Model the right behaviour to ensure younger generations stay safe on farm


Marie Trigg isn’t the sort of person to think ‘that won’t happen to me’, so she goes above and beyond to make sure her family and others visiting her farm are safe at all times.

Marie and David Trigg run a commercial Angus operation consisting of around 100 breeders at Kernot, near Wonthaggi, in southern Victoria.

The couple have two children and six grandchildren, who all love visiting the farm, but Mrs Trigg says they do so with the understanding that “Granny has rules”.

“I’m very conscious of having anyone in my family, particularly my grandkids, hurt on the farm,” she said.

“I believe it is my responsibility to look after the safety of others – whether it be family or contractors – when they step foot on my property.”

She said she got great pleasure watching her grandchildren enjoy the farm, but she has instilled in them from a young age that it is a workplace first and foremost.

“There should definitely be loads of fun had on the farm but I like to teach them the proper way of doing things because their safety is paramount,” she said.

Mr Trigg said the best way to do this was by modelling the right behaviour.

“Kids learn through observation and if they see an adult acting in a certain way, they’ll act in the same way,” he said.

“So we’ve always been aware of what we’re doing.

“Complacency is the biggest killer; you could do something right 100 times, and on the 101st time, if you’re not concentrating, it’ll catch you out.”

He said the technological advancements of the industry over the years have brought with it increased risks.

“I was born in Warragul and lived on my grandfather’s farm for several years where he ran a dairy which I used to help out on,” he said.

“Farms are a lot more technical now than they used to be when I was a kid on my grandfather’s farm, even the simple process of artificial insemination and embryo transfer for example was very unusual back in the day.

“The equipment involved in farming is also bigger than it used to be, which means you have to be more conscious of what you’re doing.”

He said when the grandkids are on the farm, they know they have to stay clear of farm equipment and wear the right shoes and clothes.

“They know if they do something silly, there’s likely to be a penalty to that and they might not be able to do that again, so they’re very aware of doing the right thing,” he said.

Mrs Trigg said she considered it a responsibility of hers to promote safe farm practices, hence her and her husband’s involvement in the local Kernot Farmers Group and appearance in the Victorian Farmers Federation’s Making Our Farm Families Safer campaign video.

“I love my area and I want people to be safe on their farms,” she said.

“People are very quick today to say farming’s incredibly dangerous, but it’s not necessarily the case, you just have to be aware.”

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