MEMBERS of the Somerset Federation of Young Farmer’s Clubs (YFC) have learnt vital farm machinery safety skills from industry experts.

Organised by Massey Ferguson and Crewkerne YFC, the Machinery Maintenance and Safety Workshop focused on best practice, safety and maintenance.

Young farmers learned about the importance of safety checks, and were given hands-on sessions on getting the most out of tractors and keeping all kinds of equipment well maintained.

The event took place at MST South Petherton, supported by agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO Parts and the Farm Safety Foundation, an independent charity established by leading rural insurer NFU Mutual.

Lindsay Haddon of Massey Ferguson said: “As a leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment, Massey Ferguson is committed to the promotion of safety and the correct use and maintenance of machines. These workshops are an excellent way of building awareness, sharing good practices and communicating a strong farm safety message to young people.”

The event came to Somerset following a series of successful workshops across the UK, organised by Massey Ferguson and YFC groups. The workshops are free to attend, funded by Massey Ferguson.

Stephanie Berkeley, Manager of the Farm Safety Foundation, explained: “Farming has the poorest safety records of any occupation in the UK, a statistic we’re trying to change. By preparing the next generation of farmers to be responsible, confident and safe in a farm environment, we can help prevent accidents.

“We spoke to the young farmers about why safety should matter to them, highlighting the severe and potentially fatal accidents that can occur. It is essential safe practice is engrained in young farmers from the very start of their careers.”

Established in 2014 by NFU Mutual, the Farm Safety Foundation is an independent charity raising awareness of farm safety in the next generation of farmers, challenging and changing the risk-taking behaviours in the industry.

Chris Roberts, NFU Mutual Manager for the South West, said: “As the insurer for 75 per cent of farms in the UK, we understand the dangers farmers might face. Providing farmers of the future with the best knowledge and skills to operate safely can only help reduce farm accidents and we’re pleased to have supported this initiative through the Farm Safety Foundation.”