After month long campaigns and countless media interactions, the new top table for the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) was announced at this weekend’s NFYFC council weekend.
Battling it out for chairman was Jess Townson from Lancashire, and Chris Manley from Devon.
BREAKING NEWS! @ChrisManley777 has been elected by YFC Council as NFYFC’s new national chair for 2016/17. Huge congratulations, Chris!— NFYFC (@NFYFC)
Chris won the vote and will take over from Hannah Talbot as chairman of council for the next year.
For 16 years, Chris has been a member of Culm Valley YFC in Devon where he has held the position of social secretary and club leader.
In 2014 and 2015, Chris was elected as vice-chair of council. During his time as vice-chair, he helped to set up a link between NFYFC AGRI and the NFU Next Generation committee to combine in giving strong representation for young people in agriculture.
Having previously served two years as vice-chairman of NFYFC, Chris plans to raise the profile of Young Farmers with various initiatives as chairman, including a blood-donation campaign.
Chris said: “The blood donation campaign is one that will relate to most members. It doesn’t cost any money but it has the potential to make a huge amount of difference to local communities, it is very linked to farm safety and doing good things like this in the local community will help to put Young Farmers on the map.
“Alongside that, I’ve thought about how we can all learn from each County and Club and we’re going to refresh the Club Exchange. Throughout the summer months you’ll see a number of Clubs moving around the country, having a lot of enjoyment and seeing some farms, seeing some points of interest and that will only help to make Young Farmers even stronger.”
As both Jess and Chris were running for chairman, there were two places available for new vice chairmen within the federation.
In the running was Ed Ford, Essex, Caroline Baker, Durham and Lynsey Martin, Kent.
Both Ed and Lynsey took vice chairmen roles and will join Chris on the council for the next 12 months.
Chris continued: "I think the members can have confidence that we will do a really good job together. We’re a very approachable group and I’d like all the members to know that if they see us, they can come and say hello because we’re always eager to hear what they have to say and the chances are that they will have a golden nugget of an idea that we haven’t thought of that might improve things.”