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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Lothersdale YFC elect new President

A NEW president has been appointed by Lothersdale Young Farmers’ Club.

Craven farmer David Airey, who farms 1,000 sheep on upland and heathlands in Sutton-in-Craven, close to the county borders of North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Lancashire, has taken up the position after the retirement of Cathie Cromarty. Cathie has held the position of president for many years and will stay on the club’s advisory team.

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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!”

Success for Yorkshire at National Competitions Weekend

ANYBODY who has ever poked fun at northern accents needs to eat their words after a group of young farmers from Yorkshire were among the top prizewinners in a national public speaking competition.

A delegation from Yorkshire travelled down to Stafford County Showground for the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs prestigious annual competitions day.

Yorkshire YFC’s Hannah Eaton was named best junior chairman, with first place in junior vote of thanks taken by Lucy Ellison. Third in junior speaker was Jacob Ryder, with the Yorkshire team coming runner-up overall.

In other national finals, Rathmell YFC’s Anna Booth was named fourth in the Junior Member of the Year competition. Tom Barley, of Great Smeaton YFC, was third in the Situations Vacant category, in which members have to apply for a job and impress at a mock interview. Shooting ace Katie Carvey, also from Great Smeaton YFC, won the junior and ladies clay pigeon shooting. Yorkshire also took third place in the ladies’ clay competition, with Emily Bradley shooting very well to take third place honours in the ladies’ event.

In sporting events, Yorkshire A won the Junior Dodgeball, with Yorkshire B coming third. Yorkshire A was second in the hockey and the Frisbee competition.

“Qualifying for any national final is a great achievement,” said Kirsty Searby, chairman of the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFYFC). “But to come home with such a great set of results is something all the members should be really proud of.”

The Big Summer Do 2018

On Saturday 7th July YFYFC hosted Radio 1 DJs Scott Mills and Chris Stark and The Crazy Knights Party Band.

A great night was had by all who attended

Events and Finance Chairman, Ed Bentley, commented:

Everything went so well, everyone loved the top DJs and The Crazy Knights. The venue at Wetherby was fantastic, easy to get too and a great setting for this type of event.

This event is certainly something that can grow for 2019!!

A review meeting will be held over the coming my weeks. Members are encouraged to send feedback into the office or contact Ed directly.

YFYFC support of Lancashire amendment limits National Levy rise to 10%

Following a week of heightened media coverage, the awaited National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs was held in Blackpool on Sunday 6th May 2018.

Yorkshire FYFC decided to support Lancashire’s amendment of 10% increase in National levy, much lower than the 30% proposed by NFYFC.

Members from Lancashire, Yorkshire and across England and Wales spoke on behalf of clubs and federations with mixed views.

In the end, the majority decided to increase the National Levy by 10% however, Katy Dutton of Lancashire YFC reiterated Ed Bentley’s words, telling NFYFC they must look at levy on a long term basis, rather than year on year.

Read about this in the press:

Yorkshire Post NFYFC AGM Review

Farmers Guardian National AGM write up

Yorkshire FYFC to support Lancashire’s 10% National levy increase amendment and vote against National proposal of 30% at AGM in Blackpool

OLD ADVERSARIES Yorkshire and Lancashire will go into battle together at next week’s National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) annual general meeting and convention.

Members from the White and Red Rose counties will be putting their traditional rivalries to one side and singing from the same hymn sheet when the controversial subject of membership subscriptions is discussed at the gathering in Blackpool, which takes place between May 4th and 6th.

There is a motion from NFYFC council to increase the levy paid by individual clubs into the national federation coffers by 30 per cent.

Ed Bentley, chairman of Yorkshire YFC’s events, finance and general purpose committee, explained the county’s decision to support an amendment by Lancashire to limit the increase to 10 per cent.

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