Farm hazard message will be a focus at local enterprise village

The need for children to be farm hazard aware will be a focus at the local enterprise village at this year’s National Ploughing Championships in Carlow.

Little Red Design Studio, Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Dublin city, an educational technology company that has developed an interactive augmented reality (AR) farm safety play book for children, will be present.

‘Hazard Farm’ was developed as a result of Little Red Design Studio founder Anna Carmody’s childhood. Anna grew up visiting her mother’s farm in Mayo.

She was no stranger to climbing bales of hay and embarking on dangerous adventures throughout the farmyard as a young child. However, then her grandfather was in an accident with the P.T.O. shaft of a tractor and almost lost his life.

Horror stories

Anna went on to study in the National College of Art and Design. She took an interest in designing educational products in her final year and the inspiration for ‘Hazard Farm’ came about as her research project after memories of her grandfather’s recovery from the accident and the many horror stories she heard in the countryside involving young children.

After graduating, Anna went to Vietnam to teach English to early learners. This experience sparked many ideas and gave her the push to set up a business when she arrived back home. ‘Hazard Farm’ started as a research project in her final year of college and is now a successfully launched product.

‘Hazard Farm’ is an AR children’s book and interactive app combined that teaches children about the dangers on a farm. The characters and story come to life through the phone or tablet device upon holding the camera up to the pages.

The parent can even narrate the full story through the self-narration feature within the app so they never miss a story time with their child, Anna said.

The safety message will be passed through their voice which makes the message of farm safety even more powerful. The book is designed to potentially save lives. I plan to launch an AR play mat for children with the farm safety message and am currently designing products with other topic areas for children.

Also highlighting the farm hazard message at the local enterprise village will be Next Generation Farm Safety, LEO Longford, bringing a farm safety programme to primary schools and local communities across the country.

The local enterprise village will provide a snapshot of the cream of the crop of Ireland’s small businesses, according to Heather Humphreys, minister for business, enterprise and innovation, who launched the LEO initiative.

The local enterprise village will feature over 30 small businesses, clients of their local enterprise office. There are 31 local enterprise offices located in local authorities nationwide, funded by the department of business, enterprise and innovation through Enterprise Ireland.

Strengthening partnerships

This year, the local enterprise village will have a slightly Welsh theme, with six clients involved who have taken part in Catalyst and Bucanier programmes strengthening partnerships between Ireland and Wales ahead of Brexit.

There will be a variety of products and services on show including: food; fashion; ag tech products; farm safety equipment; board games; sportswear; skincare; and even a dog bakery.

Minister Humphreys emphasised the key role these businesses play in Ireland’s economy. “The local enterprise village is a snapshot of the wide variety of businesses supported by the Government through the local enterprise offices.

“These firms are the bedrock of local economies right across the country which is why we are putting an increased focus on the LEOs under the Future Jobs Ireland strategy. This event is a fantastic opportunity for the businesses involved to showcase their products and services.”

Incredible

Kieran Comerford from the local enterprise offices said the potential footfall for these businesses is over 250,000 people across the three days of the National Ploughing Championships. “That is simply incredible for them; to be given that size of a captive audience to sell to does not happen to small businesses like this,” he said.

“We have put in extensive work with each business to ensure they are as best prepared as they can be for the ‘Ploughing’ and to maximise this opportunity through sales and marketing training and stand development. The local enterprise village is always a hub of wonderful products and innovative services and will no doubt be a big hit again with the visitors to Ballintrane.”

Among the other exhibitors will be: Bó Rua Farm, LEO Cork north and west, which produces a range of award-winning cheese using milk from its own herd of cows; and The Whole Hoggs, LEO Meath, a free range pig farm producing its own pork, bacon and charcuterie products.

Adaptive Design, LEO Kildare, which designs custom electronics for agri-food producers, including a ‘leaf controller’ to enhance all-year growth efficiency, will showcase its products.

Envirico, LEO Kilkenny, an invasive species consultancy that specialises in surveying and site remediation services, will also be there.

More information is online at: www.localenterprise.ie.

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