16th APRIL 2020 - Page 38

JANUARY 23 2020
Youths For
with YFCU
HIS week has been a strange one across
Northern Ireland with Storm Brendan,
pigs being “rescued” and the New Minister
of Agriculture’s rst radio interview.
Veganism and “veganuary” are dominating
social media but the UFU “Localanuary” campaign
is getting plenty of support.
The new Minister of Agriculture talked
through his priorities on “Farming Matters” on
Tuesday evening which included a focus on the
environment and TB. It was also interesting to
hear about the new App being designed to alert
people if something falls into a slurry tank.
I was at the rst 2020 meeting of the YFCU
programming and development committee
meeting on Tuesday night at Greenmount. I enjoy
attending these meetings as we evaluate the
recent competitions and discuss planning for up
coming competitions.
The starting of a new competition in the form of
boys’ football was discussed and all counties are
in support of this. This idea is going to the next
YFC Executive meeting to discuss further.
We want to offer our members a variety of
competitions but we also need to think about the
cost and time of staff involved in this and also
the pressure on members to attend competitions.
When introducing a new competition, it requires
us to think very strategically about the overall
impact and evaluate our other competitions to
see if we need to potentially stop some that have
low levels of participation.
On Wednesday night I chaired Castlecauleld’s
Annual General Meeting and it was great to see
such a good attendance at the meeting. AGMs are
happening all across the Province and at these
meetings executive members are highlighting the
importance of child protection training, access NI
checks and six month accounts must be returned
to YFCU Headquarters by March 14.
All three elements are vitally important to
protect our members and we are planning quite
a few child protection training courses over the
next few weeks to ensure all new ofce bearers
are trained.
On Thursday evening I attended “County
Legenderry’s” sub committee meeting where we
discussed the very successful county dinner
which was held back in November.
The upcoming county efciency night and Arts
Festival Gala disco were organised. As the Arts
Festival Gala is being held in the Millennium
Forum in Londonderry, the county has the
pleasure of hosting the disco which will follow at
the White Horse Hotel.
On Saturday evening I got to attend the dinner
of the longest established Young Farmers’ Club in
Ulster, Ballywalter YFC, as they celebrated their
90th anniversary.
It’s an incredible achievement for the club and
the dinner ran so smoothly, it was apparent a lot of
planning, hard work and effort had been ongoing
for a number of weeks leading up to the dinner.
I’d like to thank Kristina and Kendal, Leader
and Secretary of Ballywalter Young Farmers,
along with their 90th Anniversary committee
for allowing me to be part of such a special
occasion. It’s denitely given me a few ideas for
the association’s upcoming dinner on March 21.
A limited number of tickets are available for the
YFCU Anniversary Dinner, so please contact your
local club if you are interested in attending.
I’d like to wish every member taking part in
the second stage of the Ulster Young Farmer
and Home Management competitions the best of
luck. The second stages take place on Thursday,
January 23 at venues across NI. Also just a quick
reminder that the theme of “nostalgia” has
been announced for this year’s photographic
competition, so happy snapping!
‘Have a go’ at SERC’s NI Apprenticeship Week
HE Department for the
Economy’s inaugural NI
Apprenticeship Week
2020 (NIAW2020), designed
to showcase and celebrate
apprenticeship programmes,
is set to run February 3-7 and
South Eastern Regional College
is on board with a week of
activities geared for potential
apprentices and employers.
William Greer, Chief Training
and Contracts Ofcer at SERC’s
Training Organisation, said:
“This is a great opportunity
to join us during NIAW2020 to
nd out more about the range
of apprenticeships on offer.
Throughout the week we will
be hosting Have a Go sessions
where young people can visit
their local SERC campus and
get hands-on with a range of
apprenticeship disciplines as
well as nding out more about
what’s on offer.
“The Have a Go Sessions will
take place from 4pm-7pm at
Lisburn Campus (February
3), Bangor Campus (February
4), Newtownards Campus
(February 5) and Downpatrick
Campus (February 6).
He added: “SERC has 899
apprentices at Level 2 and
Level 3 on the Apprenticeship
NI Scheme who are involved in
over 24 different professional/
technical areas. In addition,
we have 233 Higher Level
Apprentices, so we are
delighted to take part in
the rst NI Apprenticeship
Week to demonstrate how
apprenticeships work for
individuals, businesses,
communities and the wider
economy through the college.
He continued:
“Apprenticeships cannot exist
without employers so if your
organisation is considering
hiring an apprentice, we are
keen to meet with you at one
of our Employers’ Breakfasts,
8.30am-10am, during NI
Apprenticeship Week 2020.
Local businesses are invited
to join us for breakfast
at Bangor, Downpatrick,
Lisburn or Newtownards
to hear from our dedicated
Apprenticeships Team to nd
out how apprenticeships benet
employers and learn how the
college can help you to support
potential apprentices to get
ahead in their chosen career.
n Places are free but you do
need to book by visiting www.
serc.ac.uk/NIAW and selecting
your venue of choice.”
Future farmers urged to get
involved with Next Gen Forum
HE Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU),
with the support of the Young
Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU), has
reopened the application process
for the next tranches of the Next
Generation Development Forum.
The Next Generation was initially
created in 2017 for farmers under the age
of 40, to encourage them to become more
involved with the union’s activities. UFU
president Ivor Ferguson said: “Our current
committees are effective, but often they
lack input from those who will be the
farmers of the future.
“This forum is to play a key role in
shaping the UFU for a new generation
of farmers. The rst group of Next Gen
members have just come to the end of their
tenure and it has been a highly worthwhile
forum for both the UFU and the individuals
The forum will have a maximum of 25
representatives and both members and
non-members can apply. They will meet
approximately ve times in the year to
discuss topics of their choice and to debate
the future of the agricultural industry.
“The agenda and format will be decided
by the group as it progresses, with the
option to build in leadership development,
educational visits, business skills and
anything else forum members feel is
important to the future of the industry,”
said Mr Ferguson.
CALL: Next Generation Development Forum members meet as the UFU urges farmers
under 40 to become more involved with the union’s activities as the application process has
reopened for the next tranches.
YFCU president Zita McNaugher added:
“I am delighted that the Next Generation
Development Forum has now carried over
into a second term. Both the YFCU and UFU
want to encourage farmers under the age
of 40 to become more involved in shaping
policy. We see this forum as an opportunity
for young people to learn more about how
the industry works and the importance of
effective representation and negotiation.”
n If you are interested in being a part of
the Next Generation Development Forum
visit www.ufuni.org to download an
application from.
n The closing date for submissions is
Friday, February 21 at 4pm.
CAFRE graduate ‘blossoms’
into potential world beater
GRADUATE of the College
of Agriculture, Food and
Rural Affairs (CAFRE)
has been selected to take part
in a prestigious competition
which could see her jet off to
Shanghai next year.
Clara Agnew gained her Levels
2 and 3 diplomas in Floristry
from CAFRE’s Greenmount
Campus between 2017-19 and
has now been selected for
the WorldSkills UK Talent
Programme known as Squad
The working orist from
Hamiltonsbawn in County
Armagh said: “I am over
the moon to be getting this
opportunity to be part of Squad
“And I’m really excited to
start my WorldSkills training
so I can further develop my
oristry skills and techniques,
which will not alone increase
my competition chances but
also be invaluable to me as a
professional orist.”
Clara entered the competition
last year whilst completing
her Level 3 qualication at the
Greenmount Campus. After
placing highly in local heats
she performed excellently at an
intensive three-day competition
in Birmingham in November,
winning her a place on Squad
Eighteen months further
training has now begun and will
see Clara compete against her
fellow Squad UK members for a
place at Euro Skills 2020 which
will take place in Graz, Austria.
From here a single highly
skilled and talented UK orist
will travel to the WorldSkills
competition in Shanghai in 2121.
While Clara is the rst
ever CAFRE orist to reach
this stage of the WorldSkills
competition, she the latest
in a long line of horticultural
ABOVE: Clara Agnew’s career has blossomed since graduating
with Levels 2 and 3 diplomas in Floristry from CAFRE’s Greenmount
Campus in 2017-19.
graduates from the college to
have represented the UK across
the globe in the WorldSkills
Landscape Gardening element
of the competition.
In a remarkable achievement,
ve CAFRE trained students
have been part of the UK two
person Landscape Gardening
Team who have been in the past
ve nals.
Clara Agnew is convinced
that her success and the
achievements of former
students in WorldSkills
competitions has been as a
result of the work and quality of
the teaching at the college.
“My tutors at CAFRE in
Greenmount Campus have
been a great support and have
always encouraged me to be the
best I could. I really appreciate


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