YFCU and UFU LAUNCH CLIMATE CHANGE COMPETITION
7 September 2020
The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), and the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU), has today launched a new climate competition. Entrants are asked to produce a three-minute video promoting what they are doing or what they would like to do on their farm to tackle climate change. The focus is on greenhouse gas emissions on Northern Ireland (NI) farms.
There are two age categories, under 18’s which is run locally and 18-40’s which is part of a UK-wide competition running alongside the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC), NFU Scotland and NFU Cyrmu climate competitions. One winner will be crowned from each of the UK regions.
UFU president Victor Chestnutt said, “Climate change is affecting every farmer across the globe, yet it is expected that the number of mouths to feed will rise to nearly 10 billion by 2050 (according to UN forecasts). Agriculture supplies food, stores carbon and generates renewable energy. This shows that NI farmers are part of the climate change solution. Our farming families are adapting their farm businesses to tackle greenhouse gas emissions in a way that allows them to continue to produce high-quality food. This includes our young farmers, who are the future of this industry and are steering agriculture in a positive direction with an environmental focus at the forefront.
“NI farmers are among the most carbon efficient producers in the world due to our grass-based production model. Reducing local agricultural production is therefore not the answer to combatting climate change. The question is how trade-offs between climate, biodiversity, food production, and rural development should be managed. That is our challenge and our young farmers are doing all they can to tackle this. This climate competition in partnership with YFCU will highlight ways in which they are doing this to reduce emissions and it will demonstrate constructive plans that need to be encouraged, not only on the participants' farms, but on farming businesses across NI.”
The judging panel will include representatives from UFU and YFCU, as well as high-profile individuals from the NI agriculture industry.
YFCU president Zita McNaugher said, “Climate change and greenhouse emission education is at the forefront of our YFCU calendar. Over the last few years, the YFCU have worked alongisde Ulster Wildlife to provide clubs with education about the environment alongside the creation of several new hedgerows in their local areas through the Grassroots Programme. I am thrilled that the UFU and YFCU have joined forces to create awareness of this topic and I am are extremely excited to see the fresh approach our members are currently implementing on their farms to combat this issue."
A guideline has been produced to help those who wish to take part to create their video and it can be accessed here, https://www.ufuni.org/news/ufu-and-yfcu-climate-competition, where they will also find an application form (which contains parental permission for under 18 entries), and further details on the competition.
Entrants must be a member of UFU or YFCU, and a completed application form must be submitted along with their video using WeTransfer (https://wetransfer.com/) to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a £500 prize pot available and the winner of both categories will feature in an edition of the Irish Farmers’ Journal supplement magazine, Irish Country Living. The deadline for entries is Friday 16 October 2020.