Previously an operations manager at Aberinnovation, a science park dedicated to agricultural technology, Phil Ellis started in his new role as Chief Executive for the Wales Young Farmer Federation on 22nd November 2021. Since then, he has already been involved in the movement’s main events that kick start the YFC year: the Eisteddfod and Winter Fair. Having been in the role for only a couple of months, Phil now has big plans for the future of the movement, with his main focus being the post-COVID response for local clubs, and the mental health and wellbeing of members.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Living in rural mid Wales, I have always worked with young people in different organisations and those in the Young Farmers have always stood out for their hard work, dedication and passion for their movement. This was one of the reasons I went for this role with Wales YFC. Living in mid wales, I enjoy hill walking, camping and am a big fan of Formula 1 and Rugby.
What made you apply for the role?
My motivation came from seeing the great work that the movement does for young people in rural settings, and as the new Chief Executive I feel i can bring my experience to the table and help build on what is already an impressive and progressive movement.
What would you like to accomplish first in your new position?
First on the list will most certainly be COVID recovery. It has been a very difficult time for the last 2 years for everyone, so our main priority will now be to support members, clubs and counties to get back to some form of normality in a safe way. Following on from this turbulant time, I want to bring some consistency back to the lives of our members, as well as supplying support with mental health resources and welfare.
Subsequently to this, I would like to provide opportunity for our variety of members to develop and grow whilst also enjoying their time with the movement. Championing young people in rural areas across Wales will be our work in progress, and we will work closely alongside the Welsh Government to achieve this.
What Challenges are there to overcome?
Mental Health has always been a challenge for our young people, especially for those in the rural areas. COVID has made this worse, however it is now our responsibility as a movement to tackle it head on. As things have literally come to a halt last year, we are now presented with the unique opportunity to revisit an reassess our priorities, and start with fresh ideas on how to grow and develop the movement across Wales, with our members’ wishes as the driving force of our decsisions.
Following on from the Welsh Governments ease of restricitions, the horizon looks a little brighter now for the members and the movement as a whole. The calendar is also full, and it’s looking promising that competitions and events will be able to be held once more. First on that list will be the Public Speaking competition at the end of March, followed by the Sports Day in April. It’s fair to say there are exciting times ahead for Wales YFC!