National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

Farm Safety Award finalists 2021

Thank you to everyone who entered or nominated someone for the Farm Safety Award 2021, sponsored by SGN. The three finalists for this category have been chosen by Hannah Jackson (the Red Shepherdess), Steph Berkeley, Manager at the Farm Safety Foundation, Yellow Wellies and Ed Dungait, NFYFC’s Vice Chair.

WINNER: Maria Warne, St Mabyn YFC, Cornwall

Maria uses her popularity on social media sites such as TikTok and Instagram to share farm safety messages. With more than 900,000 followers on Tiktok and more than 34,000 on Instagram, Maria has a huge following who watch her updates about safer ways of working on the farm. 

In her videos and posts, Maria will point out areas where safety can be improved – from wearing helmets on quad bikes to maintaining PTO covers. She

encouraged everyone who works on the family’s farm to take a quad bike safety course prior to the pandemic and hopes to do this again once restrictions allow.

Maria takes part in a voluntary work place safety test annually and through her work as a Yellow Wellies Farm Safety Ambassador Maria works hard to influence others – even writing a poem about the charity during the first lockdown. 

Maria is also passionate about raising awareness of mental health issues – especially after losing friends that have sadly taken their own lives. She also faces her own physical and mental wellbeing battles after being diagnosed with arthritis at only 18 years old and uses her personal experience to ensure others are aware of their mental health. 

RUNNER UP: Weald of Kent YFC

When Weald of Kent YFC identified a need for farm safety training among its members, they actively sought the funding to help them deliver it. 

Their Growing Safer Farmers project is now funded by the Kent Community Foundation and pays for accredited training and other farm safety awareness activities. 

In the last 12 months, two members have completed fully funded sit-astride ATV training, and two members have completed Young Person’s Tractor Driving, which was partially funded. Both courses were accredited by LANTRA. 

Since the project launched in 2019, it has funded more than 16 others to complete tractor driving and First Aid at Work courses and there are plans for a chainsaw course and an online Lantra Health and Safety on Farms course. 

They have also delivered the Farm Safety Curve module with around 20 members and eight parents taking part. More recently a club leader has also received the training to be able to deliver the online version of the Farm Safety Curve module to any club. 

The Growing Safer Farmers project is encouraging safe practice from a young age and members are taking home the message to family too. Parents have messaged to say their children have been correcting them, showing they now have confidence to call out bad practice. 

The courses are helping members with their farming careers and they are positively promoting the impact of the training on social media too. 

2021 FINALIST

Emily Jones, Dilwyn YFC, Herefordshire

Emily chose to focus on the topic of farm safety for her dissertation at Harper Adams University. Her study received over 1,000 responses from farmers across the UK with their thoughts on how safety could be improved. The research helped encourage more conversations about farm safety in local communities. 

Emily has also helped to drive change and improve farm safety on her boyfriend’s family farm, with her enthusiasm and desire to make a difference described as ‘infectious’. She has worked with a health and safety consultant to improve the farm's policies and introduced the use of What3Words for all seasonal staff during planting and harvest. Her actions have helped to bring safety to the forefront.

Emily believes that no one should go through the pain of losing someone they love, if it can be prevented, and she is a strong advocate for change in the industry.  

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