The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) has announced that it will hold a series of webinars focusing on rural crime and farmer health and wellbeing this autumn.

The IFA farm family autumn webinar series will start next Monday 24 October at 8pm.

This webinar will focus on rural crime prevention and on Tuesday 1 November at 8pm, farmer health and wellbeing will be discussed.

'Important opportunity'

Making the announcement, IFA farm family and social affairs chair Alice Doyle said: "These webinars are an important opportunity for farm families to familiarise themselves with practical measures to prevent crime on their farms and in their homes and also prevent physical and mental health difficulties this winter.

“Farms can be dark and secluded places in the autumn and winter months and can prove an inviting target for criminals.

"Our guest speakers will speak about how being proactive about farm security will help to guard your farm and possessions, act as a deterrent to criminals and give you extra peace of mind,” she said.

Attendees will hear from guest speakers:

  • Barry Carey, IFA crime prevention officer.
  • Sergent Graham Kavanagh, crime prevention officer Laois Offaly Division on home and farm security.
  • Fred Flynn, branch manager, FBD on crime and insurance.
  • Alice Doyle said that the webinar on farmer health and wellbeing will offer important advice on how to combat stress and improve physical health.

    “Farmers’ physical and mental health are often pushed to one side as the important tasks of managing a busy farm take over.

    "Winter on the farm can be challenging, so it is very important that we prepare our body and mind to be winter ready,” Alice Doyle said.

    Guest speakers on the night will include:

  • Diana van Doorn, Centre for Men’s Health at Carlow IT on the main health issues among farmers.
  • Dr Tomás Russell, assistant professor of agricultural extension and innovation, UCD, will discuss the research findings from a recent UCD study on mental health and suicide among farmers.
  • Lorcan Brennan, training and resource development manager, Men’s Development Network, will offer practical advice on farmer mental health and wellbeing.