Free health assessments – Weaner sales 2012 | Associate Dean of Deakin visits | Spotlight on excellence | Poultry Industry Council, Canada | Australia South Devon Breeders Society | SFF Flood recovery in Rochester | SFF program attracts an international audience | SFF Flood recovery in Newbridge | AgriSafe at the CRANAplus 2011 | Mark Wagstaffe | SDFF final workshops | Australasian Faculty Occupational and Environmental Medicine | Best Wool Best Lamb Conference | Sustainable Dairy Farm Families | 45th Murray Grey National Show
Weaner Sales – Hamilton Livestock Exchange, January 2012.
From the 4th-6th and 9th-12th of January 2012, the National Centre for Farmer Health team will be setting up a stand at the Hamilton saleyards (Hamilton Livestock Exchange) offering free health assessments and information to people attending the weaner sales. Read the flyer. Throughout the seven days the stand will be manned by staff from the AgriSafe, Sustainable Farm Families and research sections of the National Centre for Farmer Health. The free health assessment will cover, body mass index, eye sight, blood glucose, blood cholesterol, blood pressure and a lifestyle survey. There will be opportunities for farmers to make appointments with the AgriSafe Clinic for a further comprehensive health check. The National Centre for Farmer Health wishes all the vendors, buyers and associated personnel a successful, healthy and safe ‘2012 Hamilton Weaner Sale’ and we can’t wait to see you all. For more information please contact the National Centre for Farmer Health on (03) 5551 8533
Associate Dean of Deakin University visits National Centre for Farmer Health – December 2011
Associate Dean of Deakin University, Professor John Toumbourou and Dr Anita Peerson visited the National Centre for Farmer Health on December 9th, 2011 to meet the NCFH team and CEO of Western District Health Service, Jim Fletcher. It was Professor Toumbourou’s first visit to the Centre as the newest member of the National Centre for Farmer Health Board and was warmly welcomed. Each member of the team give an overview of their particular area of work, including the involvement with the VET/ TAFE sector, new research projects, SFF work out in rural communities, AgriSafe clinics, education and training, and the future of the Centre.
Visit from Professor John Edwards
On Wednesday 23rd November, AgriSafe Clinicians Elizabeth Lawrence and Rachel Verschuren were delighted to have the opportunity to spend some time with Professor John Edwards. John is a professionally registered toxicologist (UK and European registers of toxicologists) and a Certified Occupational Hygienist (Member or the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists). Professor John Edwards spent time with AgriSafe clinicians to ensure correct technique was adhered to when taking cholinesterase samples from farming men and women. Professor Edwards also ensured result analysis was sufficiently documented for future research purposes in this exciting clinical area of the National Centre for Farmer Health. The Hamilton AgriSafe clinic are particularly interested in how farmers, farm workers and their families exposure to cholinesterase inhibiting chemicals can result from a variety of situations including, ingestion, inhalation, eye or skin contact, particularly during mixing and application of these cholinesterase inhibiting pesticides. One of the many important areas that an AgriSafe clinic covers is the testing of Cholinesterase levels. Cholinesterase is one of many important enzymes needed for the effective and proper functioning of the nervous systems in humans, other vertebrates and insects. Certain chemical classes of pesticides, such as organophosphates and carbamates work against undesirable pests by interfering with, or inhibiting the cholinesterase enzyme. While the effects of cholinesterase inhibiting products are intended for insect pests, these chemicals can also be and have been known to be poisonous and/or toxic to humans in some situations.
Spotlight on excellence
The NCFH team attended the 2011 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards: Celebrating the best in health in Melbourne on Wednesday 16th November. The awards pay tribute to Victoria’s outstanding healthcare leaders and acknowledges their contribution. The National Centre for Farmer Health was highly commended for its work in developing a capable and engaged workforce. Acknowledgement and congratulations to Western District health Service for being highly commended in the category of ‘Primary Health Service of the Year. It was wonderful to celebrate everyone’s inspiring and innovative work and congratulations to our fellow finalists and winners.
Poultry Industry Council, Canada – November 2011
Susan Brumby with Tim Nelson, CEO of the Poultry Industry Council at the Better Farmer Health, Better Farm Business Workshop with 70 attendees, in London Ontario. There were a mixture of health and agricultural representatives. Other speakers included local GP Dr. Rob Annis and Dean Anderson, Canadian Agricultural and Safety Association and Ontario Federation of Agriculture.
Australian South Devon Breeders Society
Director Susan Brumby with Australian South Devon Breeders Society President David Croker (WA) on October 24th. Susan spoke at the conference on farmer health, safe injecting of cattle, and risk factors in farmers in addition to the work the NCFH is doing to increase knowledge and skills in agricultural health and medicine. Over 40 South Devon cattle breeders from the USA, New Zealand, UK, Canada and Australia were attending the conference as part of the 2011 World South Devon Tour of Australia.
Sustainable Farm Families™ – Flood recovery program ROCHESTER
Adrian and Tracey were in Rochester for the SFF ‘flood recovery’ program. Joining them was partnering health agency – Rochester & Elmore District Health Service, health professionals Colin and Leanne, industry partner – Rochester Dairy Business Network and Tracey from the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (Maffra). The participants are undertaking the program as part of SFF flood recovery but also as part of the Rochester Dairy Business Network (RDBN). The RDBN aims to:
- Improve farm business management skills
- Review the performance of their business
- Analyse future management changes or capital investments
- Identify and evaluate opportunities for their business
- Develop farmer leadership in the region
- Gain an increased understanding of and are be able to better manage risk
The SFF program fits very well within the goals of the RDBN as farmer health and wellbeing is integral to a successful farm business.
On the second day of the Rochester program, Mr Paul Weller, Member for Rodney visited the program. Studies had shown agricultural men and women had poorer physical and mental health than other Victorians. “Farming families’ health and wellbeing is an important component of running a productive and profitable farming business,” Mr Weller said.
“That’s why these programs are so important, especially after the devastating floods this year”. Tracey and Adrian then travelled to Timmering to deliver another SFF flood recovery program.
SFF programs attract an international audience – November 2011
On the 10th November, Susan Brumby will be a keynote speaker at the Better Farm Health, Better Farm Business forum, hosted by the Poutlry Industry Council in London, Ontario. Sue will talk about a health program for farmers which she developed, that encourages (and succeeds) in getting farmers to focus on their health and how their health relates to their farm productivity and therefore, profitability. Sue will also be in Vancouver at the invitation of the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) as the keynote speaker for their annual conference PLAN.FARM.SAFETY, in Vancouver (November 16-18, 2011). More information about the Canadian Farm safety initiative »
Sustainable Farm Families™ – First Flood recovery program NEWBRIDGE
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Adrian and Tracey headed to Newbridge for the first ‘SFF flood recovery’ program. Joining them was partnering health agency – Inglewood & District Health Service, health professionals Rebecca, Jenny and Ken, industry partner – Newbridge Public Cemetery and Helen from the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (Warrnambool). The participants at the program were mainly cropping and sheep farmers with a dash of dairying. During the introductions the group shared their experiences of how the floods had impacted on them, their families, their farm business and their community. Participants comments on the flood included:
- Looking out the window to see a whole heap of nothing …… except rubbish
- I came from the city … the flood was scary!
- The flood was quick …. but the destruction it left behind was the hardest … although it gave us the opportunity to fix some things!
The remainder of the program was extremely well received with everyone enjoying the two days. The team has since headed to Serpentine and Colbinabbin to deliver further flood recovery programs. ↑ Top
AgriSafe at the CRANAplus conference, Perth – October 2011
Between the 11th October to the 14th October, AgriSafe Clinicians Elizabeth Lawrence and Rachel Verschuren from the National Centre for Farmer Health attended the 29th Annual CRANAPlus Conference in Perth for remote area nurses.
Elizabeth Lawrence and Rachel Verschuren presented the topic of AgriSafe Australia ‘Improving Health in Agricultural Communities’.
The conference was attended by 210 delegates including health professionals from all over Australia and a handful of international health professionals. Attending the CRANAPlus Conference provided AgriSafe with a wonderful opportunity to meet with colleagues and to share our work and experiences with each other.
Mark Wagstaffe visits the National Centre for Farmer Health – September 2011
Mark Wagstaffe, from the Massey University in New Zealand, visited the National Centre for Farmer Health on September 7th, 2011. Mark is currently doing research for Safework Australia on Victorian farmers assessing the levels of exposure to UV light, pesticides, noise,and dust. The aim of the research is to see if there is anything that can be done to reduce these potentially harmful exposures and reduce the rates of cancer, hearing loss and lung disease.
Sustainable Dairy Farm Families last workshops – August 2011
The Man from snowy river in Corryong where the final dairy program was held with an 80% return rate. This completes our workshop for the SDFF – Future directions program Wodonga dairy farmers and participants, Barbara and Lindsay. Barbara is still milking and loving it at 70 years, and Lindsay celebrated his 69th birthday by returning to the SDFF workshop! View SFF flood recovery locations »
Australasian Faculty Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) – July 2011
Associate Clinical Professor Susan Brumby and Dr Scott McCoombe recently attended the Australasian Faculty Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) meeting in Melbourne, on Monday the 18th July, 2011. Presentations included ‘Farmers Health in Australia – the human resource in the triple bottom line’ and ‘Agricultural emergencies and farm injuries’. Also in attendance, Dr David Rendell – livestock vet and farmer for 30 years who discussed ‘Veterinary Chemicals and Safety Issues’; and Dr Richard Lunz – past AgriSafe Manager, NCFH and Occupational Medical Trainee, who spoke about ‘Rehabilitation in a rural and farming setting’.
Best Wool Best Lamb Conference – June 2011
The NCFH team has been out and about, attending the 2011 Best Wool Best Lamb Conference in Bendigo, 28th –29th June 2011. Rachel spoke at the conference dinner highlighting the how, what, when and where of AgriSafe and gave an overview of the latest happenings at the National Centre for Farmer Health. The following morning, Scott addressed a large group of conference attendees communicating the potential respiratory risks encountered in farming and encouraging conference participants to visit the NCFH stand for a PiKo test and respiratory mask fit test. The NCFH stand was soon after flooded by conference delegates looking to have their respiratory health tested with all sorts of health and safety questions being fielded. The NCFH ‘stress sheep’ seemed to be a crowd favourite. ↑ Top
Sustainable Dairy Farm Families Future Directions
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Warragul group – June 2011
Sustainable Dairy Farm Families Warragul group and NCFH staff who came back together on Tuesday, six years since the group started in 2005. 22 from the original 26 made it back and shared stories of changing climates, dairy herds, health, wellbeing and safety. There were also stories of retirement and great adventures and life after dairying. It was excellent. Also noted were the improvements in health, wellbeing and safety after all this time. The photo shows the group meeting at the West Gippsland Arts Centre. We also visited Trafalgar and Leongatha. For information about Sustainable Dairy Farm Families Future Directions go to the NCFH Research Page » Funded by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, Colac Community Enterprise and Latrobe Regional Sustainable communities and the NCFH!! Warrnambool group – April 2011
The National Centre for Farmer Health has recently been to Warrnambool for Sustainable Dairy Farm Families Future Directions workshops for a fourth year funded by the Gardiner Foundation. We were very pleased to see how participants had progressed with action plans. One participant – Elizabeth produced a beautiful quilt as part of her action plan to have more free time. ↑ Top
NCFH at the 45th Murray Grey National Show and Sale – April 2011
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The National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) recently attended the 45th Murray Grey National Show and Sale at the Wodonga Exhibition Centre in Victoria on the 6th – 17th April 2011 at the invitation of the National Show and Sale Committee. Registered Nurses experienced in agricultural health and Medicine provided health assessments and education over the duration of the event. Over 70 farmers attended sessions with the health professionals to (1) gain an understanding of their own health status and (2) increase their education pertaining to their health, wellbeing and safety.
An education session was also provided to the Woodbourn Murray Grey Youth ambassadors about the importance of health, wellbeing and safety in farming families and agricultural workers. The NCFH will analyse the results of the health assessments to form a picture of the health of Murray Grey breeders and also to continue to build a comprehensive picture of farmer and agricultural worker health across Australia. The education was also important as the attendees became more aware of their own health, wellbeing and safety. The NCFH congratulates the Murray Grey society in addressing the importance of farmer health, wellbeing and safety at its National Show and Sale. The NCFH would also like to congratulate the breeders, exhibitors and purchasers in a successful 45th National Show and Sale.