IFA president Tim Cullinan: having children free from school means extra vigilance on the farm
IFA president Tim Cullinan said that with children off school and with some older ones helping out on farms, we are seeing the very best of the Irish farm family model at work during this crisis to keep the food supply chain moving.
However, he said that this also increased the need for total vigilance regarding farm safety.
"With schools off, children are spending more time at home and farmers must pay particular attention and ensure children are aware of the dangers on the farm and are supervised at all times. This is particularly true for farmers who still have cows to calve," he said.
The Toomevara farmer said that a farm can be a wonderful place for children, where independence and responsibility were fostered.
"However, it can also be a dangerous place where the unthinkable can happen in a matter of seconds. Children are expected to be at home for an extended period of time, with social isolation meaning their activity outlets are curtailed. Farm families must plan for this," said the IFA president.
Mr Cullinan said that the Irish family farm was at the centre of our food supply chain, the security of which has never been more important.
Caroline Farrell, IFA's national farm family chair said: "IFA has dedicated farm safety resources on ifa.ie, I urge parents to visit our website and use these in their discussions with their children. If a farmer has difficulty accessing the internet, they can contact their local office and request information be posted to them."