Teagasc are setting up a Regional Farm Labour Database that would link farm families where a farmer or a farm worker becomes ill with COVID 19, with an available relief worker. This is being done in collaboration with the Farm Relief Services (FRS), and with the support of the farm organisations IFA and ICMSA.
This initiative by Teagasc, FRS and the farm organisations will support farmers and their families during the current COVID19 outbreak. In the event of a farmer (main farm operator) becoming ill and/or testing positive for COVID19, they may require hospitalisation and isolation during their period of recovery. For many families in this situation, the main farm operator will not be able to carry out routine farm operations.
Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said: “We are encouraging farmers, rural dwellers and students with capacity and skills to help out with farm tasks such as Milking, Calf Rearing, Grassland Management, Silage and Meal Feeding and General Farm Duties, to contact Teagasc advisory and register on a locally held database. With their consent, their details would be shared with farm families via the Farm Relief Services (FRS), in the event of farmer becoming ill with Covid 19.”
Peter Byrne, CEO of FRS said: “In this time of uncertainty we must make every effort to prepare for the impact a spread of Covid 19 may have on individual farmers. While FRS have a substantial database of experienced operators, we must plan for a situation where demand for FRS operators increases dramatically. This joint initiative between Teagasc and FRS, supported by the farming organisations, will help identify suitable people that FRS can call on, if required. Geographical location can sometimes be an issue in matching farmers who require additional labour with available operators. Increasing the database of suitably trained and experienced people should help in such situations.”
Thomas Curran, Manager of the Teagasc Cork West advisory region said: “If you are available to work on farms to assist fellow farmers during this period, please ring the designated Teagasc regional number in the table below, or your local Teagasc office. You will be registered on the Teagasc Regional Labour Database.
Contacts: Longford/ Roscommon 090 6626166. Leitrim 071-9183369. Cavan 057-9321405