Safety and wellbeing the key message as Australia marked this year’s National Hay Safe Day late last month. Held on October 25, the day recognises the importance of safety measures and practices of those behind fodder production across the nation and has evolved into an important awareness event on the agricultural calendar. The initiative was founded by Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) member and director, Suzanne Woods. A hay grower from Western Australia, Ms Woods tragically lost her father to an on-farm accident more than a decade ago. John Deere AU & NZ production systems manager Stephanie Gersekowski said National Hay Safe Day provides an excellent platform to review safety in your operation. “We know the important role the fodder industry plays in Australian agriculture and the deep commitment of our hay producers to what they do,” Ms Gersekowski said. “National Hay Safe Day provides an opportunity to promote the importance of safe farming practices, and to support the safety and wellbeing of our farmers.” AFIA chief executive officer Paula Fitzgerald said the organisation welcomed John Deere’s ongoing support of the initiative. "AFIA is very proud to promote National Hay Safe Day and welcomes the involvement of our silver sponsor, John Deere, as we encourage all in the industry, from seed to feed to implement safe work practices that ensure each working day is incident free," Ms Fitzgerald said. "Sadly, too many injuries and deaths still occur on our farms every year - we must strive for zero. "National Hay Safe Day reminds us all that safety is non-negotiable in the fodder and broader agriculture sector." Ms Gersekowski said John Deere is committed to providing equipment and machinery that carries industry-best safety features to support Australia’s $2.5 billion hay production industry. “We invest in ongoing training and education of our dealers to ensure customers are well supported in the safe and effective operation of their hay equipment, and also recommend our customers review their Operators’ Manual for best practice and safety guidelines,” she said.