FARMERS will be reminded that looking after their mental and physical fitness is just as important as maintaining their machinery at an event in Yorkshire.

A targeted month-long #Fit2Farm campaign, co-ordinated by the Future Farmers of Yorkshire group at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), will culminate in a Fit to Farm conference on Wednesday, November 20, at Pavilions of Harrogate at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate.

At the event, a line-up of high-profile farming and industry figures will share their own real-life experiences and tips in order to help further establish health and wellbeing as an integral priority for the farming community.

Neil Eastham, a Future Farmers board member who will chair the Fit2Farm event, said: “Future Farmers is a group of progressive farmers and industry professionals who are determined to play their part in turning this around by highlighting what farmers can do to reduce their risks of injury.

“That is why, throughout the last month, we have been running our #Fit2Farm Campaign to highlight the importance of, and the links between, physical fitness, mental fitness and farm safety.

“This message will be starkly and powerfully delivered to a packed audience of farmers and industry professionals at next week’s event. Through their own experiences, our speakers will remind each and every one of us that if your mind and body are not as well-maintained as your machinery, then it is very easy to become less conscious of the dangers around you.”

Latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that 39 people died as a result of farming or other agriculture-related activities in Britain in 2018/19.

Mr Eastham, who is a dairy farmer’s son, a Nuffield Scholar and a full-time vet and partner at Bishopton Veterinary Group, added: “Ensuring that we are fit to farm is an absolute necessity. We not only owe it ourselves, but to future generations in setting the best possible examples for them to follow.”

Speakers at next week’s date will be the vice-president of the National Farmers’ Union, Stuart Roberts, consultant psychologist Dr Caroline Knott and Welsh farmer Will Evans, who hosts the popular Rock & Roll Farming podcast.

Mr Roberts, a third-generation arable and livestock farmer based in Hertfordshire, will highlight the industry’s health and safety record, and will explain the importance of addressing it.

Mr Roberts said: “It is clear that all of us in the farming community must take the issues of health and safety and mental wellbeing more seriously. Facing a time of such uncertainty and change, our resilience has never been more important and we must all work together to ensure we can thrive in the future.

“The fact there is a growing interest in these subjects is great news but we need to ensure that interest is now captured and turned into a genuine culture change.”

The Future Farmers of Yorkshire’s Fit to Farm conference takes place on Wednesday, November 20, from 6.45pm to 9.45pm, at Pavilions of Harrogate at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate.

Following a light supper, there will be a series of presentations and an opportunity to ask the speakers questions, and then a chance to network with fellow farming professionals.

To book a free place, visit

The Future Farmers of Yorkshire brings together younger farmers, vets and industry supporters. To join the group, please contact: