using some fantastic garden materials.”
Members of Staffordshire YFC also showed off their artistic flair, with a Farm Animal Canvas Class. The judge, Lisa Goldstraw, was wowed by the winning painting of a Grey Horse which was created by Alisa Bartley of Abbotsholme YFC, the only school club in Staffordshire.
Other classes included Deckchairs, A Fire Pit made from recycled materials and for those who like to be a little more active, a homemade YFC style Obstacle Course, which had to be videoed in action. Greg Large of Cheadle YFC won the this class with his very varied course including football skills and a roller, complete with commentary from younger brother Harry, which proved very popular with both the judges and online audience.
There was a number of photography classes with themes including “Farm Worker in Action”, “Success” and “Stuck in the Mud”. All saw a great number of entries, with some excellent skills and amusing angles being portrayed.
Will Freeman, County Chairman of Staffordshire YFC said “This years Rally has been very different, but I would like to congratulate all the members and say thank you for getting involved with such typical YFC enthusiasm. We shall be launching more “virtual” competitions and activities for our members to involved in whilst Staffordshire YFC is on lockdown including “Shoe Box Show Floats” for what would normally be the Staffordshire County Show week. More details will out very soon!”
Once all the results were collated, the clubs were placed as follows for the Overall Virtual Rally 2020:
1st – Uttoxeter Young Farmers Club
2nd – Eccleshall Young Farmers Club
3rd – Ashley Young Farmers Club
Staffordshire YFC currently has 430 members across ten clubs in Staffordshire. Club meeting nights usually run on a weekly basis, with a wide range of activities available for members of all ages including sports, public speaking, cinema and bowling trips, quizzes and farm walks. Although not all members are from an agricultural background, the clubs in Staffordshire are based in rural communities and provide the much needed social life, new skills and learning opportunities, for any young people aged between 10 and 26 years, with an interest in rural life and activities. The Covid 19 situation has meant that all planned competitions and events for the coming months are either cancelled or postponed, however Staffordshire YFC will be adapting the services it provides to its members and clubs are adapting their ways of meeting, to online meeting rooms and holding “virtual” get togethers. The Staffordshire YFC County Facebook Page has also hosted a family quiz and a “Play Your Cards Right” evening, arranged by Deputy Vice County Chairman, Toby Hall, with his creative wit and sense of humour keeping everyone feeling part of the organisation.
For any further information about Staffordshire YFC’s Clubs and County during Covid 19, please contact Julia Taylor, County Organiser on 07841 422706 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
To view all the results from the day, please click here.
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