Five Year Farming Community Support Programme Announced

A five year programme to help the Farming Community Network (FCN) support famers and their families through difficult times has been announced by Agrii as part of its commitment to farming communities across the country.

The Five to-Thrive programme involves financial support for focussed FCN initiatives each year from 2017, annual activities at the company’s extensive series of iFarm and other events, and business-wide assistance in raising awareness of the work and availability of the charity, its 400 volunteers and national telephone helpline.

Farming and dementia is the primary focus of the programme for the current season, with mental well-being, lone working, fit to farm, and sustainability and resilience being developed as key initiatives for subsequent years.

In addition to informative materials and widespread promotion, the Agrii programme will include a series of workshops led by FCN staff to help its nationwide team of agronomists, advisers and other customer-facing employees identify people in need and understand how to get them the right support.

Alongside this, the company will make a £1 donation to FCN for every entry into its 2017 Moved by the Countryside photography competition offering over £1000 of prizes and the opportunity for entrants to have their great British countryside pictures published in the 2018 and 2019 Agrii calendars.

The winner of the competition which is open until the end of September will be chosen from shortlisted entries displayed at iFarm events this autumn and announced in November.

“We’ve been working with FCN for a number of years now,” pointed out Agrii marketing manager, Immy O’Keeffe. “So we know just how vital the quiet, generally unseen and highly personal support the charity provides to farming families with financial, physical, mental and relationship difficulties can be. And it will be more essential than ever in the run-up to and after Brexit.

“FCN’s commitment to ‘walking with’ people to help them find a way through their difficulties and signpost them towards extra support and advice can be life-changing. But all too often those who most need to share their problems can’t see where to turn for a helping hand or are reluctant to ask for it.

“That’s where our active involvement both as a business and as individuals in the farming community can be so valuable. By stepping-up our work with FCN in the Five to Thrive programme we want to be doing everything we can to highlight some of the most important current well-being issues and the support the charity provides to address them.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.