The Young Farmers' Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) are to receive a £150,000 grant to provide agricultural-related training and rural development promotion among young people, the Minister for Agriculture Michelle McIlveen has announced.

Announcing the funding, the Minister said it would be used to support the delivery of additional, targeted work that the current 59 clubs do with their 3,000 members.

"I fully recognise the commitment and contribution that the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster make to our rural community.

"It is clearly a very hard working and dynamic organisation that continues to champion the needs of young, rural people right across Northern Ireland."

YFCU is the leading representative group for people aged 12 to 30 years in agricultural and rural communities and we have been supporting the organisation since 1934.

"This two-year funding package will enable them to offer a wider range of activities, as well as encouraging involvement and commitment to education and training."

The Minister wished Roberta Simmons, President and Michael Reid, Chief Executive Officer of the Young Farmers' Clubs and their teams every success as they continue to educate and inspire the rural youth in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) grant of £150,000 (£75,000/year 2016-18) will be paid to support the delivery of a targeted and agreed programme of work that will further develop the competencies of rural youth - those involved in agriculture as well as those living in rural areas.

The Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster recently became a National AQA unit award scheme centre, which allows YFCU to deliver accredited unit award scheme training to its members.

From September, YFCU members who take part in a range of training activities and competitions currently offered by YFCU will receive a certificate from a recognised examining and awarding body which can be included in their CVs and records of achievement.

The activities that are available for accreditation are:

  • Introduction to Public Speaking
  • Dairy stock judging and assessment
  • Beef stock judging and assessment
  • Sheep stock judging and assessment
  • Constructing a stock proof fence
  • Participating in a drama performance
  • Participating in a choir
  • Volunteering as a Club Secretary
  • Preparing a Floral Arrangement
  • Introduction to Tag Rugby