Farm Family Reports

Farm Family Council Report November 2023

  1. Activity since last National Council 
  • The following updates relate to Farm Safety
  • There have been 10 farm fatalities officially recorded by HSA to date. To keep up to date on farm fatalities click here
  • IFA is a partner organisation in the Farm Family Continuous Professional Development (CPD), a European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) Project which provides online farm safety training for all age groups in farm families. IFA have attended weekly development meetings to contribute to the design of the training. The Farm Family CPD online farm safety training is open for registration now and is free of charge until the end of November. To register your interest to take part visit Training is farmer friendly, family friendly and can further develop the capacity for behaviour change on farms. Five courses to chose from:
  • Running a Safer Farm for Farm Principals 
  • Keeping Yourself Safe for 12–16-year-olds  
  • Keeping Yourself Safe for Over 65s 
  • Keeping Yourself Safe for Employees and Non-Paid Farm Workers 
  • Managing Dangers – Livestock, Machinery & Buildings – Essential Safety for everyone living and working on the farm 
  • Regulations governing the safe use of ATV/Quad Bikes in all workplaces (SI 619/2021) come into effect on 20 November 2023.  
  • These regulations have 2 essential requirements of note:  

1. Training to be undertaken with a registered training provider to a QQI standard or equivalent  

2. Use of helmets to a prescribed standard. 

– IFA issued a press release on the importance of safety while spreading cubicle lime. 

  • The following updates relate to Health: 
  • IFA met with Pieta House to discuss the relationship between both organisations and future engagement.  
  • At National Ploughing Championship 2023, IFA organised a Prostate Cancer awareness campaign, with having consultants, nurses, and farmers who have battled this disease to speak to people. 
  • A leaflet ‘Ending Suicide, Beginning Hope’ was published in partnership with Pieta House to support farmers and signpost them to Pieta’s mental health service. 
  • The following updates relate to Education
  • Anne-Marie Butler, Head of Educations, Teagasc made a presentation to the Farm Family and Social Affairs committee at meeting on the 6th September to provide an update on the progress of the farm placement review process. 
  • As part of the Agriculture Consortium Group IFA contributed to the development of three farm-based apprenticeship programmes: Farm Technician, Horticulture and Farm Manager. Farm Technician, Horticulture and Farm Manager apprenticeship programmes are now open for applications with up to 100 farms now registered to take on their first ever farming apprentices this year.  
  • The following updates relate to Social Affairs: 
  • Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler has announced plans to amend the Nursing Homes Support Scheme to broaden the definition of who could act as the family successor, to improve the viability and sustainability of family farms and businesses. 
  • Under the 3-year Cap this would expand those eligible to act as family successor to cousins, great-nephews and great-nieces, and great-grandchildren of either the resident or their partner. 

Key Measures in 2023 Budget: 

  • From January 2024 there will be a €12 increase in the maximum weekly rate of all State pensions and all social welfare payments. There will be proportionate increases for people getting a reduced rate. 
  • €300 cost of living lump sum for those getting the Fuel Allowance, to be paid in November 2023 
  • €200 cost of living lump sum to people who are getting a Living Alone Increase 
  • Christmas Bonus to be paid in December 2023 
  • €400 cost of living lump sum to all families getting the Working Family Payment 
  • €400 cost of living lump sum for people getting the Carer’s Support Grant * 
  • €400 cost of living lump sum for people getting Disability Allowance, Blind Pension or Invalidity Pension* 
  • €100 cost of living lump sum for people getting an Increase for a Qualified Child (to be paid per qualified child) 
  • Extend Child Benefit to 18-year-olds in full time education, from September 2024 
  • Other Updates: 
  • IFA attended the Women in Agriculture event in Lyrath Estate, Co Kilkenny. 
  • IFA participated in a Conflict Resolution panel discussion at the Women in Agriculture conference. 
  • IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs committee attended the Tullamore Show, The National Ploughing Championships, and numerous regional shows across the country. 
  • IFA are part of the HER-SELF project, which highlights pathways to empower rural women to have sustainable & equitable livelihoods in farming. The project is funded by DAFM. The project is jointly undertaken by Munster Technology University, Maynooth University and Teagasc.  
  • IFA is part of the Strategic Advisory Board for the FLIARA project, which is creating a European wide rural innovation ecosystem, which supports women-led innovative practices in farming and rural areas. 
  • The project is looking for people to complete the ‘Call for Innovations’ from this link: FLIARA Call for Innovations 
  1. Any EU/COPA Developments: 
  • IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Vice Chair, Teresa Roche attended the Women Innovation Awards in Brussels 
  • IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Vice Chair, Teresa Roche attended COPA COGECA Women’s Committee meeting in Brussels. Francesca Gironi has been elected as new Chair of the Women’s committee.  
  1. Upcoming Issues: 
  • IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Committee will meet on the 6th December. 

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