Young Farmers buried a time capsule in Hemyock, Devon - the site of the first Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) - to commemorate the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) 80th anniversary.
The ceremony took place on Saturday 12 April 2014 and current and former members of NFYFC, the largest rural youth organisation in the UK, were joined by local dignitaries and residents.
Among the guests were Chairman of Mid Devon County Council John Berry and Councillor Ray Radford who read out a letter on behalf of Neil Parish MP – all former YFC members.
The ceremony was timely as it followed on from Culm Valley YFC’s Show and Sale on 11 April – an event the club has been hosting since Hemyock YFC first set up in 1921.
Hemyock YFC eventually evolved into Culm Valley YFC and former members were there to reminisce and talk about their experiences of being part of the Federation. Among them was 84-year-old Brian Clist, a former Club Chairman from 1951, from Mountshayne Farm in Culm Valley. Brian’s farm has been in the family for 300 years and his father was the first Vice Chairman of Hemyock YFC and attended the very first Calf Sale on the grounds near where the time capsule was buried. His eldest son was also Vice Chairman of Culm Valley YFC in the 1970s.
Brian Clist said: “I am delighted that Young Farmers’ Clubs are still going strong and I feel proud to know that my family were members of one of the longest running clubs in England and Wales. I can remember attending the Sales back in the fifties, learning traditional skills such as rope making and stockjudging. We also enjoyed the dances too.”
As well as a display of the Federation’s old photos and documents, Culm Valley YFC served refreshments in the village hall. There was also an opportunity to capture what people thought the industry and the NFYFC would look like in 2058. Attendees at the event were invited to hang their thoughts on a special wishing tree and their ideas will be kept, with a record of attendance, for young farmers to read in 2058.
Among the haul of items included in the time capsule are photos, programmes, stickers, badges and information about clubs and the Federation.
The intention is for future YFC members to dig up the capsule in 2058 so they can find out what life as a young farmer was like in 2014.
The suggestion to bury a time capsule was originally made by NFYFC’s Youth Forum. The Chairman of the Youth Forum Sioned Davies said:
“It was very exciting to bury the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ time capsule in Hemyock to mark our 80th year. We hope the selection of items inside the capsule can convey the breadth of opportunity and the depth of our history.
“The ceremony gave everyone a chance to reflect on the growth of the NFYFC over the past 80 years and to celebrate the vigour and energy of our members today. Something we hope will be conveyed to those opening the capsule in 2058 on the 125th anniversary of NFYFC.”