Kevin Young Farmers Course (KYFC)
The KYFC evolved out of the Volunteer and Comprehensive courses and has been the core Tutu course. In February 1983, the first Young Farmers Course commenced, with an intake of 15 trainees for a four-year programme. The course was subsequently named the Kevin Young Farmer Course (after Br. Kevin Foote s.m., a joint founder of the TRTC). Ten KYFC courses have been completed since 1983, 251 young farmers graduated of which most returned to farm their own land. The 11th course commenced in September 2018, with an intake of 54, selected from 232 applicants. The first 10 courses (up until the 2011 intake) were of four year duration – while for the last two course the duration was reduced to three years.
The aim of the KYFC is to: help form and train young single men from the Province of Cakaudrove and some tikina’s of Bua and Macuata to be autonomous, responsible and mature young adults, are principle-led decision makers, are able to take control of their own lives and chose to freely live as farmers on their own land, accept their call to be of the village, and be able to live in the service of others in their society.
This aim has remained unchanged since the first course was offered in 1983. The trainees are taught to be disciplined, independent and self-sufficient, while still positively contributing to village life. This has now become fundamental to all the Tutu courses.
In effect there are two Young Farmers Courses operating simultaneously:
• Young Farmers Course 1.
Those selected to Tutu resident Young Farmers make up the Young Farmers Course 1.
• Young Farmers Course 2:
All applicants initially become a part of Young Farmer Course. Those who are not selected as residential participants continue to be considered as Young Farmer Course 2 participants until the three-year course is completed.
The Tutu staff extension services are offered simultaneously to both groups of Young Farmers. The expectation for non residential students at Tutu (KYFC 2) will introduce better management in all facets of their farming – soil sustainability, planning, use of time, budgeting, target setting etc. The KYF Course 1 participants are designated as “coaches” for the Course 2 participants from their village. This results in a natural “spin off” demonstrations, structured meetings with Tutu staff visitation and the counting of crops, and technical inputs. The number of course participants fluctuates, however the number is regularly four times participants in Young Farmers 2 course.