Hoping to kick start farm safety conversations within the classroom, the Farm Safe Schools programme has been launched for primary schools nationwide.

The pilot programme hopes to highlight farm safety among children.

Supported by FBD Trust, Farm Safe Schools was co-developed by Agri Aware, AgriKids and the IFA.

Over the last 10 years, 23 children have died as a result of farming accidents

The organisations have come together to create this collaborative programme that aims to engage, educate and empower Irish children to become farm safety ambassadors.

Farm Safe Schools mission

Over the last 10 years, 23 children have died as a result of farming accidents, with children accounting for 10% of all fatalities on Irish farms.

As part of a national strategy, the Farm Safe Schools programme hopes to reduce the number of accidents on farms and in the countryside, creating a safer future for Irish farms.

The Farm Safe Schools team are calling on Irish primary schools to sign up to this innovative programme, which will provide children with key knowledge and skills that could save lives and kick start conversations within classrooms and Irish homes nationwide.

Topics covered

As part of the interactive programme, students will learn about the potential dangers associated with farming and agriculture through a series of interactive resources and webinars.

The modules focus on the main farm hazards including farmer and field safety, animal safety and machinery safety.

In order to become accredited Farm Safe Schools, teachers must cover three topics per programme module and show evidence of learnings. Teachers can create a web page, a logbook or blog page to showcase their classes’ hard work on raising farm safety awareness.

They are also encouraged to share their progress via social media, using the hashtag #FarmSafeSchools.

The programme offers an opportunity to schools to win prizes and to become recognised nationally as making a positive contribution towards farm safety in the wider, rural community.

Devastating impact

“We are delighted to collaborate on this new Farm Safe Schools programme with AgriKids and IFA,” says Alan Jagoe, chair of Agri Aware.

Alan Jagoe with his daughter Laura. \ Denis Boyle

“As a farmer myself, with three young daughters, I know how important farm safety is on Irish family farms,” he explains.

“Farm accidents have a devastating impact on Irish families and their livelihoods each year.

“I would encourage teachers nationwide to sign their classes up to this programme which is seeking to engage children from a young age on the topic of farm safety and encourage them to form life-long positive farm safety habits,” he says.

Huge opportunity

Alma Jordan, manager of Farm Safe Schools and founder of AgriKids hopes the collaboration will create a positive culture around farm safety nationwide.

Farm Safe Schools manager and AgriKids founder, Alma Jordan and her son Eamon Delany (eight) launching the new dedicated Farm Safe Schools pilot programme on the family farm in Julianstown, Co Meath. \ Jenny Matthews

“We all have a role to play in creating a safer culture and attitude around farm safety,” she says.

“We have a huge opportunity, to not just create more dialogue and conversations on the topic of farm safety, but to also create a greater sense of unity on the topic and an opportunity for everyone to contribute to a safer farm future for all.”

Signing up

The programme will be running from March to May 2021. Teachers can register their school and get all information on the Farm Safe School programme at www.farmsafeschools.ie.

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