Martin Heydon, Minister of State with responsibility for Farm Safety at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine last week launched ‘Safe Farm Futures’, Agri Aware’s new farm safety programme.

This programme will be available to primary schools across the country with the aim of educating students and raising awareness on the importance of keeping safe on farms.

About the programme

‘Safe Farm Futures’ comprises three learning topics that teachers and students can engage with. These include ‘countryside care’, ‘animals and you’, and ‘moving parts: know where to start’.

All three topics will be accompanied by 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.

Education is critically important

In 2023, 16 deaths occurred in the farming sector, making it the most dangerous sector to work in. According to Agri Aware’s chairman Shay Galvin, children need to be aware of farm safety issues.

“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,” he says.

Agri Aware general manager Aimee Gray and students of Scoil Na Mainistreach.

One in ten

Minister Heydon outlined the importance of this programme — which is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) — at its launch.

“Unfortunately, one in 10 fatal incidents on Irish farms involves children, with 21 fatal incidents involving children over the 10-year period from

2013 to 2022,” he said. “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. 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.”

If schools are interested in participating in this programme, registration is now open at