Young Farmers overwhelmingly vote in favour levy increase
A proposed levy increase of 20% by NFYFC Council has been officially approved at the Federation's 83rd Annual General Meeting.
Members overwhelmingly voted in favour of the levy increase, which will see the price of annual membership increase by, on average, £2.66 per member. Caroline Trude of Devon YFC and Caroline Baker of County Durham YFC proposed and seconded the motions respectively, with no response from the floor.
The levy increase was proposed by Council to help plug the funding gap following a loss in income from HOPS Labour Solutions, the NFYFC's commercial trading arm. This levy increase will see an additional £60,000 brought in to the Federation, which will ensure the effective future running of NFYFC and the benefits that come with being a YFC member.
Meanwhile, a motion to increase the Young Farmers age limit from 26 to 30 was rejected. Northamptonshire YFC put forward the motion, with Nick Strelczuk from the County saying that Young Farmers now reach a different dynamic of members, from farmers to students, agronomists, mechanics and more. The motion received responses from various counties, all of whom opposed the motion, saying that the motion jeapordises opportunities for younger members. Ed Ford from Essex FYFC simply said that 'we need to think about our grassroot members'.
In other developments, Poul Christensen was unanimously re-elected as President of NFYFC, while Adrian Willis and Eric Freeman were elected as Life Vice Presidents of the Federation. With Adrian Willis receiving an emotional tribute from Yorkshire YFC's Adele Hamer.
Hannah Talbot, NFYFC Chair of Council, said: "It was a fantastic AGM. I felt that it really showed what NFYFC is all about. There was a real celebration of everything that has been achieved and some really robust dicsussions about what makes us who we are.
"I'm very pleased that the levy increase motion was passed. I'm pleased that members have endorsed Council's proposal and that they have indicated that they are willing to pay more, but I have also taken on board the feedback that we've been given in terms of things that the Federation needs to do to tighten its belts and review its spending.
"I thought Northamptonshire YFC prepared their argument incredibly well and that there was a lot of validity in their arguments. I feel that the associate membership does cater well for the older age groups, but in the same way that we need to review the outcome of the levy decision, we also need to review that discussion as well and think about who we are and what we do for members and others interested in our organisation."
If you missed the Annual General Meeting, you can listen to it in full and see the best photos here: