New Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF) is launching a new funding model, the NZYF Community, to help the organisation become more financially sustainable.
The new NZYF Community is a modern partnership funding-based model, aimed to ensure the organisation will be kept around for generations to come.
Across its networks, NZYF has over 60 Clubs, hosts around 800 Club meetings and 150 events every year. It is also responsible for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest Series.
NZYF Board Chair Kent Weir said the new funding model would transform the way the organisation works and create more avenues to better support young people in the sector.
As a non-profit organisation, it previously relied on project and outcome-based funding to support its 3,500 memberships across all of its networks.
“New Zealand Young Farmers has a proud history since its establishment in 1927 and we want to make sure that we can continue to provide help to Young Farmers and rural communities,” he said.
“Our purpose is to excite, connect and nurture young people in the primary sectors and create success for our members and clubs. We support our members with their mental and physical health and connect clubs with rural communities to help them thrive with fundraising opportunities and events. Our goal is to always keep developing, inspiring and empowering young people to achieve their dreams and ambitions.”
“The NZYF Community will enable us to continue this work and create lasting opportunities and avenues for support and success. It has enabled us to set a strong pathway for future growth. We are extremely proud to be launching this with the support of our first NZYF Community partners – Tavendale and Partners, Trev and Manawatu Knitting Mills (MKM).”
The NZYF community operates in a three-tiered model with the choice to become a ‘family member,’ ‘supporter,’ or ‘friend of NZYF.’
Organisations and businesses in the rural sector whose strategic goals align with those of NZYF – particularly to support a strong and connected rural workforce - now have the opportunity to connect with the next generation of the food and fibre sector and provide tangible benefits for NZYF members.
Weir said the ability to explore and implement the new community partnership would not have been possible without Government support from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund, which is contributing $1.76 million over three years to help NZYF grow and attract young people into the food and fibre sector.
“New Zealand Young Farmers has been instrumental in adding to the vibrancy of our rural communities for nearly 100 years,” said Steve Penno, MPI’s director of investment programmes.
“This new funding model will help ensure their important work continues for many years to come.”
Weir said he would also like to thank the NZYF National Office who worked tirelessly to get the funding model off the ground, spearheaded by NZYF Chief Executive Lynda Coppersmith.
Coppersmith reiterated New Zealand Young Farmers' importance in attracting, nurturing, and retaining young people in the primary sector.
“We know that we are a valuable part of the sector and provide value to the primary industries by supporting young people to be successful. Farm Strong research has also proved that New Zealand Young Farmers has been invaluable to many people's mental health and career journeys throughout their life.
We are nearing our 100-year anniversary and need the industry's support to make sure we can continue our work, keep giving young people positive experiences and lead the industry into the future.”
The new partners said they were excited to be on board as the NZYF Community launches.
“Sharing a vision of investing in the next generation of primary industry experts, we are proud to partner with NZ Young Farmers. Being part of the NZYF Community keeps our feet on the ground and gives us invaluable insights into the changes and challenges facing those in the primary sector,” Olivia Macgregor from Tavendale and Partners said.
“NZYF Clubs are an important part of our rural communities. We are chuffed to be supporting an iconic NZ organisation that is integral in engaging and developing our future agricultural leaders,” said Scott Townshend, CEO of Trev.
NZYF will be hitting the road at the end of June to officially launch the NZYF Community through a series of events in Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton.
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