Young Farmers’ Clubs across the South East will be celebrating the positive impact they make on their rural communities and developing young people’s skills during National Young Farmers’ Week, which takes place from Monday 18 to Sunday 24 September 2017.
For the 24,500 members who make up one of the country’s largest youth organisations, National Young Farmers’ Week aims to raise awareness of the benefits NFYFC offers members through an active social network and development of life skills.
Last year, as part of a national campaign, young farmers spent more than 4,000 hours fundraising and delivering projects to benefit the clubs’ local communities. The NFYFC’s Countryside Challenge, which was funded by the Pears Foundation and the Office for Civil Society, encouraged YFC members to partake in a range of activities from cleaning up churchyards and village signs to hosting fundarising events in aid of local causes.
Alongside the Countryside Challenge, young farmers annually raise an estimated £1.2m for charity every year. This is on top of the money needed to supplement the running costs of their clubs.
Essex Young Farmers is renowned for its country show held annually in Roxwell, which brought over 16,200 visitors through the gates in 2017. The show continues to be an event solely run by the 10 clubs and 390 members who make up the Essex County Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (ECFYFC).
“Throughout the year our members get involved with sporting activities, visits and talks, competitions, and socials which bring the whole county together,” said Fiona Rust member of Essex Young Farmers. “As well as benefiting young people’s lives by providing opportunities to meet new friends and try new things, something which can be challenging for those in more rural areas, our members also work hard to give back to the local community and other charities.”
For the 2016/2017, the Essex federation has raised more than £38,800 for charity, an achievement which was recognised with the award of the Prince of Wales Trophy for the most money raised per member for external organisations.
Across the region, young farmers will be celebrating National Young Farmers’ Week by posting photos of their clubs online as part of a nationwide photo competition, which will be judged by NFYFC president Charlotte Smith and NFYFC ambassador Chris Stark from BBC Radio 1.
Topics for National Young Farmers’ Week:
Monday 18: Friendship
Tuesday 19: Education and training
Wednesday 20: Networking opportunities
Thursday 21: Offers and discounts
Friday 22: Broaden your horizons
Saturday 23: Awards and achievements
Sunday 24: Life skills and opportunities
“I want the nation to know more about one of our countryside’s best kept secrets,” said NFYFC president Charlotte Smith. “YFC is more than farming - it’s one of the only rural youth services we have that helps develop young people’s skills and provides a much-needed social network in the countryside.”
The skills developed through NFYFC’s competitions, training, travel and agricultural activities have all proven to benefit members throughout their lives. During National Young Farmers’ Week, the federation will be using the hashtag #yfcforlife across social media with a dedicated focus for each day.