Monday, December 4, 2023

Leading farmer and accident survivor makes farm safety a top priority

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Tim Papworth said he will also continue to promote the industry to young people after he was confirmed as county branch chairman for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

He suffered a serious injury in 2010, when he fell off a ladder in a rented potato store.

Mr Papworth, whose family’s farming business is based at Felmingham, near North Walsham, was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where he spent five weeks in a drug-induced coma.

He now raises money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and is a trained mental health first aider.

Speaking before the meeting, Mr Papworth said: “I’ll keep banging the drum on health and safety and to use my story to help other people.

“It is easy to take safety for granted and to take unnecessary risks, but my story shows that it’s just not worth it.”

He added: “I’ve just had to retire as president of the Norfolk Young Farmers Club but promoting farming to young people will continue to be something that is very important to me.

“We have some great young farmers doing some really good work in Norfolk.

“We need to support them and to inspire young people to work in farming to help ensure the industry has a bright future.”

During the annual NFU county meeting at Barnham Broom Hotel, Mr Papworth reflected on the challenges Norfolk farmers have faced in the last year, including extreme weather conditions, protests at Norwich Livestock Market and rural crime.

He said there have been positive meetings with key political figures and highlighted the success of Back British Farming Day in Westminster, with several Norfolk MPs pledging support for the farming industry.

The meeting’s guest speaker was NFU president Minette Batters, who highlighted the impact of political, market and climate volatility on the industry.

And she said it was vital that farming’s voice was heard by all politicians ahead of the next general election.

“The NFU is a proudly apolitical organisation and it’s about building relationships with all parties ahead of the most important election in a generation for the rural economy, for farming and for food,” she said. “This election really matters.”

It was also confirmed at the meeting that former Norfolk NFU chairman Nick Deane will replace Tony Bambridge as Norfolk council delegate.

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