- Activity since last National Council
- The following updates relate to Farm Safety:
- There have been 9 farm fatalities officially recorded by HSA to date. To keep up to date on farm fatalities click here.
- The 2022 Farm Safety Week (FSW) ran from 18th to 22nd July. As part of FSW:
- Minister Martin Heydon officially launched the week on Friday the 15th July at the Leinster farm safety regional event on Tom Short’s farm in Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow.
- A farm safety video featuring farm accident survivor Albert Evans was developed and promoted online. An advert promoting the video was placed in the Farmers Journal.
- IFA supported a dedicated farm safety feature in the Irish Farmers Journal with FDB.
- A total of 5 regional farm safety events were organised (i) Leinster Regional events on Tom Short’s farm in Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow and Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow, (ii) Connaught Regional in Mountbellew Agricultural College, Co. Galway, (iii) Ulster Regional event was held on the Porter farm in Carrigans, Co. Donegal and (iv) Munster Regional event was held on the in Fermoy Mart, Co. Cork.
- A farm safety hub was developed on the IFA website to showcase the events, highlight the most up to date farm safety statistics, provide resources and promote to work of the Farm Family committee relating to farm safety.
- A daily social media campaign was launched during farm safety week which encouraged farmers to make one change on their farms to improve farm safety.
- A mental health leaflet on Dealing with Stress in farming (enclosed) was launched in partnership with DAFM to support farmers to reduce stress and signpost them to local health services.
- An updated farm safety leaflet (enclosed) was launched in partnership with FBD featuring the most up to date research and statistics on farm accidents and fatalities and advice on how to avoid the risk of farm accidents.
- IFA took part in several radio interviews to promote FSW.
- Members represented the committee at a number of local shows to promote farm safety.
- IFA attended a meeting on the Farm Family Continuous Professional Development (CPD) EIP. The Farm Family CPD online farm safety training is expected to begin in February 2023.To register your interest to take part visit https://farmfamilycpd.ie/.
- The following updates relate to Mental Health:
- IFA attended the official launch of the See Change Green Ribbon campaign on 1st September. in Dublin.
- A photo launch with Minister Mary Butler was organised to launch the IFA series of Green Ribbon walks with partners See Change, Coillte and Mental Health Ireland.
- IFA promoted the walks on local and national media with regional press releases issuing to coincide with the walks.
- IFA held 12 Green Ribbon Walks across the country in the following venues:
|Ballybay Town Park||Monaghan|
|Bouleevin Boston Tubber||Clare|
|Curragh Chase Forest Park||Limerick|
|Farran Woods Forest Park||Cork|
|Ards Forest Park||Donegal|
|Avondale Forest Park||Wicklow|
|Castleisland River Walk||Kerry|
- IFA issued a press release on World Mental Health Day (10th October) to encourage farmers to make mental health their priority.
- 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 7th September to provide an update on the progress of the farm placement review process.
- In advance of meeting the committee asked Teagasc to consider the following as part of the farm placement review process:
- Set up a structured process to handle complaints or issues experienced by students during farm placement.
- Revise the process of placing students with host farms to account for student preference, location etc. In addition, the placing students nearer home to reduce driving should be explored in the light of current rising fuel costs.
- Carry out a full revision of guidelines for both host farmers and students and update accordingly.
- Broaden farm placements and the curriculum content to include a wider range of farm systems.
- Include other practical skills such as machinery maintenance, welding etc. in the curriculum.
- Explore the inclusion of part-time host farmers particularly in the livestock area
- Update from Teagasc on the farm placement review process:
- Increase in allowance to €208/ week from June 1st 2022.
- Placements to commence later in the academic year, from 1st March 2023.
- A new information brochure to be provided to host farmer and students.
- New procedure and complaints procedure introduced.
- Introduction of an induction meeting pre placement with host farmer/student.
- Continuation of host farmer and student surveys.
- IFA attended an Agriculture Consortium meeting Oak Park Carlow in 14th September.
- The following updates relate to Social Affairs:
- IFA attended a Safeguarding Ireland meeting on 25th July to discuss the transfer of Ulster Bank accounts for vulnerable people.
- IFA wrote to Minister Heather Humphreys to seek a meeting to discuss social insurance credits for farmers on Farm Assist prior to 2007.
- IFA issued a press release to encourage farmers to make an enduring power of attorney.
- IFA issued a press release to urge female farmers to make PRSI contributions and plan for future pensions.
- Key Measures in 2023 Budget:
- €600 energy credit for all households (3 instalments; first pre-Christmas).
- €400 lump sum payment, paid before Christmas, to recipients of fuel allowance.
- One-off double week “Cost of Living Support” payment to all social protection recipients.
- Normal Christmas Bonus will be paid in early December.
- Additional €500 lump payment to those in receipt of the Working Family Payment.
- Double Child Benefit payment to all qualifying households.
- €500 to those who qualify for the Carer’s Support Grant.
- One-off payment before Christmas of €200 to recipients of the Living Alone Allowance.
- One-off payment of €500 for Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension and the Blind Pension.
- €12 increase on weekly social welfare payments & State pensions.
- Increasing the Working Family Payment threshold by €40 per week.
- From 1st January, the qualifying income threshold for the Fuel Allowance will increase from €120 to €200 above the relevant rate of the State Pension Contributory.
- Over 70s Fuel Allowance means limit increase to €500 for single people/€1,000 for couples.
- Domiciliary Care Allowance increased by €20.50 to €330.
- Top-up payment to participants on the Community Employment, TÚS and Rural Social Scheme increased by €5 to €25 per week.
- Other Updates:
- IFA Chaired and participated in a panel discussion on rural tourism at the Energy in Agriculture Show in Gurteen College.
- IFA attended a Women in Agriculture Stakeholder meeting on the 25th August and the 26th September.
- IFA issued a press release on the importance of CAP measures to address gender imbalance.
- IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs committee were attended the Tullamore Show, The National Ploughing Championships and numerous regional shows across the country.
- Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin), in partnership with the IFA, is undertaking a comprehensive study of farm crime in Ireland. Farmers are invited to complete the anonymous online survey . Participation is entirely voluntary and all details captured will remain completely confidential.
- Any EU/COPA developments
- IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs committee Vice Chair, Teresa Roche has been successfully chosen by the COPA Women’s Committee to be one of their 4 ambassadors for the INSPIRES Project to promote Women in Agriculture. A video showcasing Teresa’s work in agriculture was recorded and submitted to COPA as part of the campaign.
- Upcoming issues
- IFA will be holding two online webinars in the coming weeks:
- Rural Crime Prevention webinar on Monday the 24th of October at 8pm.
- Farmer Health and Wellbeing webinar on Tuesday 1st November at 8pm.
- IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs committee will meet on the 7th December.
- IFA will make a submission to the NCCA regarding the development of a Climate Action and Sustainable Development Leaving Certificate subject.