Here we are collating the latest information and advice for Young Farmers Clubs around COVID-19. Please read thoroughly and stay up to date, particularly with the Government requirements. We have also provided some links to handy resources from the Ministry of Health, Mental Health Foundation and WorkSafe. We aim to provide daily updates here as the situation changes, however, if you have any questions or need advice please get in touch with NZYF Communications Manager Erin Speedy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please click on the photos below to be directed to some handy resources from the relevant authorities.
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LATEST UPDATE FROM NZYF CEO LYNDA COPPERSMITH
Well things have certainly moved quickly this afternoon. We had to make the decision this morning to postpone Otago/Southland Regional Final. With the announcements made by the government today we won’t be advising of new dates or formats just yet but hope to, sometime soon. At this stage, we have made no decisions about Grand Final. We still have several months ahead of us before this event and as we have seen in the last few days, anything can happen so we will sit tight for now.
Given the move to Alert Level 3 today and Level 4 by Wednesday, members cannot and should not hold AGM’s or club meetings. We’ve identified a Zoom package that will be good for clubs to use to hold virtual meetings. It’s so important that you all keep communicating and checking in on one another during this time so if you can hold virtual meetings with all club members, please do so.
Skype meetings, WhatsApp and even Facebook messenger group calls are also options depending how many people you have per meeting – we urge you to explore these options as well because it is so, so important to stay in touch with one another over the next four weeks.
The NZYF National Office team are going to be spending tomorrow gearing up for a minimum of four weeks of isolation and working from home. I’ve told them to take this time to focus on themselves and their families. They also need to ensure they have everything in place to be able to support our members and partners once we are effectively in lockdown.
We may be a bit slow to respond to queries and be a bit quiet tomorrow but if you have questions, please send them through to Erin as usual and she will do her best to respond to you.
We will come back to you on Wednesday with responses and an update.
For now, take care everyone and look after yourselves, your family, friends and loved ones.
Keep positive and remember to focus on what you CAN control.
UPDATE FROM NZYF CEO, LYNDA COPPERSMITH
Kia Ora everyone,
We have really some exciting news – today our Aorangi AgriKids winners were announced!
Congratulations to Edward Pottinger, Tabitha White and Tess Macdonald from Longbeach School.
We have successfully run the first AgriKids regional final online!!
It started with an online quiz which was released on Tuesday, before the top team from each school was chosen.
From there they battled it out in another online competition – this time going head to head live!
Phase one for FMG JR YFOTY has also been done and the second phase for the competition will be run on Tuesday.
It was really successful event and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without Jake Lonergan so a big, big thank you to you Jake!
Jake managed and created the event and pulled it together in an incredibly short time frame.
Thanks to Jake, the whole competition has been re-formatted and we have AgriKids and Jr YFOTY contestants going through to Grand Final.
We should have an update for you early next week on the remaining FMG YFOTY regional finals.
We made the decision today to suspend area managers’ going into schools to visit TeenAg clubs, until the end of April. This is disappointing but in the current environment, we believe it’s necessary.
We’re ensuring that we are keeping in close (digital) contact with everyone and have increased our ability to connect remotely.
Next week we’ll update you with our plans to make sure we can stay connected with all of our TeenAg Clubs. For Young Farmers Club’s TeenAg liaisons - we will look at how we can support you to stay connected with them too, if you have any ideas let us know!
We’ve created a tab on the Young Farmers website where we will post updates on the Covid-19 situation and communications from us. This site contains links to where you can find extra support and information. Check it out here http://www.youngfarmers.co.nz/covid-19/.
Last of all, make sure you are supporting your local food producers and retailers who will be struggling during this time. Your local butcher, baker, fruit and veggie retailer – all of these businesses will be appreciative of your support during this time.
We’ve got some welcome rain here in Canterbury today. Hopefully there will be some heading to the North Island as well!
P.S. Remember to wash your wands!
LATEST UPDATE FROM NZYF CEO, LYNDA COPPERSMITH
Kia ora everyone,
We’ve been receiving lots of questions asking what is going to happen with Grand Final this year given the way things are progressing with restrictions on large gatherings. It’s difficult to know what will be happening next week, never mind in July! We are very much in uncertain times.
The Events team are working hard on an alternative format for the remaining Regional Finals that will allow us to run the events in a safe way that complies with government protocols and recommendations. A big focus of this is professional livestreaming and using technology to ensure you still get to be part of the events and support your favourite contestants. We want to show the country that NZ Young Farmers, its members and sponsors are adaptable and resilient to what life throws our way!
If we are under the same restrictions in July that are currently in place, we envisage still running Grand Final under the same alternative format that we are currently developing for Regionals. It will be hard for you all to not be on the ground and physically part of it so we want to make sure we can provide you with really good livestreaming/broadcasting.
If the restrictions to people movement become more severe and look to stay that way for some time, we may have to cancel or postpone Grand Final. But at the moment we are making decisions based on the facts – what we know today. As things change, we will re-evaluate these decisions and will update you as soon as possible with any changes.
I know this is a difficult and uncertain time for everyone. Stay safe and look after each other. We’ll keep providing you with as much information as we can.
Nga Mihi, Lynda
U.K. EXCHANGE UPDATE
The Scottish Association of Young Farmers has suspended their exchange to New Zealand and vice versa. UK Citizens are being advised to stop non-essential contact for a prolonged period and cease non-essential travel worldwide. With their exchange programme now suspended, the SAYFC’s delegates previously confirmed to travel to New Zealand will no longer travel. They’re also no longer in the position to host any incoming delegates to Scotland.
COVID-19 ADVICE AND DIRECTIVES TO CLUBS
Good afternoon everyone,
With the rapidly evolving circumstances around COVID-19, we wanted to let you know about your Young Farmer Club Meetings/Events and give you some advice.
We are closely monitoring the Ministry of Health - as the situation changes, we’ll keep you informed and update information on our social media pages, our website and via email.
The Government has banned events from over 500 people and we are still patiently waiting for the release of guidelines around hosting smaller events or public gatherings.
Young Farmers can continue to hold Club meetings that strictly follow government requirements for reducing the risk of COVID-19.
As Young Farmers members, you are expected to follow and adhere to these rules.
We ask you to do a thorough risk management process following those guidelines and manage the risks responsibly.
See the guidelines HERE and please keep checking for the latest updates.
We’ve listed the guidelines at the end of this email but the link is here if you need it. Please also keep checking this website for updates.
As for larger events such as balls, if these are scheduled between now and the end of April, these will need to be cancelled or postponed.
If you do have these planned and have to cancel them, please inform me.
Competitions including regional competitions can still go ahead. However these will need to be closed to the public and spectators and instead live streamed onto Facebook (if needed).
You will also need to follow the guidelines strictly and enforce no physical contact rules and social distancing measures. This also applies to any other smaller event.
If you do have another type of event with over 40 people that is already planned for your Club or region between now and August - you need to please get in touch with me about it.
I will need to assess these on a case by case basis following Government advice including the social distancing, tracking and tracing guidelines.
For planning future events or competitions, we recommend you wait on setting dates for any event.
The situation and restrictions around Covid-19 are changing daily and we expect more restrictions will come into place over the next few weeks.
Businesses and organisations are already cancelling events, conferences and competitions right up until June, so we expect you to take note of what steps are being taken around your districts and regions and make informed decisions based on that.
Please do not be afraid to ring your local Councils and DHB’s for advice and information as well.
An update on FMG YFOTY Regional Finals.
Aorangi and Tasman have been postponed. Otago Southland is currently being reviewed.
We are currently working through a revised format for the remaining three Regional Finals which will be a closed content and broadcast somehow.
With Grand Final scheduled for July, no decisions have been yet, however we will continue to provide updates as they become available.
Our messages to you.
Be mindful there are lots of elderly people and vulnerable people in your communities and we encourage you to check in with them and lend a helping hand or listening ear if it’s needed.
With the current economic crisis, now is the time to spend money locally and support your local businesses and food producers.
Don’t forget about your other networks of farming colleagues and friends – it might be useful to talk through how you might support each other through these difficult times.
We understand the impact these restrictions could have on Young Farmer members – especially as so many already live in isolated areas and rely on club meetings and events to socialise with others.
Please keep in touch and check in with your friends and families via phone calls, Social Media, emails, video calls etc.
It's a good idea to use other ways to remain in contact with your Club and consider utilising social media as a way for all members to stay in contact.
If you’re feeling anxious and would like to talk to someone Rural Support Trust is always available on 0800 787 254.
Or 1737, need to talk?' Helpline.
We also need you to take care of yourselves. You can't care for anyone else if you don't care for yourself.
You need to: -
- sleep well, eat well, exercise and get outside
- leave your phone at home sometimes
- remember to S.T.O.P and b-r-e-a-t-h-e - surround yourself with positive people (ones that restore and replenish your energy, not rob it)
- keep developing your competencies (when we feel competent we feel more in control which makes us feel more resilient)
- focus your energy on what you can control, not what you can't - be grateful for what you've got vs. what you've not (kids, pets, loved ones, friends, family, sunshine, outdoors, landscapes, wildlife, garden).
And finally - smile, be kind and look out for one another.
This is an unprecedented situation but we know that smiles and kindness do not spread Covid- 19.
As the situation is changing day by day, almost hour to hour, these directives and messages could change. We are taking it day by day at this stage.
We will be providing regular updates and messaging as we can – but please email or call me directly if you have any questions, queries or concerns.
Erin Speedy email@example.com
Aorangi and Tasman Regional Finals postponed.
17.03.2020, Please attribute the below statement to NZ Young Farmers CEO, Lynda Coppersmith.
"Following the Government’s announcement this week on restricting large events across the country, we’ve made the decision to postpone the next two FMG Young Farmer of the Year Regional Finals.
Aorangi and Tasman will now be held at a later date that is yet to be confirmed.
No decision has yet been made around Otago/Southland Regional Final.
The AgriKids and FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year competitions have been moved to a closed contest online for the remaining three Regional Finals.
Teams who have entered will now take part in an online quiz–the online quiz is currently being assessed and further information will be released this week.
The safety of our competitors, staff and spectators and it is imperative that we don’t put anyone at risk and do what we can to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Like other organisations across the country, we are waiting on further direction from the Government on hosting events. This will help provide us with the clarity we need to reorganise plans.
Our immediate priority in the coming days is to communicate with all of our Regional Final competitors, committees and clubs and formulate a plan going forward.
We appreciate many of you will have questions around rearranging these events and the potential impact on the Grand Final.
We’ll keep you updated and distribute information as we can.
In the meantime if you would like to contact us directly please email our communications manager firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin is managing the response to Covid-19 so we ask that you please do not contact any other NZYF staff member as they focus on making sure the contest can still go ahead in a different format."