As a still supportive ex-YFC member, it is with sadness and anger I read about the board of NFYFC decision unilaterally, to stop holding the organisation’s annual convention, though I was not greatly surprised, writes FG reader Michael Rimmer.
While I do not condone the behaviour of a handful of thankfully now-banned YFC members in Blackpool this year, we must remember Young Farmers are an easily identifiable group.
Having been one of very few people who has attended the convention and stayed teetotal, I can say a pub full of YFC members on the Sunday afternoon can be the maddest place on the planet, while still being safer than many provincial towns on a normal Saturday night.
Over the last few years NFYFC has lost control of its own events, with the cost of attending the convention spiralling to more than £80 for entrance to the three nights of entertainment, leading some of the membership to not pay for the package, instead spending a grand weekend in the company of other like-minded young people.
For many it is their only chance to get away in the year. Many have just finished lambing or have come out of a long cold winter which can take its toll.
I fear the decision to stop hosting the convention, turning its back on up to £200,000 of revenue paid for by the membership and potentially losing 25 per cent of its members as a result, will prove to Young Farmers up and down the country the NFYFC is becoming unfit for purpose.
How does NFYFC intend to fill the hole in its revenue streams?
NFYFC has wrongly become to think of itself as the most important part of this great organisation.
I am certain YFC members will continue to evolve and thrive in the future but this must always be a member-led process.
As a Young Farmer friend of mine said on his way to this year’s Blackpool AGM: “We are going to make memories.”
Who is NFYFC to deny a generation that?
Michael Rimmer, Ormskirk, Lancashire.