You don’t have to be a farmer to be a Young Farmer!

A generation ago the recruitment slogan ‘young farmers do it in wellies’ was used to tempt youngsters to join the rural youth organisation.

Now, the marketing spiel is very much about not having to be a farmer to be a member of young farmers, with the organisation presenting a modern image for national Young Farmers Week, which runs until October 4th.

Step forward Stephen Jarmuz, 26, a recently elected vice chairman of the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs. He started his working life as a sports therapist, specialising in helping injured cyclists, and now has a nine-to-five office job looking after contracts and relationships for the National Health Service.

All very collar-and-tie, but by night Stephen is one of the north’s most in-demand DJs and has brought a breath of fresh air and straight talking that has helped make sure that the county’s young farmers are being listened to on the national stage.

Stephen, who lives near Wetherby, has only been a member of his local Boroughbridge Young Farmers’ Club for four years so his rise to the higher echelons of the organisation is nothing short of meteoric. He’s now the club’s vice chairman, a district chairman and vice-chairman on the county stage.

“A friend got involved and it just sort of happened that I turned up,” remembers Stephen.

“It’s completely different for farming families; where it’s the done thing that when the kids turn ten they dump them on the doorstep of the local YFC club and pick them up two hours later.”

“I didn’t intend to get so involved, it was just something to do for one night a week but young farmers really is one of those organisations that you get out what you put in.

“It could potentially be daunting to turn up to a young farmers meeting. I imagined I’d stand out like a sore thumb, but YFC is genuinely the most welcoming and friendly organisation that exists. “Everybody’s young – it’s run for the members by the members – so I had something in common with everybody to start off with.

“I’ve learnt so many new skills such as public speaking. I already probably had the gift of the gab, but to learn how to stand up and argue the case for something properly is a really useful life skill. I recently went down to a national meeting and helped propose an amendment to a proposed levy increase and it was one of those pinch yourself moments.”

Although he doesn’t have a farming connection, Stephen grew up with a mother “madly into horses” and always enjoyed looking at the tractors and farm machinery at agricultural shows.

“I knew about young farmers,” he said. “But I would never have imagined myself actually joining.”

He started out as a DJ from the age of 16, doing friends parties locally and is now in demand across the north from Lincolnshire up to Scotland and has even done gigs in London and with Radio 1 big names such as Chris Stark.

“It’s a well-known fact that young farmers know how to party,” smiles Stephen, who now has two grey Fergie tractors and enjoys taking them to steam rallies and vintage fairs.

“I have just recently moved to my own house,” says Stephen. “But I had been living on a friend’s farm and helped out with quite a bit of tractor driving and at lambing time.

“I think what I’ve brought to the table, not having previously had any connection with farming, is to look at things through a fresh pair of eyes. To be aware of being inclusive.

“It’s a really key message that young people must not be put off joining young farmers if they are not from a farming family.”

Apart from a traditional break during the summer for harvest, the backbone of young farmers is weekly meetings. Programmes are usually very varied, from traditional farm talks and visits, to the more wacky and wonderful such as camel racing, pheasant plucking and pumpkin carving.

Charlotte Smith, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme and Countryfile, is the president of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs.

There is a huge charity element to young farmers. A good example is the Knaresborough club, which has raised £44,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance since 2012.

“Meeting new people, learning new skills and, most importantly, having a good time. What’s not to like …?” concludes Stephen.

Stephen Jarmuz tractor

Article by Sarah Todd featured in the Yorkshire Post on 28th September 2019

Flood clear up day in Reeth

Reeth YFCStoneWalling

The Chairman of the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, Georgina Fort, has spoken of her pride at the organisation’s efforts to help flood victims.

An army of over 100 Young Farmers travelled from the length and breadth of the county – some from as far afield as County Durham – to help the clear-up effort.
Their focus was in the Dales village of Reeth, which has a race against the clock if the annual Reeth Show is to go ahead on August 26th .

A human chain of Young Farmer helpers gathered up walling stones that had been washed away with the force of the flood water and started re-building the walls.
“We were all so busy working there was no time to get emotional,” said Georgina, a dairy and sheep farmer from Silsden. “But when we stopped for a moment and looked out at what had been achieved over the day it was a very special moment.

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Great Yorkshire Show Stock Judging

Great Yorkshire Show Stock Judging

Young Farmers began their countdown to next week’s Great Yorkshire Show with a pre-show stock judging event.

The annual competition, hosted by Askham Bryan College, is organised by the YFC@GYS committee, a joint collaboration between members from the East Riding and Yorkshire Federations of the Youth organisation. The two sides of the county come together each year to run the YFC stand (number 187) at the Great Yorkshire and the stock judging competition is a traditional fundraiser for the committee. This year’s sponsors were the National Farmers’ Union, Farmers and Mercantile and Suregrow.

The overall winning club was Farnley Estate, with Broughbridge second and Kirkbymoorside third.
Results were:

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Red Shepherdess joins YFC at the Great Yorkshire Show

Hannah Jackson

Young farmers have been busy working on improvements to their stand at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show.

Stand number 187 is run by a joint committee made up of members of both Yorkshire and the East Riding federations of young farmers’ clubs.

John Craddock, chairman of YFC@GYS show committee, said:

“YFC has had a stand at the Great Yorkshire Show for as long as anybody can remember.”

“This year we’ve made an extra special effort to smarten it up and have lots more going on.

“There will still be traditional favourites like the ducking stool, but much more such as demonstrations and debates. Rather than a space to simply wander through we’ve been busy making it a stand where all members of the family will want to stop and spend some time.”

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Northern Farmer Prize Coupon Terms & Conditions

At the Great Yorkshire Show 2019 the YFC@GYS Committee has teamed up with Norther Farmer magazine to run a fantastic prize draw.

July’s special Great Yorkshire Show edition of Northern Farmer contains a coupon – which needs to be posted into the entry box on the YFC stand at the show (stand number 187) – offering the chance to win tickets for York Races and Flamingo Land.

Terms & Conditions are as follows:

  1. Only one entry per person.
  2. The prize draw is open to all UK residents.
  3. The prize is as follows:
  • Flamingo Land family ticket worth £129.00
  • York Racecourse ticket for 4 people (Music Showcase Weekend 2019) worth £168.00 to be used 26th or 27th July 2019. Entrants must be over 18 years of age.
  1. To enter the prize draw you will be asked to provide your name and contact details.
  2. The information you provide here will be safeguarded under the Data Protection Act and controlled by Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs.
  3. The prize draw ends on: 11:59pm 11/07/2019
  4. The winner will be notified via e-mail or telephone by Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs within 14 days of the closing date.
  5. The winning entry will be selected by an independent judge selected by Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs and the judge’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.
  6. No cash alternatives will be substituted for the prize.
  7. Use of a false name or address will disqualify any applicant from receiving the prize.
  8. The winner may be required to participate in post-event publicity arranged by or on behalf of the promoter.
  9. Promoted by Yorkshire and East Riding Young Farmers’ Great Yorkshire Show and in the publication Northern Farmer.
  10. Details of the two winners can be requested by sending a SAE to the address above after the closing date.
  11. If the prize is not claimed within 28 days, we reserve the right to redraw.

Freddie’s Fight

FreddiesFight 1

YOUNG farmers from across Yorkshire have rallied behind a campaign to raise money for potentially life-saving treatment for a three year-old boy battling cancer.

Freddie Thompson’s family has a farming background and although it’s around 13 years since his father Philip was a member of Thirsk Young Farmers’ Club, the whole Yorkshire Federation (YFYFC) has swung into action.

Proceeds from the annual YFYFC County clay shooting competition, hosted by Ryedale District Young Farmers at Hovingham, were donated to the fundraising appeal – which has already passed the halfway mark of its £250,000 target in just seven weeks.

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Rachel Goldie appointed as NFYFC Vice-Chair

NFYFC Officer 2019-20 Officer Team: Left – Dewi Parry (Vice Chair), Centre – Katie Hall (Chair) & Right – Rachel Goldie (Vice Chair)

Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs very own Rachel Goldie, current Development and Marketing Chairperson, has been appointed as the National Federation’s Vice Chairman.

The vote was held at the February National Council on 16th & 17th February, and saw Katie Hall (Gloucestershire) sworn is as the new Chairperson for 2019-20, taking over from Lynsey Martin.

Dewi Parry of Clwyd FYFC (Wales) will be vice chair alongside Rachel.

In her opening speech, Rachel has said,

I WILL always listen to you the members of this amazing organisation and I PROMISE to work with you ALL to take the young farmers movement forward in the most positive way possible.


YFYFC Members discuss Opportunities for the Future Generation


A SHORTAGE of affordable housing in rural areas was among the topics discussed at the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFYFC) annual forum.

Panellists at Friday’s event, which was held at Thirsk Auction Mart, were given the general heading of ‘Rural opportunities for our future generation’.

The panel was made up of Richmond MP Rishi Sunak, North East Regional Director of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Adam Bedford, vice chairman of YFYFC and current holder of the Yorkshire Post Young Farmer of the Year title Georgina Fort, CEO of rural focussed charity Community First Yorkshire Leah Swain and chair of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs Lynsey Martin. The evening was chaired by former Yorkshire YFC chairman of YFYFC Ian Close.

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