When looking at the overall picture of farm incidents in Victoria and Australia, there are two standout statistics. Ag industry workers over 60 years of age were involved in 41.8% of farming fatalities nationally in 2022, and nearly 40% of all the of the Ag industry workplace fatalities involve the farmer themselves, or their immediate family members.
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) recognises that there is a clear need to engage with older farmers in its mission to improve the safety outcomes for the Victorian farming sector. More importantly, the VFF shares a mutual desire with farming families across Victoria, to do as much as we can to ensure that older farmers remain as safe and healthy as they can, for as long as possible.
This handbook is realistic about what is possible, and is written from a place of compassion by people who are in the industry, and who have a deep understanding of the challenges in this space. Conversations about ageing and succession are not easy ones to have, because they touch on identity, legacy and the rights of the individual vs. the family vs. the community.
This handbook also acknowledges that the pathways for farmers as they age are not clear-cut. There is no one ‘right way’, only a whole lot of options from which to choose the best path for each family or situation.