Every week is farm safety week on a busy working farm but once a year, usually in July, farming associations and organisations across Ireland and the UK zone in and highlight different aspects of farm safety that every farm resident should be aware of.
Farm Safety Week takes place from Monday, July 18 to Friday, July 22 this year with the following themes for each days:
- Monday, July 18 – Launch/ Accident Statistics.
- Tuesday, July 19- Childhood Safety;
- Wednesday, July 20 – Farm safety champions and farm accident survivors;
- Thursday, July 21-Respiratory health;
- Friday, July 22 – Mental health awareness
Topic brings you part one of a two part series of this Summer Farming Feature, with the first part coinciding with Farm Safety Week. You will see from the articles and services offered by advertisers in this feature, that awareness of safety at all times, especially during the busy summer months on the farm, is paramount. Make some time this year for your farm team to address the issue of safety on your farm.
Primary School Children bring home the Farm Safety message
The role of children on the farm during this Farm Safety Week (July 18-22) is crucial, especially as we remind ourselves that 21 children have sadly died on Irish farms over the last decade.
The Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools Programme is helping improve farm safety across Leinster with 139 primary schools representing all counties in the province carrying the initiative. All of the children who took part are now Farm Safety Ambassadors.
Midlands Schools Involvement
Farm Safe Schools is a dedicated Farm Safe Schools programme which aims to kickstart farm safety conversations in classrooms nationwide. Meath had 13 school involved, Kildare had 12 schools, Westmeath had 11 school and Offaly Longford and Laois had 10 schools each involved in this important programme.
Farm Safety Week hopes to keep farm safety at the forefront of all farmers’ and their families’ thinking, with schoolchildren helping to lead the way.
Alan Jagoe, Agri Aware Chairman said: “We are proud to support the annual Farm Safety Week campaign. A campaign across Ireland and the UK can really draw attention to, and reduce the injury risk that farmers and farm workers face every day.
“The Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools programme has had a real impact in just a short space of time in bringing the farm safety message home to the farm from the classroom.
“When many voices join together to drive a change, this is when it can happen. Farm Safety Week is important for this focus but the truth is that we should all try our best to farm safely every day of the year not just during Farm Safety Week.”
McCarthy to Step Down
Editor and chief executive of the Irish Farmer’s Journal, Justin McCarthy, has decided to step down at the end of this year. McCarthy joined the organisation 17 years ago and initially spent seven years working as livestock editor. For the past 10 years, he has successfully fulfilled the dual role as editor of the Irish Farmers Journal and chief executive of The Agricultural Trust.
Commenting on McCarthy’s decision to step down, chair of The Agricultural Trust Matt Dempsey said:
“It was with great regret that I received Justin’s resignation from his position as editor of the Irish Farmers Journal and chief executive of The Agricultural Trust. In his almost 10 years at the helm, he has contributed a huge amount to the development of the paper and the business. We wish him every success in the future and would like to thank him enormously for his dedication and achievements. He steps down from his role in January 2023.”
Commenting on his decision, Justin McCarthy thanked Irish farmers and rural communities and said: “It was with this support that since accepting the role of editor and chief executive 10 years ago, the business has continued to go from strength to strength, with the Irish Farmers Journal now delivering record readership and The Agricultural Trust returning record financial results. I look forward to supporting the board in the coming months as it seeks to appoint a successor and I thank it for the support, guidance and trust over the years.”
Farmer milk prices expected to hit 55 cents per litre for June Milk
Speaking in advance of milk price announcements for June, the Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, Noel Murphy, said, that while dairy markets continue in a very strong position the returns being achieved at milk processor level are still not being fully reflected in the price being paid to farmers.
Murphy said “While we acknowledge that milk prices are at record levels, we also point to record high input costs, so while revenues are strong, the bills to be paid are unfortunately are stronger. The Co-ops must know that and that’s why it’s so important that every cent that can be returned to their suppliers is passed back. In our opinion this means that for milk supplied in June that farmers should be paid as a minimum 55 cents per litre”..
Citing the fact that the Ornua PPI is in excess of that price and also the fact that Dutch dairy quotations are currently over 60 cents per litre, Mr Murphy said that a price of 55 cents per litre is not an unreasonable request and is fully justified by marketplace developments.
Gurteen and TUS launch new honours degree course in Agricultural Science and Sustainability – BSc
Gurteen College and Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) have announced their partnership, which sees them launch a brand new Level 8 honours degree course in Agricultural Science and Sustainability – BSc, commencing this September.
The course, which is the first of its kind in the Mid-West region gives graduates the knowledge and skills to work in the agriculture and agri-food sector while also being equipped to manage the relationship between agriculture and the environment, considering issues such as climate change, biodiversity and water quality in the context of food production.
Students will have the option of completing a Level 8 honours degree over four years or a Level 7 ordinary degree over three years. The entrance requirement for first-year students is by direct application for September 2022. Applicants for September 2023 will be through the CAO.
Applicants presenting the full Level 6 QQI/FET (FETAC) award in ‘Advanced Certificate in Agriculture’ that includes three distinctions will be considered for advanced entry to second year this September.
Students will be based between the TUS Thurles campus and Gurteen College where they will gain hands-on experience. Two full semesters will be taught entirely at Gurteen and students will spend one semester on work placement. The remaining five semesters will see students based at the Thurles campus.
Commenting on the launch of the honours degree course in Agricultural Science and Sustainability, Brigid Doyle, Course Coordinator at TUS said, “We are delighted to partner with Gurteen College whose heritage and agricultural expertise is complemented by the experience and expertise TUS offers in the environmental and sustainability sector. The aim of our new degree is to produce graduates who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of the evolving agricultural industry from climate change to biodiversity management while maintaining sustainable food systems. This is a huge reality for the agriculture sector and it’s important that we are providing a course that meets the needs of both students and industry. Our partnerships with Gurteen College and industry ensure a focus on the practical application of knowledge and skills for the agri-environmental, agri-food and on-farm settings.”
Adding to Brigid’s comments, Jon Parry, Principal of Gurteen College said “It’s hugely important that students have the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills required to succeed in the agricultural sector, especially as the world moves towards a more sustainably conscious era. Employers in the agricultural sector are looking for highly trained professionals who can demonstrate a sound understanding of complex agricultural and environmental phenomena, combined with solid practical skills. As part of this degree course, students will end up spending an entire year at Gurteen College – allowing them to make full use of the sector-leading facilities we have on offer, including our commercial, mixed-enterprise farm and our wider biodiversity areas such as the bogland, forestry and lough. Our farm enterprises include a 250 pedigree Holstein-Friesian herd, 400 borris-type ewes, 70 suckler cows, and 40 ha of tillage crops.”
Students interested in exploring direct application or advanced entry can find out more by visiting www.tus.ie/direct.
Teagasc Farm Safety course targets women in the agri food sector
Teagasc are hosting a Farm Safety & Assurance – QQI Level 5 course, starting in late July 2022 and objective of this training is to provide a comprehensive overview of possible hazards, risks and accidents common to farms and agri-businesses.
The first course in particular is targeted at women working in the agri-food sector.
This QQI module combines both theory and practical instruction, underpinned by the Teagasc training philosophy of ‘learning by doing’. Particular emphasis is placed on practical instruction and safe execution of such tasks as attaching and manoeuvring a tractor and trailer, attaching PTO driven machinery and safely operating a loader.
Learners will also practice the steps in identifying and managing safety risks and complete a risk assessment document for their farm holdings.
Topics being covered during the course will include
- Main causes of accidents and health related issues on farms
- Duties of farmers and farm workers under current safety, compliance and regulatory requirements and environmental legislation
- Planning for safe methods of work on farms
- Safe use of agricultural vehicles
- Safety risk assessment and its implementation
- Ethical animal welfare principles
- Farming in the food chain, food assurance and traceability
- Storage and use of medicines, remedies and plant protection products at farm level
The course will take place in Mountbellew Agricultural College. This is the first college to offer this component award with capacity for 15 students per group. It is planned to roll out the course nationwide in due course.
Expressions of Interest
If you are interested in participating please contact Mountbellew Agricultural College.
Phone: 090 9679205 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Organic Farm Walk in Westmeath
Spring Cottage Organic Farm, Parke, Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath, Eircode: N91 XFW3 is the venue for the next Teagasc Organic Farm Walk, during Farm Safety Week, on Tuesday, July 19 at 2pm.
Rose O’Sullivan and Martin Fox will lead the walk and Teagasc, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and organic organisations invite all farmers and members of the public to see organic farming in practice and to meet and speak with the producers and sector’s experts. The walk is free but to manage numbers, you are requested to book your entry ticket on Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.ie) .
CALLS FOR TB COMPENSATION CAPS TO BE REMOVED
ICSA Animal Health and Welfare chair Hugh Farrell, has said that the Department of Agriculture is playing around with farmers’ money by failing to remove caps on TB compensation. “The caps are no longer working; they are outdated, and the Department must take action to ensure farmers are not seriously short changed when it comes to TB compensation.”
Mr Farrell said, “The On-Farm Market Valuation Scheme (OFMV) is there to ensure that farmers receive compensation in line with the market value, what an animal is likely to make on the open market at the time of valuation. However, a cap of €3,000 applies in respect of any individual bovine animal, and herein lies the issue. This prevents farmers with cattle valued in excess of €3,000 from getting the compensation they deserve.”
“It is now common to see cattle selling for above €3,000 in the marts on a regular basis so it is clear that these caps must be removed in order to fairly compensate farmers. The Department simply cannot ignore the fact that cattle, and pedigree cattle in particular, have become more valuable and farmers who are not compensated to the true value of their animals are being wiped out. Not only that but valuable pedigree bloodlines are being wiped out as these farmers are not being facilitated through the OFMV to replace like with like.”
The only exceptions to the €3,000 cap are stock bulls or pedigree stock bulls, maximum one per breakdown, which can be compensated to up to €4,000 and €5,000, respectively.
Mr Farrell said the TB Forum must start focusing on the financial aspects of the eradication scheme, “Week in, week out additional disease prevention measures are being placed on farmers by the department while they continue to drag their heels on negotiations around additional financial supports for farmers. This has to stop, and the Department must square up to the reality that farmers cannot do more unless they move on increasing compensation levels which must start with removing these outdated caps.”
189 new registered vets to date in 2022
The Veterinary Council of Ireland, the statutory body responsible for the regulation and management of the practise of veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing in the state, recorded 189 new vets and 82 new veterinary nurses on its register to date in 2022. The statutory body welcomes its new registrants and believes this influx of additional talent will benefit animal health and welfare in Ireland.
The total number of vets and veterinary nurses on the Veterinary Council register currently stands at 3281 and 1189 respectively, which is an all-time high in terms of the number of veterinary professionals working in Ireland. These registrant numbers are welcomed in the context of increased demand for veterinary services and on-going recruitment challenges in these rapidly growing and developing professions.
Of the 189 newly registered vets, 54 were awarded their Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from UCD. The remaining vets graduated from a number of schools of Veterinary Medicine abroad, with the most popular being Budapest University of Veterinary Science (which accounted for 35 newly registered vets) and Warsaw University of Life Sciences (which accounted for 12 vets).
Of the newly registered veterinary nurses, 33 received their veterinary nursing qualification from UCD, 18 received their veterinary nursing qualification from Athlone Institute of Technology, 7 received their veterinary nursing qualification from Dundalk Institute of Technology, 17 received their qualification from St John’s Central Cork, with the remaining 14 receiving their qualifications from Letterkenny Institute of Technology.
Niamh Muldoon, CEO and Registrar of the Veterinary Council of Ireland, said “The Veterinary Council is proud to welcome all of the vets and vet nurses who joined our register in 2022. This influx of talent will help to meet the demand for veterinary services across Ireland, and also indicates the strength, growth and demand of the sector. The Council will continue to work with all of our registrants and our stakeholders in the interest of the public and animal health and welfare.”
Vets from throughout Europe are eligible to register with the Veterinary Council of Ireland through the Professional Qualifications Directive, which facilitates the free movement of veterinary practitioners within the EU through the mutual recognition of professional qualifications.