Ross Austin, Adrian Dockery, James Kelly, and Alastair Grant are focusing on farm safety as part of their participation in the Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools’ Competition.
The four young farmers from North Tipperary/Offaly all have agricultural experience and know the risks and consequences of an accident.
They told That’s Farming: “Last year, James’s uncle got attacked by a bull but luckily was not injured. This was part of the reason why we developed this project.”
“We sourced a safety device that will assists farmers and indeed other workplaces in case of an accident. We plan to fit this little device into a specially designed pocket which you can attach securely to any piece of clothing using a secure method.”
“This device has a built-in GPS tracker with an emergency SOS sound alarm. It rings out a loud alarm to selected phones using an app. You can download the app on any smartphone for free. In addition, this device is small, light and easy-to-use.”
How to operate and further development
To use, you need to pull on the device lightly, and it will automatically send out an SOS signal and then, to reset it, push it back in.
The student’s vision for the product is to develop it further by “making it more cost-effective and easier to activate”.
“Our plan is to make it a touch activating system instead of pulling it as it would be quicker and easier for a person in need. We hope to bring it to the market by May 2022, starting locally through our school community before branching out around Ireland through co-ops.”
“The device is very sturdy and can be used by people working alone apart from farming such as walkers, runners, night workers, people living alone and so on, even fishermen.”
“Farming is a high-risk area, especially around animals and machinery, and this little device could save someone’s life one day.”
They are currently conducting trials with local farmers and school classmates. Once they “get the right balance”, they will then progress it further before entering the Irish market.
Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools’ Competition
“The Irish Angus School’s Competition has given us a huge interest in researching other things and a platform to expand our thinking, especially in such an important area as farm safety.”
“It would be great to win five calves in the competition. However, we still intend to pursue this safety project as a group. We feel it is so important in modern farming, especially while farm accidents are so high,” they concluded.
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