Driving home farm safety message to kids

New Holland dealer Murphy’s Motors will host a fun interactive children’s farm safety event in aid of Embrace FARM at its premises at New Ross Road, Glenmore, Co. Kilkenny, on Thursday, March 29 from 2:00pm.

This initiative follows on from a recent Embrace FARM fundraiser on the premises which raised €1,200 for the charity – which supports families after the loss of a loved one from a farm accident.

This latest event, backed by Hooper Dolan Insurances and Zurich Insurance, will see children meet Alma Jordan – who founded AgriKids in 2015, with the ethos of engaging, educating and empowering children to be farm safety ambassadors.

She will engage them in an afternoon of workshops, storytelling and computer games, all focused on the theme of farm safety.

Bernadette Murphy, director of Murphy’s Motors, said the company was excited to host the event and believes that highlighting farm safety and the risks associated with farms can only be of benefit.

It is a very serious issue. However, we will make the afternoon as fun as possible with loads of giveaways – and the Easter Bunny might even pay a visit.

Alma also commented, saying: “Farm safety as a practice must become instinctive, not something we need to remember. That is the destination we need to get to, by knowing the destination we can only then devise the strategy to get there.”

She said that a key driver for her to establish AgriKids was the idea of making farm safety as instinctive as bringing bags to the supermarket and putting on a seatbelt when we sit in our cars.

The ultimate change is a generational one and no amount of text alerts, threats of penalties or inspections is going to go anywhere in making us ultimately change attitudes and habits that have become ingrained, habits and attitudes that are then being passed on.

“We must start with the upcoming generation – with their new learnings, they can influence the current generation while at the same time paving a way for them to be the safer famers of the future,” Alma said.

“I believe that, by including families and communities, we bringing the farm safety message into homes and classrooms; this is the vital first step. More needs to be done in bringing farm safety into every aspect of farm life.

“Whether it’s a classroom, an agricultural show, a community fundraiser – by weaving it into the tapestry of rural communities, we are crafting a sustainable and instinctively safer future for our farming families.”

The AgriKids founder reiterated her call on the stakeholders who have influence in this area to reach out to those proactively working in this area. “With AgriKids, I have presented farm safety workshops to nearly 9,000 children. Zurich has enabled me to reach more children in more schools in more parts of the country.

“So many schools and communities are finding the benefits of it and I know for many of the children taking part, the workshop has been the first formal introduction they have had on the topic of farm safety.

“If I can do this with just myself as the resource, can you imagine what can be achieved if greater collaboration and open discussion was to be had?”

Embrace FARM will hold its annual ecumenical remembrance service for those who have died or been seriously injured on the farms of Ireland, in Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, on Sunday, June 24 at 2:00pm.

That same weekend, it will host a residential bereavement weekend focusing on those have lost their spouse in a farm accident.

It will also hold a residential weekend focusing on children who lost a young sibling or parent in a farm accident. A third residential bereavement weekend is being considered for extended family members affected by a farm tragedy.

Embrace will also hold its farm accident survivors’ conference. “As well as paying for these events, we have also recently hired a development manager on a part-time contract,” said Norman Rohan of Embrace FARM.