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 firstname.lastname@example.org