FUW reminds farmers - ‘it’s ok to say’

Today marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May), and farmers and their families across Wales are being reminded that ‘it’s ok to say’.

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging farmers and those living in rural areas not to hide problems from themselves, their families and friends but to talk about their personal feelings.

The FUW made a commitment at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in July 2017 to continue raising awareness of mental health problems in rural communities and is therefore renewing the call for those who might be suffering from mental health problems to seek help.

“The focus of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week  is on stress and farmers across the country will be all too familiar with that. In our places of work we’ve faced some pretty low-points in the last few years. Bovine TB, price volatility and uncertainty about our future post-Brexit, this all puts a strain on our resolve and will have many feeling stressed and under immense pressure,” said Union President Glyn Roberts.

“But we must break the stigma attached to mental health, so if you’re feeling vulnerable, please open-up and speak to someone. That doesn’t just mean today or over the course of this week -, but always. Farmers and farming families need to continue talking openly about what they are experiencing and the FUW strongly encourages anyone who is worried about their own mental health or a loved-one, to seek help from the Farming Community Network, Tir Dewi, The DPJ Foundation, Mind Cymru or Call Helpline Wales,” added Glyn Roberts.

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FUW urges farmers to be vigilant following quad bike theft

Farmers are being reminded to remain vigilant, following the theft of a quad bike in the Llandeilo area, Carmarthenshire.

Dyfed-Powys Police has arrested two men on suspicion of stealing a quad bike, both of which are currently in police custody.

Responding to the news, FUW Carmarthenshire CEO David Waters said: “Every year rural crime costs millions of pounds and causes untold anxiety to farmers and rural businesses. We know that the majority of thefts from farms are opportunistic, in that the thieves see what is available and easy to take.

“The advice to farmers is clear: take basic precautions such as removing keys from machinery and quad bikes and ensure tools are locked away when not used.  Also padlocking gates can be a good deterrent as well as CCTV.”


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Don’t forget about ‘Saving lives and livelihoods’ farm safety awareness event, FUW urges

In the last ten years, 388 farmers, their family members or farm workers have been killed on British farms and of these, 38 were in Wales.

Thousands more have suffered serious injuries which still impact daily and changed lives forever.

With this in mind the FUW is reminding farmers to book their space at the upcoming ‘Saving lives and livelihoods’ farm safety awareness events.

The Wales Farm Safety Partnership (WFSP), a collaboration between all the key organisations representing agriculture and allied industries in Wales, is determined to reduce these stubbornly high statistics by persuading farmers of all ages to attend a regional half day workshop on general farm safety.  

Part of an ongoing awareness programme, the first two events, which will be held from 1pm to 4pm on May 17 at Coleg Glynllifon in Llandwrog LL54 5DU and on May 18 at Gelli Aur, Coleg Sir Gar SA32 8NJ, will be delivered by Farming Connect.

Read more: Don’t forget about ‘Saving lives and livelihoods’ farm safety awareness event, FUW urges

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FUW backs Meirionnydd YFC rally with extra funding

The Meirionnydd branch of the Farmers’ Union of Wales has thrown its support behind their local YFC rally, which is being held on June 9 at Ty’n Ffridd, Sarnau near Bala, by doubling its sponsorship this year.

Huw Jones, the FUW’s Meirionnydd CEO, said: “ We have said it many times before - the service the YFC movement provides is invaluable. We have therefore doubled our contribution to £400 in order to show extra support due to the financial cutbacks facing the YFC since they are losing all of their local authority funding after 2018.

“The work they do in helping and supporting young people to become successful farmers, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens, can’t be praised enough. If only we could bottle the YFC secret sauce and introduce it to our larger towns and cities I'm sure we could rid ourselves of many societal problems.”

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Don’t miss out on Young People into Agriculture Scheme, FUW reminds

As the Young People into Agriculture Scheme Expression of Interest window opens, the Farmers’ Union of Wales is reminding young farmers interested in participating to submit their applications.

Under the scheme, Welsh Government is offering 150 farmers start-up aid worth £40,000. There is only one application window and expressions of interest must be made before 12 June 2018.

The applications will be scored over nine criteria and ranked in order until the maximum number allowed (150) is reached.

The scheme is only available to those people who are setting up as head of a holding for the first time (by 1 September of the scheme year), or who started as head of a holding for the first time in the 12 months prior to 1 April.

Read more: Don’t miss out on Young People into Agriculture Scheme, FUW reminds

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FUW reacts cautiously to Welsh Government statement on post-Brexit timetable

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has reacted cautiously to a Welsh Government statement setting out a timetable for moving from the Basic Payment Scheme to a new system post-Brexit, stressing that protecting family farms and our rural communities must be central to any future policy.

Speaking in plenary on Tuesday (May 8), Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths confirmed that the Basic Payment Scheme will continue as planned for the 2018 and 2019 scheme years.

Assembly Members were told that a gradual multi-year transition from existing to new schemes would then take place from 2020, and that by 2025 she would like to see the implementation completed.

Further details would be published in July and be subject to consultation.

Read more: FUW reacts cautiously to Welsh Government statement on post-Brexit timetable

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Farmers' Union of Wales
Llys Amaeth
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SY23 3BT

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Undeb Amaethwyr Cymru and Farmers’ Union of Wales are the trading names of FUW Ltd, which is registered in Wales no. 10935716