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18 May 2022

Kildare Minister Heydon launches Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools Programme for 2022

Minister of State Martin Heydon vows to improve safety on farms during 2021

Minister of State Martin Heydon and Eamon Delany from Co Meath

Minister of State Martin Heydon, who has responsibility for Farm Safety at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has launched the Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools Programme for 2022.

Minister Heydon said: “I am determined that we get the message of ‘Safety First’ onto every farm. That is why I am delighted to be able to support the Farm Safe Schools Programme for 2022.  It is important that we take every opportunity to emphasise the need for a change of culture around safety on our farms.

“I believe children can play an important role in improving safety on farms by bringing the safety message home to their families. We should not underestimate the ability of young people to deliver real and tangible change and this programme can empower them to do so.”

The Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools programme in association with, the Irish Farmers Association, Agrikids and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine is just in its second year.

As a pilot programme, Farm Safe Schools ran in over 500 schools across Ireland and impacted over 21,000 primary pupils, in an attempt to improve farm safety nationally in 2021.

Despite Farming accounting for only 6% of national workplaces, it accounts for almost half of workplace deaths.

The Farm Safe Schools Programme has three modules: Farmer and Field Safety, Animal Safety and Machinery Safety, highlighting the many risks on farms to schoolchildren.

This curriculum-linked programme aims to engage, educate and empower Irish children to become farm safety ambassadors and in doing so help create a safer, brighter future on Irish farms.

Farm Safe Schools 2022 will run from February to May and is free for all schools to sign up. Schools can register here.

 The Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools programme in association with, the Irish Farmers Association, Agrikids and The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine is in just its second year.

Despite Farming accounting for only 6% of national workplaces, it accounts for almost half of workplace deaths (HSA Report)

As an existing component of the SPHE curriculum, this programme will also provide Irish primary school classrooms with fun, interactive resources and webinars all tailored to the Farm Safe School ethos.

In order to become accredited Farm Safe Schools, teachers must cover three topics in each of the 3 programme modules (two topics for younger classes) and show evidence of learnings achieved for each.

Modules cover everything from Farmer and Field Safety, as well as Animal and Machinery Safety.

Teachers can create a web page, a logbook or blog page to showcase their classes’ hard work on raising farm safety awareness. They are also encouraged to share their progress via social media, using the hashtag #FarmSafeSchools.

As well as achieving the status of becoming a recognised ‘Farm Safe School’, participating schools who show excellence in each module and achieve the Superstar status of accreditation will have the opportunity to be crowned the ‘Farm Safe Schools Champion’.

The inaugural Farm Safe Schools Champions were Scoil Naomh Bríd, Talbotstown, Co. Wicklow. The school has 76 pupils and completed the programme across all classes. 

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