Supporting young farmers in the South West
At Westcotts, we have been working with the farming community for over thirty years and our long-standing commitment to the agricultural sector is demonstrable.
We have a dedicated agricultural team who look after the accountancy and business needs of our farming clients and we provide specialist knowledge of tax, financial planning and succession and estate planning – a full package of support.
Many of our rural offices have a close association with their local young farmers’ clubs and have done so for several decades, so it stands to reason that we celebrate National Young Farmers Week (17-21 October).
I was once a member of Axminster Young Farmers’ Club and many of our farming clients were young farmers too – the industry is the lifeblood of the South West and many of our clients tell me the huge life changing benefits gained by being a member. Farming is not a nine to five job, it’s a lifestyle so it’s important that we help to support this sector as much as we can.
It’s really heartening to see that clubs are still doing well – in Devon alone, the YFC had 1,800 members last year – the highest number in 20 years.
This year the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) is using this week to promote the charity’s work. In particular, their food and farming connections #HomeGrown campaign.
The National Federation was formed in March 1932 and celebrated its 90th Anniversary earlier this year with a range of events that showcased its ethos of ‘fun, learning and achievement.’
But the first young farmers’ club is even older – Hemyock in Devon was formed in 1921, when United Dairies milk factory set the children of the area’s milk producers the task of calf rearing, with competitions and prizes for those achieving the highest standards. Many of the advances in agricultural production developed from these clubs, allowing farmers to share knowledge and best practice.
The idea soon took off and by 1939 there were 412 clubs in 22 counties around the world. Ever since, young farmers’ clubs have been driving innovation in farming businesses and making the lives of people in the rural community better. The Federation has survived war, foot and mouth disease and the Covid pandemic.
So, we send our congratulations to all young farmers’ clubs – Westcotts wishes you another successful year ahead!