This week is Young Farmers' Week and the groups are being celebrated for the positive impact they make on their rural communities and in developing young people’s skills.

The 24,500 strong Young Farmers' Clubs (YFC) raise an estimated £1.2m for charity every year through fundraising and collectively spend thousands of hours supporting local community projects. This impressive amount is on top of the money they must raise to supplement the running costs of their clubs and the hours spent nurturing their members.

Charlotte Smith said: “I am very proud to be the President of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) and want the nation to know more about one of our countryside’s best kept secrets. YFC is more than farming - it’s one of the only rural youth services we have that helps develop young people’s skills and provides a much-needed social network in the countryside. Here’s to a successful National Young Farmers’ Week, raising awareness of this fantastic organisation and celebrating all that is great about our young people.”

To celebrate the week the NFYFC, now in its 85th year, has announced the results of 'Countryside Challenge', a campaign designed to support rural communities, funded by Pears Foundation and The Office for Civil Society.

Members of YFCs spent more than 4,000 hours over the last year fundraising and delivering community projects that benefited local residents such as cleaning up churchyards and hosting fundraising events to raise money for local causes.

Survey findings after the projects were completed revealed that local communities viewed the top three attributes of Young Farmers to be friendly (95%), hard working (91%) and organised (87%). Other key qualities highlighted about YFC members were that they were inspiring and helpful.

NFYFC’s ambassador Chris Stark from BBC Radio 1 said:

“You don’t have to be a farmer to be a young farmer, which is a brilliant motto because I love Young Farmers’ Clubs but don’t know very much at all about farming. Despite my distinct lack of farming knowledge, loads of YFCs have welcomed me to their events and farms and I’ve loved learning more about the countryside and what young people are getting up to! I’m proud to be an Ambassador for Young Farmers’ Clubs – as they offer a social life, an opportunity to learn new skills and a place to achieve great things! Let’s celebrate how great our YFCs are this National Young Farmers’ Week.”