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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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New online farm safety training for all farm families

The newly launched Farm Family CPD aims to deliver innovative online health and safety training to farm families.

The project works in partnership with farm families to promote a “new cost-effective and sustainable” training-led approach to foster farm health, safety, and wellbeing within each generation of the farm family unit.

The programme and its evaluation aim to both develop the requirement for change and further develop farm safety culture within farm households by encouraging all family members and influencers to participate.

Together with a farm safety communications programme, the online training will be available to farm families throughout Ireland.

FRS Training, HSA, Teagasc, FBD, IFA and FRS Network are supporting the project.

Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine under the EIP Initiative, Minister of State with responsibility for farm safety, Martin Heydon, launched the initiative on the Daniels’ farm in Kilmoganny, Co. Kilkenny, on May 31st, 2022.

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According to organisers, the programme is “farmer friendly, family-friendly and can further develop the capacity for behavioural change on farms”.

Learning outcomes, assessments and evaluations can be used to further develop and contribute to a “cost-effective” national training model for farm health and safety.

Peter Slattery, general manager, FRS Training and Project Manager for Farm Family CPD sets out the project’s main aims:

“To provide online farm safety training for all farm family members which affects attitudes and behaviours. This is necessary to make Irish farms safer living and workplaces.”

Safety-first culture

Launching the project, Minister of State Heydon, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said:

“We must use every tool at our disposal to generate behavioural change on farms and make them safer places.”

According to the organisers, the use of e-learning will allow this project to reach hundreds of farm families with health and safety training.

“It also recognises the multi-generational nature of Irish farms. It will include all farm family members from the very young to the older generations in the learning process.”

“We have a strong family farm structure in this country. We must maximise the different channels of influence to really affect attitudes towards farm safety.”

The approach emphasizes the need for farm families to work together to achieve a safer environment and help each other to adopt a safety-first culture.

Bryan Daniels, who hosted the launch on the family farm in Co. Kilkenny and is a member of the project operational group with his wife Gail, added:

“I have enjoyed good success in my farming career to date. I put this down to continuous training through both my discussion group and other courses.”

“The online training will be an ideal way to help maintain safety for every member of my family who live and work on our farm.”

The training will be available from October 2022 and is free of charge as a result of the EIP funding.

Interested farm families can register their interest via this website.

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