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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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‘A healthy work-life balance is linked to farm safety and a productive farm’

The spotlight will be on things farm safety, health and wellbeing matters at Muintir Na Tire’s community stand at the National Ploughing Championships this year.

Farmers4Safety – Managing Risk Together EIP-AGRI Project – has partnered with Muintir Na Tire for the three-day event to highlight and help raise awareness of farm safety, health, and wellbeing.

A spokesperson told That’s Farming that discussions will aim to assist, engage, and signpost farming communities to the various services/ supports that they may need and highlight the essential role Farmers4Safety and Muintir Na Tire play in supporting and developing farming communities.

Farmers4Safety – Managing Risk Together EIP AGRI project – adopts a ‘peer to peer’ mentoring approach that investigates farmers, and farm families’ behaviours and attitudes towards farm safety, health and wellbeing and changes the norm around farm safety and emotional wellbeing.

It aims to make the sector safer for those who live, work, and visit farms. By utilising a peer-to-peer mentoring approach, it will effectively engage farmers on the ground and be the catalyst to change the social norms surrounding farm safety, health, and wellbeing.

Muintir Na Tire is a national voluntary organisation dedicated to promoting the process of community development.

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It enhances the capabilities of people in communities, rural and urban, to become involved in local social, economic, cultural, and environmental development.

It represents and supports local community interests, and identifies their problems while supporting, informing, and influencing government policy.

Meanwhile, Muintir Na Tire’s core principles of neighbourliness, self-help and self-reliance have effectively engaged with communities on the ground while allowing for active participation in developing their regions.

Supports for farmers 

A spokesperson told That’s Farming:

“Extreme pressures within the agriculture sector have led to farmers experiencing stress, anxiety, fatigue and financial pressures, and this, in turn, can lead to an incident/fatality occurring.”

“It is important they are knowledgeable of the supports/services that are available to them. By Farmers4Safety and Muintir Na Tire networking together, it is hoped it will influence and raise awareness of safety, health and wellbeing in farming communities and communities across the country.”

Niamh Nolan, project manager, said: ‘There are extreme pressures on farmers and farm families to keep with the pace of farming and, in turn, may result into farmer’s/farm families risking their own safety, health and wellbeing to complete jobs.”

“At this year’s Ploughing Championships, we hope to highlight and raise awareness with Muintir Na Tire of the different support mechanisms available to the farming communities and the importance of farm safety, health and wellbeing when carrying out jobs on the farm.’’

Healthy work-life balance 

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Martin Heydon, said the National Ploughing Championships provides “the perfect opportunity” for farmers to take a break from the farm after a busy summer period.

“A healthy work-life balance helps promote good physical and mental wellbeing, which is inextricably linked to farm safety and a productive farm.

“I would urge all farmers and their families to take the opportunity to visit Farmers4Safety and Muintir Na Tíre at this year’s event and avail of their expertise,” the minister concluded.

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