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Full marks for on-farm safety

By Country News

Farm safety was at the top of the agenda for dozens of Goulburn Oven’s Institute of TAFE students last week, with the important issue in the spotlight during Farm Safety Day.

The event — which included presentations from Landmark, Goulburn Valley Water, Murray Dairy and WorkCover — comes in a year when 17 people have died in on-farm accidents across the country.

GOTAFE’s agriculture team leader Ian Carkeek said the focus of the event was to encourage students to think about safety with everything they do.

‘‘Particularly where there’s incidences of trouble like quad bikes or tractors, things like that (we want them to be safety conscious),’’ Mr Carkeek said.

‘‘Smaller ladders, confined spaces, things that are common on-farm.’’

According to FarmSafe, there are an average of 10 deaths on-farm each year in Australia.

Agriculture trainer Allan Rak said the session covered farm safety, agronomic advice on pastures and crops and new drone technology.

‘‘We’re also teaching about using technology in farm mapping to monitor farm crops and fertilising,’’ Mr Rak said.

The information session was open to TAFE students studying a Certificate III or IV in agriculture or dairy.

For students Caitlin Robinson, Brigitte Collins and Teah Huon, the event laid an important foundation for their future careers.

Ms Huon, 19, hopes to use the skills learned in her course to increase her skills and move her way up in the industry, hopefully ultimately managing a farm.

‘‘We focused a lot on roll bars for quads, and just keeping things safe and how to anonymously report people or make a report,’’ she said.

With OH&S and WorkSafe requirements an important part of her future in the dairy industry, Ms Robinson, 23, believed the sessions provided her with a good understanding of farm safety.