Election of second-generation NFYFC chairman ‘takes the reins 25 years after her father’

The new chairman of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) has been elected to the position a quarter of a century after her father held the title.

Rachel Goldie, 27, has been a member of Great Smeaton Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) for 15 years and was elected as NFYFC’s new chairman at its first-ever online Council elections on Thursday, February 18.

She follows in the footsteps of her farming father Alan Goldie who was voted in as chairman of the federation in 1996.

Alan’s year in office during the 90s was probably not as challenging as the one his daughter now faces.

YFCs are currently unable to meet and social distancing is expected to be here for some time during the pandemic.

Clubs have moved to online delivery and Rachel, who has been NFYFC’s Vice Chairman for the last two years, is preparing for another very different YFC year.

Adapting to online needs

The organisation has had to move quickly to adapt to an online programme and has recently successfully bid for funding to help improve its website and digital offer.

However, the national office and county federations still face significant financial shortfalls due to cancelled events and reduced membership numbers – something Rachel hopes to start to turnaround this year.

Rachel Goldie, chairman of NFYFC, said:

“I am really proud to be elected as the national chairman and to bring the title back into the Goldie family after 25 years.

I hope I do as good a job as my dad and I’ll certainly be tested as I’m taking on this role amid a pandemic.

“The last 11 months have not been easy for YFC members, with clubs forced to close during lockdowns and having to follow restrictions when we could meet up.

“The levels of isolation rural young people are facing at the moment is immense and during my year as chairman I’m keen to encourage YFCs to reach out in their communities and support others.

“Many of our YFCs are offering an online programme of activity – including online training, competitions, guest speakers, quizzes and online crafts.

YFC is working hard to keep rural young people connected during these challenging times and I am proud of what we have achieved so far.

“Even though it’s not the same as meeting in person, our clubs’ online sessions are still helping people socialise, learn new skills and even achieve awards through our online competitions,” she concluded.