Wednesday, 14 September 2016 07:55

Co-op, bank sign for good yarns

Written by 
Dana Carver, DairyNZ. Dana Carver, DairyNZ.

Award-winning mental health scheme GoodYarn is writing a new chapter as it grows around the country.

Fonterra and Rabobank have signed to run the scheme's workshops for their staff; 14 organisations are now doing GoodYarn.

The scheme was last month named joint Best Mental Health Promotion/Illness Prevention effort at an Australia and New Zealand mental health conference.

It is the work of WellSouth, a primary health organisation, and DairyNZ, as part of the Transforming the Dairy Value Chain Primary Growth Partnership, a seven-year, $170 million scheme led by DairyNZ, Fonterra, the Ministry for Primary Industries and others.

Organisations wanting to be part of GoodYarn have to go through a licensing programme to train their own staff.

Terry Buckingham, Fonterra's health and wellbeing manager, says the co-op was keen to do it.

"This season we are delivering GoodYarn workshops to our 1500 tanker drivers. They are our biggest team of people spending time on farms and they recognised they could do better in talking to farmers. They recognised that farmers have pressure and stressors from a number of directions."

The co-op realised the drivers and farmers would benefit from GoodYarn's workshops that teach how to stay healthy, recognise stress in others and respond effectively.

Buckingham said tanker drivers were involved first because they were "farmer-facing", but others in Fonterra might also participate in the training.

"Many of our Farm Source team have already been through the training and we are including more technical sales reps to prioritise staff who are working alongside farmers on a regular basis," he says.

"In time we hope the programme will benefit our wider Fonterra team and may be adapted further."

Hamish Midgley, Rabobank's national manager, major agribusiness clients, says the GoodYarn workshops will help bank staff better recognise and manage their own stresses and be "more attuned to our clients' and communities' needs".

"The training will also allow Rabobank to take a leadership role in communities to help change the 'industry language' and stigma about mental health and get people talking about this issue in a more constructive way," he says.

Midgley says the bank would like to support other organisations looking to deliver the GoodYarn workshops to a wider audience.

Dana Carver, DairyNZ wellness and wellbeing programme leader, says teaming up with Fonterra and Rabobank would take the workshops to thousands more people.

"Working for Fonterra or in rural banking at the moment is not easy and GoodYarn will help the employees of these organisations to keep themselves well, which is paramount for the industry."

She says other organisations and businesses would be approached. The 14 organisations now signed include LIC, CRV, Farmlands, Ospri, the Pharmacy Guild and several Rural Support Trusts. Also thinking about it are ASB Bank, Primary ITO and New Zealand Young Farmers.

More like this

Have your say on emissions pricing

OPINION: We’re kicking off 2022 with a road show across the regions in February so farmers can have their say on how agricultural emissions will be priced from 2025.

Planning key to combat higher costs

Strong financial management, grazing management and people management skills will help dairy farmers buffer rising input costs and produce milk more efficiently.

Staying put

OPINION: Your canine crusader understands calls by the Waikato Chamber of Commerce for Fonterra HQ to quit its Auckland office for the dairying heartland has been rebuffed.

Nice lift!

OPINION: The Hound reckons the country's hard-pressed wool growers will be pleased to know that rural banking specialist Rabobank has laid woollen carpets in its new Hamilton-based HQ.


The year in review

As 2021 draws to a close and 2022 approaches, Leo Argent takes a look back at the year gone by,…

Machinery & Products

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Do the maths!

OPINION: The Hound sees Greenpeace is still demanding the demise of farming in this country.

That Guy!

OPINION: Your old mate had a bit of a giggle at current Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor's effusive praise of the…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter