Farm Family Reports

Farm Family Council Report May 2024

  1. Activity since last National Council  
  • There have been 2 farm fatalities officially recorded by HSA to date. To keep up to date on farm fatalities click here
  • Agri Aware with the support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is delighted to announce its new farm safety initiative for primary schools called Safe Farm Futures. 
  • This programme is available to primary schools across the country and aims to educate and raise awareness of the importance of keeping safe on farms. 
  • IFA encourages all primary schools to get behind the initiative and register online at  
  • IFA Farm Family attended the Farm Safety Partnership Committee meeting on Thursday 15th February. 
  • IFA Farm Family attended a cross border Farm Safety Meeting (North & South) on Friday 16th February to discuss farm safety correlations between north and south statistics.  
  • IFA met with Farm Safety Foundation to discuss farm safety week which takes place 22nd to 26th of July.  
  • IFA Farm Family attended Citizens Roundtable Event – Future of Cardiovascular Health in Ireland in Co Galway. 
  • IFA encouraged farmers to be mindful of their mental health and well-being during a stressful farming period. 
  • Farmers Helpline: FBD supports farmers and have a helpline available to FBD Farm Multi-Peril Policyholders. Contact 1800 670 407 
  • 24hours a day/7days a week 
  • Available for any issues and not restricted to farming issues. 
  • IFA is working with FBD to release a social media campaign on advertising the support helpline for farmers. 
  • On Feirm Ground – Supporting Agricultural Professionals and service providers to engage with farmers on their health and wellbeing. Register for training online at Further dates will be released for June.  
  • 9th May – Portlaoise Enterprise Centre 
  • 21st May – Ballyhase College Cavan 
  • 22nd May – Teagasc Athenry Research Centre, Galway 
  • 28th May – Salesian Agri College, Limerick  
  • IFA attended EU CAP Network Women-led innovations in agriculture and rural areas in Poland.  
  • The overall aim of the workshop was to empower women in farming and rural areas by exchanging knowledge, identifying successful initiatives and projects led by female innovators, and networking. 
  • IFA attended Her-Self Policy Co Design Workshop to discuss the importance of women in agriculture and discuss the future of women in agriculture. 
  • IFA attended 2024 Annual Suck Valley Training Conference and gave a presentation on the impacts of isolation and loneliness in farming. 
  • IFA attended CopaCogeca Access to Finance Workshop in Brussels to discuss easier access to finance for women farmers.  
  • PIA Nieminen – European Investment Bank Policy Advisor was in attendance. 
  • Farm Family & Social Affairs Committee supported the decision made by the National Officers Committee (NOC) to not join the new Women in Agriculture Stakeholder Co-operative Structure.  
  • IFA has been in contact with the RSA on the issue of type W Licences. 
  • Following receipt of information from the EU, at the turn of the year, the RSA clarified that Category W licences in Ireland should only be used for agricultural or forestry work. Anyone driving for commercial reasons, e.g. carrying stone/blocks etc for construction work, must have a Category CE or C1E and also undertake CPC training to drive professionally. 
  • The RSA has now removed this clarification in anticipation of the introduction of the EU’s Fourth Driving Licence Directive in September that will deal with the matter. 
  • Once the directive has been published, the RSA and the Department of Transport will consult with stakeholders in advance of the introduction of domestic regulations. 
  • IFA met with Minister Mary Butler to discuss the proposed Statutory Home Care Scheme. The Minister clarified that: 
  • The scheme is currently going through regulations which will go to cabinet in the next few weeks.  
  • Minister Butler confirmed that the changes to the Nursing Home Support Scheme for family relatives under the 3-year cap has been passed through cabinet and will come into effect in the coming weeks. This new change will allow more family members to be considered as a ‘family successor’ to a family farm or business assets including cousins and great-nieces, great-nephews, and great-grandchildren. 
  • IFA made a submission to the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment on the introduction of Climate Action and Sustainable Development leaving certificate subject. 
  • SUSI applications for the student grant scheme for the 2023/24 academic year is now open.  

The following changes introduced in Budget 2023, will take effect in September.  

They include reductions: 

  • in the contribution fee of €1,500 for families earning €55,240 to €62,000 
  • of €500 in the contribution fee for eligible households earning between €62,000 and €100,000. 
  • IFA made a presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development to discuss the ‘impact of means testing on Farm Assist and other social welfare schemes’.  
  • IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs committee met on Wednesday 1st of May in the Farm Centre. FBD Stewart Gavin Head of Product and Brendan Little ARAG Service Provider attended the meeting. 
  1. Any EU/COPA developments 
  • IFA will attend Copa Cogeca Women’s Committee meeting in Brussels on 30th May. 
  • IFA joined a meeting online organised by ATVEA (All-Terrain Vehicle Industry European Association) to discuss quad bike training courses in Ireland.  
  1. Upcoming issues 
  • IFA will work with Farm Safety Foundation to promote farm safety week 22nd – 26th of July.  
  • IFA have been invited to attend Farm Safety Foundation 10th Anniversary Conference on 21st of May in Warwickshire, UK. 
  • IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs next committee meeting is 4th September 2024 

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