Freddie’s Fight

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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.

The remainder of the money needs to be raised by September, in order for Freddie to be able to go to America for a pioneering vaccine. Freddie was just two years-old when he was diagnosed with stage four Neuroblastoma and he has already undergone a gruelling treatment of 80 days of chemotherapy and surgery at Leeds General Infirmary.

Freddie’s mum’s cousin, Helen Ward – who is part of the Freddie’s Fight fundraising team – said:

“It’s been absolutely amazing how the rural and farming community has got behind this; I know it means a huge amount to Philip, whose family farm at Kilburn, near Thirsk, and Emily.

“The support of Yorkshire’s young farmers has been particularly moving, as current members won’t have been around when Freddie’s family were involved in the organisation. But that’s the great thing about young farmers – it’s like one big family and once you’ve been a member you always have that connection. As a group of friends and family we have especially strong connections with Thirsk, Easingwold and Ryedale young farmers – but it’s been amazing how, through the farming community, word about Freddie has spread to a much wider area.”

For further details of YFC events, which range from a tractor run on May 12th organised by Easingwold YFC to Helmsley’s duck race at Easter, look up the Freddie’s Fight page on Facebook. Particular highlights include plans for a big shed ‘do’ in Ryedale this summer and a silent auction, on April 26th, hosted by Snainton YFC. There is also a raffle, with the star prize to win a vintage tractor, which will be drawn by Yorkshire vet Peter Wright at The Swan in Ampleforth on August 3rd and a ‘give your grain’ donation scheme being run by Argrain, near Easingwold, in association with Ripon Select Foods.

Kirsty Searby, Chairman of YFYFC, added:

“This response to Freddie’s Fight is typical of the young farmers’ movement. Like Freddie’s family has said, YFC is like one big family and I’m very proud of the way members have got behind this appeal.”

  • Neuroblastoma affects around 100 children each year in the UK. It usually affects children under the age of five and is the most common solid tumour in childhood after brain tumours


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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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On Friday 8th February, YFYFC will host their Annual Forum.
This is to be held at Thirsk Auction Mart, with refreshments from 7pm, for 7.30pm start.

Rural Opportunities for our Future Generation

The panelists include:

  • Rishi Sunak – Richmond MP (Conservative)
  • Lynsey Martin – Chair, National Federation of Young Farmers
  • Adam Bedford – Regional Director, NFU North East
  • Leah Swain – Cheif Executive, Community First Yorkshire
  • Georgina Fort – Vice Chair YFYFC & Farmer

The evening will be chaired by past YFYFC Chairman, Ian Close aka Donk.

Please contact the office if you are interested in attending.

Happy New Year!!

Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs would like to wish all members, sponsors, supporters, Friends of YFYFC and past members a happy new, successful and prosperous year ahead.

Trying Times

RUGBY league player Eddie Battye has spoken fondly of his time as a young farmer in Yorkshire.

Eddie is a prop with the London Broncos, the team that hit the headlines earlier this month when they won the final Super League spot for next season by beating favourites Toronto Wolfpack in the razzmatazz-filled Million Pound Game.


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While most of his teammates are enjoying a well-earned holiday after the Canadian clash, Eddie is back at home helping out on his family’s buffalo farm at Oxspring, near Barnsley.

“I was at a farmers’ market the other day selling the buffalo meat,” said 27 year-old Eddie, who was a keen member of Cawthorne Young Farmers’ Club before moving to London to pursue his professional rugby dream.

“I put my hand up for everything – panto, entertainments, rallies, tug of war – and strongly recommend others do the same. I learnt all sorts of skills like team building and made friends for life. Although I came from a farming background it doesn’t matter if you don’t.”

Eddie also spoke of his sadness at the controversial cancelling of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ annual AGM.

“I’ve been to a fair few in my time and it’s so good for young people – who often lead quite isolated lives working in the countryside – to get together and meet other members from all over the country. Young farmers have had a bad press recently and I really hope they get it all sorted soon. They do a lot of good work for charity and need to be back concentrating on all the positives.”

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Yorkshire FYFC calls for vote of no confidence

YORKSHIRE young farmers have voted unanimously to call for a vote of no confidence in the national body’s board of management.The proposal came at a packed executive committee meeting in Harrogate of the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFYFC).

Last Thursday’s meeting (September 20th) had been called to get the grassroots’ membership’s feedback on the cancellation of next year’s annual convention in Blackpool by the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC)

The proposal was made after members voiced their anger that the first they had heard of the convention being axed was via the Farmers Guardian’s Facebook page.

“Finding out about the cancellation through social media was absolutely disgusting,” said one.

“National’s communication – or rather lack of it – has resulted in a massive feeling of resentment.”

Yorkshire chairperson Kirsty Searby praised members for not making a knee-jerk reaction after news broke of the convention’s cancellation when troublemakers at this year’s event hit the national headlines.

“I was really proud of how eloquently and considered our members discussed this matter,” said Kirsty. “Our members agreed that the convention format needs looking at – maybe going down the lines of a festival – but the anger came from the way the decision to cancel was made; with members left to learn about it second-hand via social media. There were also strong feelings about the way the whole Blackpool affair was handled; with negative stories coming out from national rather than telling the public about all the good that young farmers do.”

While they had their blood up, YFYFC voted to back two further proposals. The first was to undertake a feasibility study looking at the cost and other implications if a decision is made to break away – like Cheshire – from the national federation. They also criticised a current membership survey, claiming the questions had been asked in such a way that only positive answers can be given. A vote was taken to propose a new survey, which should ask open questions; more likely to bring frank and constructive ideas forward with the scope for making negative points as well.

Yorkshire YFC will put its three motions forward at the NFYFC council meeting, to be held in Warwickshire on Sunday, October 21st.

For further information contact:
YFYFC County Office on 01423 865 870, and they will put you in touch with one of the senior officers.

Yorkshire come 3rd at Northern Area Weekend

A good day was had by all the members who took part at the prestigious Northern Area Stockman of the Year. Hosted by Lancashire at Littletown Dairy, members battled hard against tough competition and judged dairy, pigs, breeding ewes and beef as well as completing a animal questionnaire to try and earn a place at National Stockman of the year finals. Overall Yorkshire A came 3rd and in the individual results, Tom Stapleton finished 2nd in the seniors and will represent Yorkshire at the National finals on Sat 1st & Sun 2nd September. Full results below


Copy of Northern Area Stockman Results 2018 _ ranked 2

Dan Binn’s is named runner up in butchery contest

A YOUNG farmer from Yorkshire has been named runner-up in the UK’s best young butcher competition.

19 year-old Dan Binns, a member of Penistone Young Farmers’ Club, collected the accolade at the Premier Young Butcher Competition organised by the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders (NFMFT) at Birmingham NEC. The overall title went to Conor Reynolds, from Portadown, Northern Ireland.

Dan attends Leeds City College as part of his apprenticeship with J Brindon Addy in Holmfirth.

He describes himself as “farming mad” since he was a little lad, helping out on a farm near his home in Skelmanthorpe, Huddersfield, since a very young age. He milked cows every day after school and, at the age of 13, also got a Saturday job in a butcher’s shop.

When he left school he completed a Level Three in Agriculture at Askham Bryan College, York, thinking he would go into farming full-time but decided butchery is the way forward if he is to achieve his dreams.

“I’m hoping to get onto the England butchery team,” says Dan, who was talked into joining young farmers by his work colleague Lauren Howe.

“England has a butchery team just like it has a rugby or any other sporting team. The international competitions are amazing with the opportunity to travel to places like Singapore.

“Getting involved in the young farmers’ competitions gave me the confidence to give entering a go.”

“I love building up a relationship with customers and one day would like my own butcher’s shop.” added Dan, who enjoys cooking and experimenting with different cuts of meat, but says a really good quality simple ribeye steak takes some beating.

“I have some sheep of my own – ewes with lambs at foot – and I hope the butchery work will help me to increase numbers and hopefully have some land of my own one day. That would be the dream, to rear my own livestock to sell in my own shop. I’m so grateful to J Brindon Addy’s, my tutors at college and to Lauren for getting me to join young farmers!”