Letter to the editor: ‘Farming never sleeps – so farmers should not take Covid-19 risks’

I am writing a letter on behalf of the Individual Farmers of Ireland regarding the recent events impacting farming – particularly the coronavirus Covid-19.

Firstly, we would like to thank the numerous farmers from several counties around the country who very generously offered donations of fodder to any farmers that were badly affected by the recent flooding.

This was very much appreciated and showed how good faith and good will is still present within our communities.

Following on from this we wish to convey our sentiments to everyone in Ireland at the moment with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and especially those working in the agriculture sector.

As they say, farming never sleeps and has no time for illness – and because of this we wish to remind farmers to follow the advice being given from authorities and to keep themselves safe and their families also.

On this note we wish to convey to farmers how this virus has not truly shown it ugly head as of yet – but will with vengeance over the next few months.

Because of this we wish for farmers to make contact with one another by phone, to put in place systems so that if someone falls ill, others will be able to take over without putting themselves at risk.

These simple measures could be to let neighbouring farmers know:
  • Numbers of animals you may have on different holdings;
  • Location of feedstuff or other necessary items;
  • Veterinary practice you deal with;
  • Co-op or merchants you deal with;
  • Any dangers around farm or farmyards;
  • Processes you have in place for milking, feeding, etc;
  • Locations of wash-stations in place on your farm.

These measures can be written out on paper or included on a simple text that can be forwarded on to whom you wish.

Also we would like to remind people to make regular contact with the elderly in your area in a safe manner, as they will feel more isolated than ever during these times.

It is important that we keep our minds as well as our bodies healthy…and not to forget that this time will pass into the history books like many other periods of hardship in the past.

We will come out wiser and stronger on the other side.

From Eoghan Mullooly, Individual Farmers of Ireland