Opinion: Young Farmers’ Clubs are a force for good

Young Farmers’ Clubs play a vitally important role in UK agriculture.

Whether engaging with the community, taking part in county or national rallies, or simply sharing a pint with fellow members at a sunny seaside town, Young Farmers’ Clubs have helped thousands of individuals grow in confidence and improve their communication skills – as well as developing the leaders of the future.

This role is assuming ever-greater importance. There is great uncertainty over the future of agriculture in the UK with big changes to the support regime, Brexit trade deals to be negotiated, and intense public scrutiny of our environmental impact, to name just a few things.

Never before has it been more important for our YFCs to thrive, to continue to develop young people and work together to educate the public about the impeccably high standards of environmental stewardship and animal welfare that are a feature of UK agriculture.

See also: For more details on the Young Farmers Festival visit our dedicated web page

Undoubtedly, we have a good number of young professionals entering the agricultural industry, who will help to drive the sector forward.

But the uncertainty we all face can have awful consequences. More than one farmer a week commits suicide in the UK – a situation that desperately needs to be addressed. Keeping the farming community strong and having someone to speak to in a rough patch is incredibly important.

A strong network of Young Farmers’ Clubs is imperative for combating rural isolation, ensuring that farmers socialise and connect with others. This is why I feel so strongly that the national convention should be reinstated by the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs.

At least this year there will be the DIY annual general meeting in Blackpool (8-11 May) and Farmers Weekly is also organising its Young Farmers Festival from 19-21 June.

Both these events deserve our support. They provide a great chance for young farmers to get away from the farm and meet new people, consolidating all that is good and important about the young farmers’ movement.

  • For more details of the Young Farmers Festival visit fwi.co.uk/yff