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    PRIORITY: The Victorian Farmers Federation will roll-out its ‘Stay Farming Longer and Safer’ handbook after receiving backing from the State Government.

AgLife: Farm safety focus ongoing

The Victorian Farmers Federation’s Making our Farms Safer project will continue to run until 2025 after receiving a $600,000 grant from the State Government.

VFF vice-president Danyel Cucinotta said the project, which launched in April 2020, would continue to help shift the dial towards zero on-farm deaths and injuries.

“The project has been a vital and trusted resource for the farming community since 2020 and the team will hit the ground running to help reduce the over-representation of the agriculture industry in workplace deaths and injury,” she said.

“Farmers and our regional communities have told us loud and clear how important this project was to them, and I welcome the government’s commitment to helping us keep farmers safe.”

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Ms Cucinotta said the project would focus on four key areas to help ensure the safety of farmers.

“Mental health is an enormous, hidden burden confronting many farmers,” she said.

“The VFF MOFS project will develop and publish a handbook specifically made by our farmers, for our farmers.

“The use of telehandlers on farms brings particular risks, which are a key focus for the VFF. 

“With the new options for telehandler licencing to rollout beginning in July, we’ll be working with farmers to help ensure they understand the requirements and dangers when operating or working around them.”

Ms Cucinotta said more than 40 percent of all deaths on farms in 2022 were people aged older than 60.

“This announcement means we’ll be able to continue the rollout of the recently launched ‘Stay Farming Longer and Safer’ handbook, aimed at farmers over 60,” she said.

“Nothing beats in-person, tailored safety advice to your farm. 

“The team will be busy conducting on-farm safety visits, safety briefings as well as attending field days and presenting to community groups throughout Victoria.”

Agriculture minister Ros Spence announced three grants, totalling $1.25 million, awarded to the VFF, Gardiner Foundation, and Fruit Growers Victoria.

The funding will help extend existing safety programs and contribute to new initiatives that will support cultural diversity in the agricultural workforce. 

The Gardiner Foundation will receive $610,000 from the government and provide $1.22 million of its own money to increase the engagement of culturally and linguistically diverse communities in agricultural regions.

Fruit Growers Victoria will receive a $49,402 grant to deliver farm safety videos relating to cool stores and working from heights in multiple languages targeting culturally and linguistically diverse, CALD, workers, and a mental health webinar for fruit growers in the Goulburn Valley. 

Ms Spence said the Farming Safe and Well Program was part of the government’s Backing Victoria’s World Class Producers to Grow commitment in the 2023-24 State Budget. “These grants encourage proactive measures to ensure the wellbeing of farmers and agriculture workers, while promoting diversity and inclusion across the sector,” she said.

“It is vital that we can continue to work alongside industry to combine our resources and expertise to enhance farm safety standards and farmer wellbeing and create a more inclusive environment that can benefit all.”

People can learn more about the program and access resources by visiting

The entire June 26, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire June, 26, 2024 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!