STAYING safe on the farm was the hot topic of conversation in Merriwa this month as agricultural students from across the Upper Hunter attended the 6th annual Merriwa Farm Safety Day.
Event coordinator Rob Tindall said he was delighted with the feedback he had received from pupils, teachers and instructors at the Merriwa Showground.
"We had 200 students from Merriwa, Aberdeen, Scone and Quirindi as well as more than 50 adults who attended the day or night sessions," he explained.
"This year we focused on a few new areas including sheep handling, bushfire planning, safe chainsaw operation and cyber safety which were great additions to the program.
"We were thrilled to have a state-of-the-art quad bike simulator provided by SafeWork NSW for students to get an idea of what it's like on a quad bike when things go wrong.
"This really helped impress upon our young farmers of the future the great importance of staying safe on a quad bike by wearing a helmet and showed how the installation of roll bars on quads can save lives."
Mr Tindall said students were given the latest information in firearm safety, livestock handling, quad bike safety, first aid as well as tuition in drone operation, bushfire planning and cyber safety from a range of instructors from Local Land Services, TAFE, Tocal College, NBN, Hunter Medical Practice and local emergency services.
For the primary pupils, there were lots to learn with demonstrations throughout the day by the Merriwa Rescue Squad, NSW Ambulance, Merriwa Rural Fire Service and Upper Hunter Community Services.
"The Merriwa Farm Safety Day is very much a team effort and we couldn't do it without the support of our sponsors SafeWork NSW, Upper Hunter Shire Council, Local Land Services and the committee who put it all together behind the scenes," Mr Tindall said.
"A big shout out to our catering 'A' team the Merriwa CWA, Anglican Church and Merriwa Men's Shed who kept us all fed and to the Merriwa Tyre Service for providing the vehicles for our display.
"The event is very much a community effort, and we are already planning to make it bigger and better next year."