Wednesday, 14 September 2016 07:55

Co-op, bank sign for good yarns

Written by 
Dana Carver, DairyNZ. Dana Carver, DairyNZ.

Award-winning mental health scheme GoodYarn is writing a new chapter as it grows around the country.

Fonterra and Rabobank have signed to run the scheme's workshops for their staff; 14 organisations are now doing GoodYarn.

The scheme was last month named joint Best Mental Health Promotion/Illness Prevention effort at an Australia and New Zealand mental health conference.

It is the work of WellSouth, a primary health organisation, and DairyNZ, as part of the Transforming the Dairy Value Chain Primary Growth Partnership, a seven-year, $170 million scheme led by DairyNZ, Fonterra, the Ministry for Primary Industries and others.

Organisations wanting to be part of GoodYarn have to go through a licensing programme to train their own staff.

Terry Buckingham, Fonterra's health and wellbeing manager, says the co-op was keen to do it.

"This season we are delivering GoodYarn workshops to our 1500 tanker drivers. They are our biggest team of people spending time on farms and they recognised they could do better in talking to farmers. They recognised that farmers have pressure and stressors from a number of directions."

The co-op realised the drivers and farmers would benefit from GoodYarn's workshops that teach how to stay healthy, recognise stress in others and respond effectively.

Buckingham said tanker drivers were involved first because they were "farmer-facing", but others in Fonterra might also participate in the training.

"Many of our Farm Source team have already been through the training and we are including more technical sales reps to prioritise staff who are working alongside farmers on a regular basis," he says.

"In time we hope the programme will benefit our wider Fonterra team and may be adapted further."

Hamish Midgley, Rabobank's national manager, major agribusiness clients, says the GoodYarn workshops will help bank staff better recognise and manage their own stresses and be "more attuned to our clients' and communities' needs".

"The training will also allow Rabobank to take a leadership role in communities to help change the 'industry language' and stigma about mental health and get people talking about this issue in a more constructive way," he says.

Midgley says the bank would like to support other organisations looking to deliver the GoodYarn workshops to a wider audience.

Dana Carver, DairyNZ wellness and wellbeing programme leader, says teaming up with Fonterra and Rabobank would take the workshops to thousands more people.

"Working for Fonterra or in rural banking at the moment is not easy and GoodYarn will help the employees of these organisations to keep themselves well, which is paramount for the industry."

She says other organisations and businesses would be approached. The 14 organisations now signed include LIC, CRV, Farmlands, Ospri, the Pharmacy Guild and several Rural Support Trusts. Also thinking about it are ASB Bank, Primary ITO and New Zealand Young Farmers.

More like this

New chair for Ballance

Former Fonterra Shareholder Council chairman Duncan Coull has been elected as the new chair for Fertiliser co-operative Ballance Agri-Nutrients.

Farmers adapt well to new sales model

Fonterra’s rural service subsidiary, Farm Source says farmer shareholders are adapting well to its new trading model under COVID-19 restrictions. 

Featured

Feds call for pause on regulations

The Government has been warned that it needs to back off some of its signalled regulations if it wants farming to help the NZ economy recover from the COVID-19 hit.

 

Tough time on farm for many

Under pressure from drought and COVID-19, Woodville dairy farmer Ben Allomes says: ‘we can’t shut our doors and just walk away’.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Deafening silence

Your old mate reckons it’s incredible how people’s attitudes have changed since the COVID-19 crisis hit us.

Celibate times

A mate of the Hound’s reckons the COVID lockdown must be getting serious when we are being told not to…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Popular Reads

Rules driving farmers out

New farming rules around sustainability are driving elderly farmers out of the dairy industry, says agri-economist Phil Journeaux.