NCFH out and about in 2012

Waterfalls near HamiltonSFF Flood Recovery – Wooroonook | PETS update | SFF Flood Recovery – Elmhurst | NHMRC grant | HMF701 2012 in Hamilton | QRME | NavarreBeef Expo – Hamilton 2012 | Hamilton – Weaner Sales 2012 | ASBHM conference

Judges of the Photography Competition make their decisions

Ewen Bell, Jill Frawley and David Fletcher had the difficult task of choosing the winners of the ‘In Focus – Celebrating Farm Life’ photography competition! To see who they chose you will need to wait until the winners are announced at the Conference Welcome Reception on September 17th, 2012.
Hamilton Art GalleryJudges David Fletcher, Jill Frawley and Ewen Bell with Event Facilitator Felicity LittleJudges in the Hamilton Art Gallery
Voting for the people’s choice award is now open. Vote here  »
Come to the Conference Welcome Reception and hear the announcement of the winners!
Buy Tickets »

Waterfalls near Hamilton, location of Sowing the Seeds of Farmer Health Conference

After recent heavy rains the local waterfalls of Hamilton, in the Western District of Victoria, have put on a spectacular show. When visiting Hamilton for the Conference why not take a short trip and visit the waterfalls of the District!
View more details about the conference »

Sustainable Farm Families™ – WOOROONOOK

Wooroonook SFF Workshop Wooroonook SFF Workshop Wooroonook SFF Workshop - group responses Wooroonook SFF Workshop - group photo
Sue, Adrian, Amber and Tracey were in Wooroonook for the 10th SFF Flood Recovery program. Making up the team was Sally from the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (Horsham). The industry partner was the Wooroonook CFA.
What a fabulous venue! It was a very chilly morning on day 1 of the program but the CFA shed has amazing facilities that this group had apart in building. So the heaters were on and the caravans were in place for the health assessments – a more community spirited group we have not come across. The participants at the workshop were mainly cropping and sheep farmers with cattle and poultry farming also represented.
With a large and very keen group, the workshop got underway with discussions on how the flood impacted them, their families, their farm business and their entire community.
After two days of health, wellbeing and safety information including free health assessments, the comments from the group included:

  • This opened my awareness about some maybe up-coming problems
  • Overall, the big picture was very good for our community; we have learnt a lot about ourselves and pulled together as a team and have enjoyed the way the team has worked with us
  • The whole two days came together with men and women discussing things openly and that’s a good start I think, and so it’s kind of a support group for everyone
  • I need to reduce my sun exposure and cancer risk so I’m going to buy a hat!

The group left with action plans they have done for themselves for the next 6 months until we meet again for workshop two being held in February.

PETS update: Recognising your healthy body systems – the Sustainable Farm Families approach

Farmers and agricultural workers have met at RIST to undertake the pilot of material, created by the National Centre for Farmer Health, to make health units at VET level more relevant for the farm environment.
The unit Recognise healthy body systems in a health care context was run over two days and included a health check, hearing test, supermarket tour, information about preventative health strategies and OH&S advice.
Workforce Project Officer, Tim Harwood, says that the course sits comfortably with a foot in both camps. “Farmers can learn a bit about how their body works in order to understand the damage that they are doing to themselves by not putting on sunscreen, not eating right and not exercising enough.”
“By explaining how the digestive system works, showing them their BGL (Blood Glucose Level) and cholesterol and then taking them to a supermarket and doing an exercise on how to read the nutritional information on food labels, you’re going through the whole lot. If you have high BGL then low fat foods, which compensate with sugar, might not be best for you. It might be best to go for the full fat option and just take care of your portion control.”
Farmer Mark Bryant found the course very rewarding. “Many of my peers have weight issues,” he says “(courses like this) could be the key”.
Statistics show that farmers and agricultural workers have higher rates of workplace accidents, obesity and poorer outcomes when suffering from conditions such as heart disease and cancer than those living in urban areas. Through education at various levels the National Centre for Farmer health seeks to redress this imbalance.
“It is very exciting to be expanding the program into the VET sector. Many workers in the farm industry gain a lot from their studies with institutions such as RIST and we are delighted to be adding another string to their bow” Tim says.

Sustainable Farm Families™ – Flood recovery program ELMHURST

  Elmhurst group 2012  Label checking - Elmhurst SFF Flood Recovery Program Looking at the labels when purchasing - Elmhurst group 2012

On March 20th, Elmhurst hosted the first workshop 1 as part of the SFF Flood Recovery Program. In attendance were NCFH team members Adrian Calvano (SFF Health Professional), Amber McDonald (2nd Yr WDHS Grad. Nurse) and Heidi Mason (NCFH Research Assistant). Joining them were partnering health agency – East Grampians Health Service, SFF trained health professionals Leonie Tellefson and Vee Fay, industry partner Elmhurst Landcare, and Helen Chenoweth from the Victorian Department of Primary Industries.
The farmers are undertaking the program as part of SFF flood recovery to discuss ways to deal with current issues such as:

  • Impact of residual damage due to floods, – e.g. fences, soil degradation on farm productivity.
  • Reparation works ongoing.
  • Financial stress of repairs

Along with covering the above topics and having a physical assessment the 11 farmers also learnt about the state of rural health, cardiovascular disease, stress, gender related cancers, farm health & safety, diabetes, diet/nutrition and alcohol.
Some post program comments from the participants –
‘All the content related specifically to rural people and so we could all find some connections to the information presented.’
‘(The program) made me more motivated to continue to improve my own health and also that of my family.’
‘(The program) was non-intrusive on privacy and there was positive group discussion.’
Overall the Elmhurst Flood Recovery program was a success and the SFF team are looking forward to returning in 6 months time.

NHMRC grant – Shhh hearing in a farming environment

NCFH team member Heidi Mason monitors sound in cattle yards Lamb sale at the Hamilton Livestock Exchange Shearing noise audits at sheep producers Vasey Farm

The National Centre for Farmer Health has been successful in receiving funding through the National Health and Medical Research Council to commence in 2012.  This project is a partnership between the National Centre for Farmer Health, Australian National University, and National Acoustics Laboratory.  We are very pleased with the $576,727 grant which will be received over three years. 

 The team includes Clinical Associate Professor Susan Brumby (NCFH), Dr. Anthony Hogan (ANU), Dr. Warwick Williams (NAL), Ms. Cate Mercer- Grant (NCFH) and Ms Heidi Mason, Research Assistant (NCFH).

Grant focus: Two out of three farmers are affected by hearing loss. Farmers as a group are particularly at risk as their workplace is also their home. This project tests the hypothesis that participating in early intervention hearing services focused towards farming families will contribute to (a) significant reduction in the impact of hearing loss on farmers and (b) educate and empower farmers on their capacity to reduce their noise exposure.

For further information please contact Heidi Mason, at the National Centre for Farmer Health on 5551 8574.


HMF701 in Hamilton in 2012

HMF701 students visiting the Hamilton Livestock ExchangeThe Agricultural health and medicine unit (HMF701) was conducted at Western District Health Service last week at the Education Centre. Course chair Associate Professor Susan Brumby said that the course attracted eighteen students from 4 states of Australia who came to Hamilton to participate in the course for a full week intensive. There was a great variety of expertise and experience to share regional skills. The students ranged from expertise in nursing, medicine, agriculture and mental health bringing a great wealth of firsthand experience to the course. Students found the course very interesting and enjoyable.
HMF701 students visiting Jigsaw FarmsThe Southern Grampian Shire hosted a welcome reception at the Hamilton Art Gallery where students and lecturers were provided with an inside look at how pastoral scenes are depicted in art.
HMF 701 Agricultural and Medicine is a post graduate unit through the School of Medicine at Deakin University and now forms part of an accredited Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Health and Medicine. The students have now returned home and are continuing their studies through Deakin online.

Sharing ideas after team discussions in group work activitiesVisitng Jigsaw FarmsTeam discussions

QRME – Queensland Rural Medicine Education

 Delivery of HMF701 in Toowoomba, Queensland in conjunction with QRME.

Agricultural Health and Medicine one week intensive course was conducted in Toowoomba, run in partnership with QRME (Queensland Rural Medical Education) and the NCFH. Gaye Cook, Practice Manager at Childers, and Clinical Associate Professor Susan Brumby, National Centre for Farmer Health and Dr. John Heinrich, GP in Toowoomba.
14 participants were in attendance including GP’s, Practice Managers, Researchers, Nursing, and Health promotion.

Group looking at bread options Putting together an action plan Group looking at dairy options

Click to enlarge

Read what the participants had to say about the Navarre SFF Program. Read more »

Beef Expo – Hamilton 2012

The Hamilton P & A Society joined forces with the National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) to offer attendees at the 2012 Hamilton Beef Expo free health assessments. Hamilton Beef Expo President Peter Guthrie said, “Our P & A members undertook a similar program back in 2010 and have subsequently made changes to improve our health, wellbeing and safety; we wanted to give attendees at the 2012 Hamilton Beef Expo a similar opportunity”.

Beef Expo - Hamilton 2012


Australasian Society for Behavioural Health and Medicine (ASBHM) 9th Annual Scientific Conference

Visit members of the NCFH team who will be presenting at the ASBHM conference in Melbourne from the 9th-10th February. The theme of the conference is “Closing the gaps: Strengthening partnerships for understanding and improving health behaviour”. We hope that you can catch up with us at the conference and we look forward to tweeting you updates on the day!
Thursday 9th February
Achieving equity session
The Hamilton Charter for Farmer Health – Opening the Gates
Cate Mercer-Grant
Intervention and Program Evaluation session
Participation and Involvement- Improving Health in Hard to Reach Places
Susan Brumby
Friday 10th February
Work related health session
Psychological Distress and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Within the Australian Farming Community Ananda Chandrasekara
Alcohol Consumption Behaviours and Psychological Distress in Australian Farming Communities
Alison Kennedy
Evaluation of an Alcohol Intervention Training Program for Nurses in Rural Australia
Alexandra Head (Deakin University)
We look forward to seeing you there!!!

Weaner Sales – Hamilton Livestock Exchange, January 2012.

2012 Hamilton Weaner Sales health checks. NCFH team member Adrian Calvano and John McKew, CEO – Herefords Australia leads the way for Hereford breeders by getting a health assessment.

The 2012 Hamilton Weaner Sales got off to a flying start on Wednesday 4th January with the sale of Hereford and euro weaners. The National Centre for Farmer Health attended the sales and provide health assessments to farm men, women and agricultural workers. Over eighty assessments were completed over the first two days with health professionals noting diet and mental health being high on the agenda. A number of farmers and agricultural workers took the opportunity to book in to the AgriSafe clinics for a further a further comprehensive health check with the AgriSafe clinicians.
The team from the NCFH look forward to next week as the Angus weaners go to market. We hope we can catch up with you there!!!
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.

Free health assessments at Weaner sales 2012 - Hamilton Livestock Exchange 2012 Hamilton Weaner Sales health checks. Weaners and arms don't mix.

 2012 Hamilton Weaner Sales health checks. Carolyn Malseed and Susan Brumby. Hamilton Weaner Sales health checks. Laurey Sherren assists with paperwork.Hamilton Weaner Sales health checks. Derek Morse and Susan Brumby.

 Hamilton Weaner Sales health checks. Elizabeth Lawrence and Tim Delaney. 2012 Hamilton Weaner Sales health checks. Reflection after the assessment.2012 Hamilton Weaner Sales health checks. Just hanging around.

   2012 Hamilton Weaner Sales health checks. Farmer Russell completes his paperwork.Hamilton Weaner Sales health checks. Elizabeth Lawrence and Ashley Crow.
For more information  please contact the National Centre for Farmer Health on (03) 5551 8533