At the beginning of the year, farmers in the area were invited to complete a drone course to help increase farming efficiency as well as safety.

With accreditation through TAFE NSW, professional teachers are employed to show farmers new ways of farming, moving stock as well as working their own personal drones if they would purchase one. 

According to Yass NSW Farmers Association President Carolina Merriman, the main idea behind the course was to encourage safety.

“Instead of hopping on their quad bikes, a drone camera gets out there and saves them time from going onto a steep hill where it may be dangerous,” Ms Merriman said.

NSW Farmer’s Association Yass branch president Carolina Merriman

In an NSW Farmers publication last year, there were questions raised from farmers about foreign drones flying over their land. 

NSW Police have advised farmers to contact local police and not to deal with such matters on their own.

Last Thursday, the Yass NSW Farmers Association held an AGM to cover various topics, such as a possible future introduction of a farmer’s dinner.

This would help raise awareness as well as extend support to the farming community when times have been tough. 

On a national level, the NSW Farmers Association have also been actively helping farmers with any issues they may have, most recently they have been running monthly educational online webinars, hosted by different stakeholders. 

And according to an NSW Farmers media release, the federal government is currently offering eligible farm operators or working farmers, a total of two rebates totalling up to $2,000.

A quad bike rebate of $2,000 consists of funds to purchase a side-by-side vehicle, a $600 rebate allows the purchase of an operator protective device, $500 from a selected list of drones and $90 towards the purchase of a helmet.

The rebate program is due to end in June 2021.

Interesting parties must head onto www.safework.nsw.gov.au to complete a 30-minute ‘Virtual Farm Safety Experience’, users will then be supplied an online form to register their attendance and ABN.

By Christopher Tan