Two teams of Young Farmers have completed the National Three Peaks Challenge, raising £12,500 for various charities.
Members of Nantwich YFC have raised nearly £3,000 by completing the challenge last month, climbing in aid of Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) and Leukemia and Lymphoma Research.
Both charities are close to the hearts of Nantwich YFC members, with former member, Will Boffey losing his battle with acute myeloid leukaemia in 2007, aged 22, and a friend of YFC losing his brother Adam to a cardiac arrest three years ago.
Meanwhile, a team of six Devon Young Farmers and four volunteers from the Farming Community Network (FCN) raised £9,553.26 for their charities on completion of the challenge.
The team reached the summit of Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales, approximately 27 miles, all within 24 hours.
Money raised was split between the FCN and Devon Federation of Young Farmers, who are continuing to fundraise for its upcoming headquarters in Cheriton Bishop.
Recently appointed Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland met with members of the Wales YFC Youth Forum to discuss the challenges facing the young rural population.
The visit was hosted during the Royal Welsh Show where Mrs Holland was able to see first-hand how involved the younger generation is in farming families and the wide range of activities undertaken by Wales YFC members during the week of the show.
Among many issues raised were concerns surrounding unauthorised school absences for educational activities which fall outside of the school gate, the need for agriculture to be a part of the national curriculum, the lowering of the voting age and the promotion and support of rural careers.
Wales YFC youth Forum chairman, Elin Havard said: “We are startning to see the effects upon a generation which are totally disengaged from the land. It is essential that consumers from a young age have an awareness of food production if they are to make informed choices that support our farmers at the supermarket.
“We therefore welcomed commissioner Holland’s commitment to further engage with the rural youth population and ensure that we have our voices heard where it matters.”
Clubs in the Lancashire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (LFYFC) have been reaching milestone birthday’s, with both Chipping and Vale O’ Lune celebrating their 70th anniversaries.
Vale O’ Lune YFC raised £5,500 for Chrone's and colitis, Breast Cancer UK and Saint John’s Hospice, in memory of Elizabeth Mason, wife of current LFYFC president, Fred Mason.
Guests were entertained by guest speaker and Countryfile presenter, Tom Heap, who also took part in the evening’s charity auction, hosted by Northwest Auction’s Ian Atkinson.
Chipping YFC hosted an evening of celebration in aid of their anniversary, at Ferrari’s Country House, Longridge.
Past, present and future members came together to congratulate the club on a successful 70 years.
Member of the year awards were presented to current members, with Fiona Wallbank, Rob Flaherty and Tom Gardner taking junior, intermediate and senior awards respectively.
IN the digital age of social media and text messaging, how many people can say they really know their neighbour?
Research hosted by Calor revealed people living in the country feel disconnected, both from each and from local services. Of particular concern is the rural isolation of the elderly.
Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) launched their Know Your Neighbour campaign earlier this year to bring rural communities closer together. Driven by 55 YFC clubs across the province, it has seen events taking place in club halls to re-establish important community contacts.
YFCU president, Roberta Simmons said: “In an era when more ‘community’ than ever before is on a screen rather than in person, we are encouraged to see that 65 per cent of rural dwellers in Northern Ireland feel it is important to know your neighbours on a person level; and 69 per cent of respondents stated that keeping in contact with elderly neighbours is one of the most important aspects of community living.”
Dumfries and Galloway YFC challenged their regional counterparts to construct visually striking structures, made primarily of bales to brighten the main transport routes along the A75 and A76.
As well as cheering up commuters, the competition worked as a giant advertisement for the Young Farmers movement.
Did your club take part in the bale sculpture competition? Send your picture to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twenty eight young people from around the UK and Ireland travelled to Dunblane, Perthshire where Mohsin Altajit of Highland Wagyu, hosted the annual Beef Shorthorn Young Members’ Club event.
Organiser Tina Russell said she was really pleased with how the event ran, especially as it was the first time the event had been extended to two days.
She said: “Attendees had the opportunity to watch demonstrations as well as participating in four different workshops covering everything from dressing cattle for showing to coat clipping, before a farm tour to conclude the weekend.
“Whether attendees were 11 or their parents and grandparents at 60, they all got stuck in and said they got something out of the weekend.
"We had quite a few additional attendees turn up for the new type classification demonstration on the Sunday too, showing that our young members are increasingly interested in accelerating breed progress through the selection of strong maternal traits that this classification identifies.”
Staffordshire Young Farmer, Peter James made history at this year’s NFYFC Farm Skills competition weekend by becoming the first member to win Senior Stockman of the Year for two years running.
While other members have won the trophy on more than one occasion, nobody has won the award consecutively over two years before.
Peter, from Leek YFC, beat off competition from 16 other finalists at the event which was held at Harper Adams in September.
Working on his dad’s beef farm as well as working in the family butcher and abattoir, Peter, 25, said he didn’t do much practice ahead of the competition, but the experience of the job helped him.
Competitors had to submit a written project on herd management ahead of the weekend when they were tested on their knowledge. They were also interviewed by a vet on their knowledge of combatting problems in animals before judging beef, breeding sheep, dairy and pigs.
Sixty farmers performed an all-singing, all-dancing ‘flash mob’ on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street to promote the benefits of dairy products to consumers and the plight of the dairy industry struggling with low prices, high business cost and poor weather.
The group which consisted of the farmers’ choir and the Scottish Association of Young Farmers (SAYFC), intended to highlight the simple things consumers can do if they want to help the dairy industry.
Kate Picken, dairy farmer’s wife and founder of the farmers’ choir said dairy farmers care passionately about their cows and the milk the milk which leaves the farm gate each date.
She said: “For many shoppers who care that the milk for their cereal, cheese for their sandwich and cream for their summer strawberries meets the highest food safety and animal welfare standards, the easiest thing they can do is to look for the Union Jack on the Red Tractor on the packet, which guarantees that the product can be traced back to UK farms.”
National chairman of the SAYFC, Scott Wilson said there are so many people other than dairy farmers whose livelihoods depend on the future of the dairy sector.
He said: “SAYFC members are brilliant at helping each other out and having fun at the same time, and I was delighted to see young farmers from across the whole of Scotland come together at this busy time of year to sign and dance for this very important cause.”
Over £1,400 was raised for the Midlands Air Ambulance at Eccleshall YFC’s inaugural ‘Speed Shear and Beer Festival’.
A total of 47 shearers attended the event in Eccleshall town, with competitors coming from Wales, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Derbyshire.
Eccleshall YFC chairman, Harriet Wilson said: “We were overwhelmed by the attendance of shearers, some of whom had travelled huge distances, and the support from spectators with over 350 people.”
Will Dale, 21, from Shropshire took the junior title in the competition, with a time of 31.51 seconds with Ash Jones, also from Shropshire winning intermediate title with 31.58 seconds. Nick Graves, 21, won the senior first prize and the quickest time of the competition, finishing in 30.75 seconds. The Open final winner was Harry Gilbert, 21, from Herefordshire who has won many titles across the country and abroad.
A spokesman from the ABP Food Group, the main sponsor of the event, said: “We are extremely proud to support Eccleshall Young Farmers for this event.
“It provides a stage to really show the passion and drive of these young men and women shearers and excellent entertainment for all.”
Scotland's Young Farmers took to two wheels in August as part of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs’ (SAYFC) ‘Get on your bike’ campaign.
The campaign was launched earlier this year with members regularly going out on their bikes in order to increase fitness and ensure their bodies were ready for the intense ride.
Pedalling 200 miles over four days, from Inverness to Ingliston, 48 members raised over £14,770 collectively for their individual hospices throughout Scotland.
National chairman of SAYFC, Scott Wilson said: “I am extremely proud of each and every member who took part to raise money and awareness for their local hospice."
AS part of their Recruitment and Retention campaign, NFYFC have launched the first ever National Young Farmers Week.
From November 2 – 8, NFYFC will be feature a story on its website about a YFC member who has benefitted from an opportunity available to them, simply by being a Young Farmers member.
Along with new NFYFC ambassadors, Radio 1 DJ’s Scott Mills and Chris Stark, members are being encouraged to get involved and spread the word about what Young Farmers can do.
Scott Mills said: “Young Farmers should make their week fun and get a message across. We’re aware of how hard they work – but they also know how to let their hair down a lot, which is good.”
Follow the hashtag’s #NationalYoungFarmersWeek, as well as #YFCdoitbest and #MoreThanTractors, to keep up to date with all the latest Young Farmers news and events.
School children were given the opportunity to learn all about farming, its produce and rural life at an event tailored to them, hosted by Ceredigion YFC.
Held at the National Trust estate in Llanerchaeron, members organised demonstrations and talks to educate the next generation as part of their two-day celebration of farming and rural life.
Doors were opened to the public on the second day of the event, and over 1,000 people attended to view the craft and trade stalls as well as sheepdog trials and cooking demonstrations.
Members of Killinchy YFC, County Down, are challenging their members to complete an 85km triathlon to signify 85 years since the club began.
This is the latest in a stream of fundraising efforts by the club who earlier in the year raised £595 for MS Society NI by washing over 60 vehicles and serving 82 breakfasts over the course of the morning.
To celebrate the successes of the club, Killinchy YFC will be hosting its 85th Annual Dinner on February 27, 2016 in Castlereagh.