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By MICHAEL POLLITT, Agricultural editor
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Young farmers in Norfolk hit the target and achieved total membership of 700 by the end of the year, it was reported at the federation’s latest annual meeting.
As membership has risen by 62pc in the past 11 years, it makes the Norfolk Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs one of the country’s biggest.
Ches Broom, county organiser, in her report to the 69th annual meeting at Easton College, said that members planned an ambitious target of recruiting 10pc more members.
“We have also provided the most training of any YFC county through the LandsSkills East programme investing more than £100,000 in members and addressing some of the issues around agricultural skills deficit,” she added.
Employers also looked for young people prepared to go that extra mile, said Ches. “They find it in YFC members. I believe this to be down to the ‘have-a-go; and ‘can-do’ attitude of members,” she added.
In his president’s report, Chris Self, said that the federation continued to go from strength to strength. In the year ending August 31, county registered 700 members – 395 senior and juniors and 305 Countrysiders.
“I’m confident that with the strong leadership from all at Easton this will continue to be the case, The upsurge in the number of young people joining countrysiders is an extremely strong and envious situation to be in.”
Mr Self, who joined Norwich YFC in September 1964, said that it had then been a youth organisation with an emphasis on agriculture. Today, it was a youth movement “open to all and the vast talent of people that I’ve come across, from all walks of life and social background, is a testament to this fact.”
A surprise presentation was made to Ches Broom by James Kearns, chairman of Momentum, which represents 300 bodies and groups involved in Norfolk voluntary youth services and charities. “She has represented Norfolk YFC on that board of trustees for at least 15 years. She had been absolutely fantastic for you as an organisation,” said Mr Kearns, who was a former member and chairman of North Walsham YFC.
“Ches has made sure that the profile of YFC has always been high both with county council and certainly within the voluntary sector,” he added.
Young farmers in Norfolk raised £45,650 for charities and good causes in the last year. Three clubs raised almost half the total and the Daniels Cup was presented to Wymondham for donating £8,000 to Big C. The runners-up, Dereham YFC raised £7,000 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, with the combined efforts of Acle and North Walsham made £6,000 for the Norfolk Deaf Association and farming’s charity, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.
Rob Hughes, of Brown & Co, presented the firm’s growth cup to the club achieving the highest percentage increase in membership. The joint runner-ups were Wymondham Countrysiders with an increase to 39 members and Loddon Countrysiders, which saw membership rise from 15 to 23. The winner was Acle, which doubled membership to 40.
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