In my opinion the Young Farmers annual convention has rightly been cancelled, writes Lancashire YFC vice-chairperson Alice Singleton.
If anyone has to justify their YFC membership by attending a three day ‘bender’, wearing repulsively quoted t-shirts and drinking so much they cannot remember what day it is, then they are doing Young Farmers wrong.
Having been a member for the past 15 or so years, the annual convention is not what being a YFC member is about.
It is about meeting like-minded people, growing in confidence and finding who you are as an individual, and as part of this huge, nationwide federation.
It is about learning new skills and feeling a sense of pride when you compete at any level.
It is realising the future of agriculture is in our hands and we must speak out to preserve our country’s landscape.
It is about finding once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to travel abroad and help communities less fortunate than ours, and share the positive story of being a farmer.
It is about everything other than excessive drinking, which is the only publicity our federation is receiving at the moment.
All these people claiming the convention is the only thing the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs has to offer as a membership benefit really need to take a look at their club, the competitions programme, the travel programme and the opportunities available to them, and re-think their words.
Maybe now it has been cancelled people will realise there are still so many events to attend, competitions to enter, and so much fun to be had, even without this national knees up which had gotten so far out of hand.
My hope has always been the YFC movement will be around for my children to enjoy.
The only way to achieve this is through positive stories, not by focusing on one decision, made by a board of management, which is voted for by the members.
NFYFC is the backbone of British agriculture, and I should like to see more support from your publication in reference to this.
*Editor’s note: Farmers Guardian is a huge supporter of the Young Farmer movement.
However, the level of unprompted reaction from members upset about the end of the annual convention has been unprecedented and far outweighs those in favour of the move.