With just seven days to go until thousands of Young Farmers set off for the annual general convention in the seaside resort of Blackpool, the FG team share their thoughts on some of the forthcoming highlights.
Sea. And lots of locals. And stag parties. And hen parties. It’s been two years since YFC members descended on Blackpool’s traditional seaside resort, but fear not, the potential £5 million injection into the local economy should just be enough to cover the clean-up operation.
As favourite haunts such as Revs, Tower Bar and Yates brace themselves for NFYFC revelry, motorway service staff are preparing for a meat-loving brigade of hungry Young Farmers.
Cardio, cycling and lots of Vaseline are the order of the day for the four YFC teams embarking on weird and wonderful methods of transport to get to registration.
HUGE shout out to the 57 members of Lancashire YFC, walking 36 miles from their county office in Clitheroe to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Field Nurse; Cornwall members who will cycle more than 350 miles from the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, to raise funds for MacMillan Cancer Nurses, three members from Devon/Somerset will be taking on the Tower2Tower Challenge, cycling 600 miles from the Eiffel Tower, Paris to Blackpool Tower, in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and last but not least Derbyshire’s Ashover YFC members running a 100-mile relay from Ashbourne to the Winter Gardens in aid of Epilepsy Research UK.
Having been inundated with requests and lots of disappointed faces when we run out, the FG t-shirts are back by popular demand and this year will be offering another 1,000 t-shirts exclusively to YFC members. Simply donate £1 to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) to support Cumbrian farmers hit by the devastating floods earlier this year. To date FG ti-shirts have raised more than £5,000 for charity. Help us raise the next £1k.
The serious bit where YFC members make a difference by helping national office take forward a new political agenda. This year’s forum – entitled 'Living for today – striving for tomorrow' will feature an expert panel including Jan Godsell, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy at the University of Warwick and Alan Jagoe, President of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA). The Forum will be chaired by Sam Dilcock, chairman of NFYFC’s AGRI Steering Group.
A year in the making and hours of rehearsal, this year’s national performing arts final sees Llangadog YFC (Carmarthenshire); Eardisley YFC (Herefordshire) and Brampton YFC (Cumbria) go head to head in the Princess Theatre for the much coveted silverware. We are looking forward to what is always a very talented showcase of members.
Such is their significance, club shirts even get a dedicated evening to be showcased to fellow members. The battle of the slogans commence from the outset of an AGM weekend and there are some that never fail to make our eyes bulge ever so slightly. From topical quips to inter county digs, they are the gift that keeps on giving.
The biggest night of the YFC calendar (and we’re not just talking about the queue for the bar). Your months of deliberation, discussions and dire arguments all come down to this. This year Sports Day is the theme and the FG team will be videoing live from the event for a constant reminder of your imaginative efforts. So whether you’re donning an egg and spoon, tight lycra or gearing up your wheelbarrow make sure you smile…FG is watching!
It’s a well-documented fact that hundreds of long-term romances have been the result from an AGM (just ask our machinery and livestock editors). Let’s face it, the setting couldn’t be more perfect – murky, cold waters, smelly, stingy rooms and greasy fat fry ups. You might not find your Kelly Brook or Jamie Dornan, but keep your eyes on the prize and remember if he’s not a farmer, he ain’t a charmer. Let the pork see the chop!
As one of the backbones of YFC, there is plenty of opportunity to support your club and county, from senior member of the year to choir and ballroom dancing to the darts competition, open for everyone to get involved. Make sure your county has the best audience and head to the Winter Gardens for a fun filled afternoon of hot footing and humming.
Fun and friendship lie at the heart of Young Farmers and the camaraderie is there for all too see. Laughter, socialising, general merriment and affection are there for all to see. So get your selfie sticks out, strike a pose and send us your pics via Starting in Farming on Facebook throughout the weekend. The best one will receive a £20 iTunes voucher.