Sowing the Seeds of Farmer Health PDF

Farming has become an increasingly challenging enterprise not only for individual farmers, but for their families and the communities in which they live work and play. Faced with an increasingly unpredictable climate, fluctuating markets, and geographical and social isolation farming is no life for the faint hearted. The National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) emerged in response to these challenges as a way of improving the health, wellbeing and safety of farmers.

This book contains a series of chapters developed from presentations made at the 2012 NCFH Conference ‘Sowing the Seeds of Farmer Health’. Each of the chapters helps fulfil the NCFH’s ongoing vision of “inspiring quality education, research and service delivery through innovative partnerships that advance agrihealth locally and globally”. This book provides an opportunity to document and distribute the lessons and innovative approaches developed in the field of agricultural health, wellbeing and safety, and provides a sound basis for ongoing work into the future.

Published by VURRN Press


Rural communities face a range of health risks, resulting from a complex blend of local, national and international forces. Local patterns of alcohol and other drug use, geographical isolation and psychological distress impact uniquely on rural health. National debates on mining, food security and water allocations weigh heavily on communities. Compounding this, Geoffrey Blainey’s tyranny of distance no longer isolates rural Australia from the impacts of global climate change, global agronomics and displaced populations. The brilliance of Sowing the Seeds of Farmer Health is that it not only improves our understanding across different levels of risk factors, but begins to explore the process by which rural Australians make sense of, and respond to, them.  

Professor Anthony Shakeshaft
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales


This book makes an important contribution to Australian agriculture. It reflects the unique contribution made by the National Centre for Farmer Health and its ground breaking Sustainable Farm Families program on the health and wellbeing of Australian farming families. This is a must read for anyone concerned with the sustainability of Australian farmers: those men and women who provide the nation with food and fibre, often in the most challenging of environmental and economic circumstances. All Australians would do well to reflect on the contributions in this book. They provide important insight into one of our most important industries, one which sustains all of us over time.

Dr John Martin, Emeritus Professor
La Trobe University


240 pages

Publisher: VURRN PRESS