A YFC member in west Wales has been speaking out about the role the organisation has played in his life as part of National Young Farmers’ Week 2018.

The week at the start of October celebrated the role of the UK's 615 Young Farmers’ Clubs in rural communities.

Members of the leading rural youth organisation have been asked to share messages on social media about what YFC means to them and to promote the benefits of being a member of a club.

The wider industry has also been asked to answer the question: ‘What does YFC mean to you?’ and messages of support were shared online throughout the week.

As part of the promotion Rhys James from Llysyfran YFC has talked about how the club changed him from a shy individual to a confident public speaker.

"I am a completely different person to the shy 12-year old who joined YFC six years ago," he said.

"I’m now a confident public speaker who will give anything a go!

"I got involved in stockjudging quite early on and really enjoyed it. It has taught me how to work as a team and also improved my public speaking thanks to giving reasons to the judges.

"This confidence has helped me both professionally and personally. Interviews for university were so much easier thanks to my stockjudging experience and the Junior Member of the Year competition I entered and won a few years ago."

Now studying geography in Bristol he says he found it easy to make new friends.

"Before I could drive, my once-a-week club meeting would be a social lifeline as I lived on the family farm and it was difficult to see anyone outside of school," he said.

"There’s not much to do near where I live and YFC offers you a massive social network as well as the opportunity to learn new skills.

"I probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for YFC as my parents met through my club when they were members! Some of my closest friends are from YFC – we are one big family."

The week-long celebration of YFCs and the work they do included the opportunity for a YFC to win £350, courtesy of NatWest, for recording the best promotional YFC video. The videos are being judged by NFYFC’s president and Countryfile presenter Charlotte Smith and star of BBC’s The Hill Farm Gareth Wyn Jones.

Sponsored by NatWest, this was the fourth National Young Farmers’ Week.

There are 24,500 members of NFYFC who are all offered opportunities to take on roles in their YFCs as well as get involved in the organisation at a county, area and national level.