Niamh Nolan, Farmers4Safety – Managing Risk Together EIP-AGRI project manager, presented at the University of Galway Rural Studies Centre Seminar Series, revealing the innovative approaches of the Farmers4Safety EIP-AGRI Project. This project adopted a peer-to-peer mentor approach, aimed at reshaping the cultural norms surrounding farm safety attitudes and was successfully implemented in Cork, Tipperary, and Wexford.
Integral to the project were six part-time farm mentors, fostering a co-learning environment. They actively engaged with farmers through diverse channels, including regional WhatsApp groups, events, agricultural shows, discussion groups, one-on-one interactions, and tailored workshops. Insights from these interactions provided a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to farm safety, health, and wellbeing. John Murphy, formerly one of the mentors and currently working with CAP Network Ireland, shared his perspective on the project and its impact on the farming community in the catchment areas.
The initiative extended its reach by carrying out a sticker competition in collaboration with AgriKids, targeting younger age groups to create a ripple effect across generations. Additionally, the project launched a project website, offering accessible resources such as mental health and wellbeing leaflets, brochures, and an engaging farm safety song titled ‘When You’re Working on the Farm.’ These resources collectively aimed to heighten awareness and catalyse a cultural shift towards safer working practices.
During the presentation, key survey findings from the EIP-AGRI project were illustrated including partner-related challenges, advocating for free health check-ups in a farmer-friendly environment, and the tangible impact of the EIP-AGRI project.
Furthermore, the presentation outlined the broader impact of the Farmers4Safety EIP-AGRI project on future initiatives, particularly within the Farmer’s Yards Initiative. The seminar concluded with a comprehensive overview of the project’s achievements, lessons learned, and its pivotal role in shaping upcoming initiatives. For those who missed the seminar, the recording is available here.
Image Source: University of Galway Rural Studies Centre Seminar Series.