Friday, 04 December 2020 06:55

Contribution to wellbeing recognised

Written by  Mark Daniel
All Black and Farmstrong ambassador Sam Whitelock. All Black and Farmstrong ambassador Sam Whitelock.

Farmstrong is tipping its hat to the farmers and growers of New Zealand who have contributed to it winning two awards at the recent 2020 New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards.

Farmstrong took out the sector leadership and overall honours with the Supreme Award. The judges highlighted that Farmstrong’s intense focus on the mental health of the rural community…”with a programme that seeks to engage with farmers in a relatable and authentic way, which a generation ago would have seemed unlikely”.

“Everyday farmers and growers have driven this programme by sharing their personal wellbeing stories and, with it, giving other farmers and growers the permission, confidence and practical ideas on how they can invest in their own wellbeing,” says Farmstrong project manager Gerard Vaughan.

He says research, started five years ago, showed there was a real need for a rurally focused programme, centered on how to “live well to farm well”. 

“Since launching in 2015, Farmstrong has used an annual random sample survey of 450 farmers and growers to track their awareness of engagement with and monitor real changes they are making,” Vaughan explains.

“This year’s results showed that 71% of respondents were aware of the programme, while 22% of all farmers and growers surveyed attributed an improvement in their wellbeing to their engagement with Farmstrong.

“What we’ve done is create a programme to facilitate important conversations to happen, see a large number of farmers and growers reporting positive shifts in habits towards improving their wellbeing and how these improvements are good for business,” Vaughan adds.

Farmstrong has also completed other significant research about women in farming and the needs of younger people by teaming up with New Zealand Young Farmers.

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