Where now for Young Farmers? – you decide

The National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs has carried out a stragetic review of the YFC movement and it is now looking for input from grassroots members.

Farmers Weekly wants as many people as possible – members, non-members and the young and old alike – to contribute to the debate through our Direct Talk on…YFC initiative. It is a great organisation, but with your help it could be even better, so why not get involved?

There are loads of issues that need addressing such as what makes a good weekly YFC meeting, what services should HQ provide and do you think the organisation needs a name change?

Alternatively, you can argue over which is the best club in the country, how much subs should be or reminisce over your favourite YFC memory.

Like many other farming organisations, the Young Farmers movement of England and Wales needs to evolve. Membership has risen in the past five years, but numbers are still not back to pre-foot-and-mouth levels.

Twenty-five years ago the organisation had over 1000 clubs and more than 50,000 members. Today, membership stands at about 21,000 and the organisation is running its services at a loss of about £150,000/yr.

One of the other big issues facing the organisation is the dramatic shift it has experienced in its membership. It has always been a youth organisation, but it is getting more youthful.

One of the most striking things about the YFC today is that more than 50% of members are under 16 years of age. But the number of 17-21-year-olds is relatively static, and the number of 22-26-year-olds is falling.

This leads to two questions. Are the needs of the junior members being met and what does the organisation need to do to attract older members, particularly those who have been away to college or university?

Why don’t you contribute your views to the debate? Visit Direct Talk on…YFC

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