Young Farmers’ Clubs celebrate tenth Annual Convention in Torquay
Leading industry figures and top broadcasters will arrive in Torquay on 21-23 April to help celebrate The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) Annual Convention.
The first time NFYFC held its Annual Convention in Torquay was 21 years ago and this year will be the tenth time the Riviera Centre has hosted the event that attracts 5,500 members of Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs). The major event has a significant and positive impact on the local economy.
One of this year’s highlights will be when radio and TV presenter Charlotte Smith is officially elected as NFYFC’s new President at the Annual General Meeting on Sunday 23 April.
Charlotte, who presents BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme and is also a regular presenter on BBC 1’s Countryfile, is keen to raise awareness of the issues surrounding rural isolation and the impact this can have on young people.
Charlotte Smith said: “NFYFC is an organisation I have always been really impressed with – especially as it teaches young people how to talk! Pretty much the youth service in rural Britain is YFCs. It is the local youth club for lots of people and it’s really important – especially for combating isolation issues.”
Charlotte will be joined at the event by five DJs from BBC Radio 1, including Young Farmers’ Ambassadors Scott Mills and Chris Stark from BBC Radio 1.
The Annual Convention, which is sponsored by Massey Ferguson for a fifth year, is the highlight of NFYFC’s calendar, offering a packed weekend of competitions, agricultural discussion and entertainment.
• AGRI Forum 2017, sponsored by Kuhn Farm Machinery, involving guest speakers Alexia Robinson founder of British Food Fortnight, Simon Haley, social media and agri business expert, Jane King, Chief Executive of AHDB and Guy Smith the Vice President of the NFU.
• Matt Edmondson from BBC Radio 1 will DJ on Friday night, Huw Stephens and Dev from BBC Radio 1 will be playing to the crowds on Saturday night and Scott Mills and Chris Stark from BBC Radio 1 will hit the decks on Sunday night.
• Three live bands will perform including Black Stagg, The Supergroup and RPJ band.
• National competition finals of NFYFC’s Entertainments (which will be held at The Princess Theatre on Saturday 22 April), Cheerleading, Street Dancing and Senior Member of the Year will also take place throughout the weekend.
Many of the clubs attending from England and Wales use the journey to Devon to raise some of the estimated £1.2 million that YFCs generate every year for charities.
Young farmers travelling from Yorkshire, Cornwall and Oxfordshire will be trekking, paddling and tandem cycling to the venue in Torquay. Thirty members of Cornwall Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs will be trekking and paddling over 100 miles from north Cornwall's coast – Padstow – to south Devon's coast – Torquay, in aid of Alzheimer's Society. YFC members from Oxfordshire and Yorkshire will tandem cycle to the event to raise money for charities Blue Skye Thinking and Anthony Nolan respectively.
NFYFC’s Chairman of Council Ed Ford said: “Many YFC members live and work in isolated rural communities and NFYFC’s Annual Convention is one of the few occasions where young farmers can unite from across England and Wales. It’s also an opportunity to take part in some serious agricultural discussions with leading experts and a time to acknowledge the fantastic work our YFCs do throughout the year to support, not only our members, but also our rural communities.
“We have built strong working relationships with the police, the local authority and businesses in Torquay to make sure this year’s event is entertaining and safe for young farmers and local residents. Our members really enjoy visiting Torquay and all it has to offer.”
The Annual Convention starts at 1pm on Friday 21 April and closes on the evening of Sunday 23 April.