FROM November 2009 until March 2011, members of the Cornwall Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (Cornwall YFC) took part in a new initiative – the Club Development Programme.

This was a joint collaboration between Duchy College and Cornwall YFC and offers developmental training and the chance to gain a qualification in team leading with The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

Following an extremely successful first year of the programme, a celebratory presentation evening was held on February 15 2011 at the Pavilion Centre, Royal Cornwall Showground.

The evening was chaired by Anthony Ellis (Cornwall YFC’s chairman) and saw Dave Linnell (CEO of Cornwall College) present 50 YFC members with their NVQ certificates.

Dave offered his congratulations to the members and explained what a unique and special programme this has been and how important collaborations between the college and YFC are to the development of rural communities in Cornwall.

Andrew Counsell also offered sincere praise to the members and to the programme: “It was great to see members and assessors in attendance to celebrate the steep learning curve and exciting journey over the past year and also to see the culmination of the programme after its extremely successful first year.

"We were delighted to welcome Chris Shepherd, manager of the Duchy College Training Agency and also Chris Robinson, the External Verifier for the programme from ILM.”

The overriding aim of the programme was that it has been led by Cornwall YFC and been designed for YFC members. Therefore to ensure the presentation evening celebrated the achievements of members as much as possible, Cat Ede from Callington YFC was asked to share her experiences and describe the benefits of the programme.

Cat began by thanking members for attending to collect their certificates and explained how the programme has given members a further opportunity to gain a qualification and skills with YFC. Cat described how the NVQ has given her more confidence to take the role as chairman for her club this year, by preparing her to chair meetings, to delegate work and to consider the safety of her club by ensuring risk assessments are completed.

She explained how members in all clubs are now working as a stronger team, which is being demonstrated by the great sums of money raised and by the achievements of clubs in competitions. Cat then spoke about her progression to the level 3 programme and wished members participating in the programme this year the best of luck.

Cat concluded by thanking Duchy College for offering Cornwall YFC this opportunity, the assessors and the YFC county office.