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Agri Aware launches new primary school programme – Safe Farm Futures

Agri Aware’s new farm safety programme called Safe Farm Futures is available to primary schools across the country and aims to educate and raise awareness of the importance of keeping safe on farms.
Agri Aware chair, Shay Galvin; students of Scoil Na Mainistreach; and the Minister of State with responsibility for farm safety, Martin Heydon.

This farm safety programme sets out to deliver a rounded guide to farm safety, ensuring that the work done on farms is carried out safely, and by recognising and increasing awareness of the dangers that exist so that farming can be done in a sustainable and safe environment. The programme was launched by Minister of State with responsibility for farm safety at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon.
Speaking at the event, Agri Aware chair, Shay Galvin said: “In 2023, 16 deaths occurred in the farming sector which is far too many and already in 2024 we have sadly had another fatality on a farm.
“Educating the next generation on farm safety from a young age is critically important. Farms are a wonderful place to make happy memories, whether it be helping your grandparent or parents on the farm.
“However, as we all know, there are risks and dangers to one’s health when working on a farm and to ensure the safety of the next generation, educating them on the risks associated with a working farm and ensuring they engage in safe practices is crucial. Therefore, we look forward to seeing teachers and students begin their farm safety journey with us in order to create a safer future for everyone involved in the agricultural industry and are excited at bringing further farm safety initiative to schools in the near future.
The programme has separate learning plans for junior and senior primary school students and comprise of three learning plan topics: Countryside Care; Animals and You; and Moving Parts: Know Where to Start. All three topics will be accompanied by a suite of resources including activity lesson plans, webinars and activity sheets. Schools that complete the programme will be in with a chance of winning prizes of up to €2,000 which will be invested in the students’ wellbeing and learning.
Minister Heydon commented: “Children in farming families are particularly at risk of being involved in a farm safety incident due to the proximity of the farmyard to the family home. Unfortunately, one in 10 fatal incidents on Irish farms involves children with 21 fatal incidents involving children over the 10-year period 2013-2022. Many more children are injured each year on Irish farms.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage primary schools and teachers around the country to participate in this important farm safety programme which has been developed for primary school students. While there are hazards on farms, farms shouldn’t be dangerous places to live, work or visit. By participating in the ‘Safe Farm Futures’ programme, children can also play an important role in influencing and encouraging their parents and grandparents around safety on their farms.”