BBC star Matt Baker takes the helm at NYFYC

STAR of Strictly Come Dancing, Matt Baker, has today been announced as the new president of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs.

Confirmation of the news came at a packed AGM today as members gathered to welcome the new president.

The appointment of Matt Baker was proposed by Claire Swinburne, chairman of personal development at County Durham YFC and was seconded by East Riding YFC events chairman Hollie Harris.

The County Durham farmer’s son who also presents the BBC’s One Show and Countryfile will succeed outgoing president Lionel Hill MBE, who has been at the helm for the last four years.

Baker will lead the largest youth organisation, which has a membership of 24,000 youngsters aged between 10-26, into the next phase of their development.

The TV star is no stranger to farming, helping his father on the family farm since the age of 10 and fronting a variety of nature, wildlife and countryside programmes.

“Having picked up the baton from Lionel I just wanted to say how excited I am to be working with you the organisation and Young Farmers this year,” he says.

“The countryside is a big part of who I am and so to be the president of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, celebrating that connection with our landscape and getting out there and doing stuff within it, is a great honour.”

As well as attending many a rally day, Baker says his close connection has been further fuelled with his mother Janice, operating as a county organiser and his sister finding her husband at one of the weekly social events held by their local club.

“I’m very aware of the camaraderie and friendships that can be formed. I must say now, as an impartial NFYFC president, I can no longer be biased, but can’t wait to see how Durham YFC gets on at this year’s NFYFC finals!

“As we all know agriculture and farming are rapidly changing, young farmers are the future and I feel it’s important to keep an energy and enthusiasm that can drive this industry forward.”

“Since joining Countryfile I’ve discovered there is a new appreciation of our British countryside from an incredibly diverse audience.

“Together we can capitalise on this enthusiasm, giving YFC a voice that I believe can really make a difference.”

Baker wasted no time in getting stuck into his new role, making a welcome appearance at the national jazz dancing competition on Saturday at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, where members sang ‘happy birthday’ to his three-year-old son who accompanied him on the trip along with his wife.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Lovely Guy. Good Luck.

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  • Really good appointment here. Met him briefly last year through filming Countryfile. Lovely personable man and very knowledgeable about farming/countryside issues. Sure he will be an inspiration.

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  • He will be a great ambassador for the Young Farmers. He is so enthusiastic and well known and he can only raise the profile of this great organisation.

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