On Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 May, local school children visiting the event were given the opportunity to try and spot potential hazards on a model farm at the Somerset Young Farmers’ stand.
It was supported by Cornish Mutual as a part of the firm’s ‘FarmSafe’ initiative, which was launched earlier this year to raise awareness of health and safety issues and reduce the number of deaths and injuries on farms in the South West.
The initiative includes ‘FarmSafe for Schools’, a free online teaching resource for primary schools developed by educational experts and health and safety consultants. Younger children visiting the model farm were able to take home a free FarmSafe for Schools poster on safety around animals as a reminder of how to stay safe on the farm.
The Somerset Young Farmers’ stand also featured a remote controlled tractor driving course and tractor stripping demonstrations, to further highlight the safety message.
Cornish Mutual is a long-standing supporter of the Somerset Federation of Young Farmers, and their sponsorship has helped to promote recruitment and provide skills training for the county’s future farmers.
Nick Howe, Cornish Mutual’s local Inspector for Somerset (pictured) says: “Agriculture has the worst record for deaths and serious injuries compared to all other industries in the UK, and HSE figures for 2010/11 show that more deaths were related to farm vehicles compared to any other cause.
“The ‘FarmSafe’ initiative aims to highlight how vital it is to be aware of health and safety on the farm, and it’s really important to have that awareness from a young age. I am delighted that Somerset’s young farmers are helping to teach the next generation about the hazards they may come across, whether working on a farm or just visiting.”
Somerset Young Farmers' Clubs is a youth organisation for people in Somerset aged between 10 and 26, dedicated to supporting young people in the Countryside. There are 24 YFC Clubs comprising of around 900 members, making SYFC one of the largest youth organisations in the county.
Led by young people, for young people, Young Farmers' Clubs aim to encourage their members to learn new skills, work together as a team and try something new. It provides their members with a unique opportunity to develop skills for life, work with their local community, travel abroad, take part in a variety of competitions and sports programmes whilst having fun and enjoying a dynamic social life.
David Swaffield, Somerset YFC Federation Chairman adds: “Cornish Mutual is doing a great job of raising awareness about farm safety, an issue which affects all of our members who are involved in farming. The consistent backing of companies like Cornish Mutual enables us to provide young farmers with the essential training they need to work safely as well as supporting our appearances at events like the Bath & West Show, for which we are very grateful.”
As well as sponsoring Somerset Young Farmers, Cornish Mutual is also involved with young farmers across Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. For more information about Cornish Mutual’s ‘FarmSafe’ initiative visit www.cornishmutual.co.uk/farmsafe; for ‘FarmSafe for Schools’ visit http://www.cornishmutual.co.uk/farmsafeforschools.
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