News of the cancellation of National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ annual convention is saddening, writes Lancashire YFC and Parbold YFC member Katy Dutton.
I have enjoyed five annual conventions during my time as a YFC member and from each one I have taken something away and learned a little.
As with many of my fellow Young Farmers, my initial reaction was anger. How could they take our beloved AGM away from us?
After some time to reflect on the decision by the Board of Management, I genuinely believe they are working in our best interests.
Our relations with the public in both Blackpool and Torquay are in tatters.
They do not realise all of the positives that the Young Farmers movement stands for, the millions of pounds raised throughout the year by the thousands of members in the hundreds of clubs all over the country.
Young Farmers is so much more than what our reputation currently holds us at, and this is something that needs to change.
I fear for the Annual General Meeting.
While the Sunday morning meeting was, unfortunately, not the highest attended event of the weekend, but when important matters needed discussing and voting on, members could be counted on to arrive on mass and have their voices heard.
Now with members not being collectively in the same place on the same weekend, a part of me worries that the AGM will descend into nothing as many members would not travel for a single meeting.
Perhaps the Board of Management overreacted to a minority of members getting over excited? But unfortunately, as is often the case, the few spoil things for the many.
Despite your personal views on this, it is time for us to pull together to preserve our organisation for the future members.
I have seen a lot of social media posts recently, with some members criticising the board for its decision, however over the past couple of years the convention feedback from members has been very negative.
It may be the end of an era, but our adaptability is what allows us to flourish and it could be the start of something very exciting for NFYFC.