Eight farm health, safety and wellbeing initiatives have been allocated funding under the European Innovation Partnership (EIP), Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Martin Heydon has announced.

The initial budget of €1m allocated to the farm health, safety and wellbeing projects under the EIP initiative has also been increased to €1.8m to allow for funding to be received by a greater number of projects, the minister has revealed.

“One of my priorities is the health, safety and wellbeing of our farmers and therefore I am delighted to announce eight successful projects moving to full implementation this week to coincide with Farm Safety Week,” stated Minister Heydon at the announcement.

“I am confident that the successful projects selected will be of significant benefit in the area of farmer health, safety and well-being,” he said.

Pilot schemes

The minister reiterated his Department’s commitment to improving health and safety on farms, welcoming the €800,000 in funds allocated above the initial pledge made under the scheme.

“Securing this extra funding underlines my commitment as minister with responsibility for farm safety and my Department’s commitment to achieving positive change in this area,” Minister Heydon said.

The EIP allows for pilot programmes to be funded, often within specific geographical areas, which allows schemes to be implemented on a trial basis.

“These successful projects will pilot innovative approaches to farm health, safety and wellbeing and encourage a change in behaviour from the bottom up in relation to farm safety.”

The projects successful in their funding applications are:

  • FARM Connect - a farmer training programme in health and safety, based in Roscommon and Waterford.
  • Farm Family CPD - an online health and safety training programme seeking to change behaviours relating to unsafe farming practices.
  • Béal Átha na Muice Project - supporting families through the mental challenges and stresses associated with farm progression.
  • An Meitheal Feirme Project - a service supporting farm families after sudden fatalities on farms.
  • Farmers Inspiring Farmers to be Safe - a peer-to-peer mentoring programme on farm safety seeking to change attitudes and behaviours.
  • Safe Farm - a farm safety training and evaluation programme.
  • EcoT - a mental health support service for farmers.
  • Sláinte agus Beatha Feirmoirí Conamara - a farm health and safety promotion initiative.