Young Farm­ers CEO plans NI road trip to visit mem­bers

Waipa Post - - News -

New Zealand Young Farm­ers’ new chief ex­ec­u­tive will “couch surf” her way around the North Is­land next month.

Lynda Cop­per­smith pic­tured has an­nounced plans for a road trip to meet mem­bers in Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki and the Waikato.

She will also join 40 teach­ers on a Teach­ers’ Day Out event in Hawke’s Bay on Tues­day, Novem­ber 6.

“We’re go­ing to be vis­it­ing a sheep and beef farm, a butch­ery, a cider maker and a mush­room farm,” said Lynda.

“Teach­ers’ Day Out is a fan­tas­tic event where we get teach­ers out of the class­room and into fields and fac­to­ries.

“The trips are de­signed to in­spire teach­ers about the ex­cit­ing range of ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties in the agri-food sec­tor,” she said.

Teach­ers’ Day Out events are also planned for Raglan, Auck­land, Palmer­ston North, Christchurch and In­ver­cargill.

They’re part of the vi­tal work New Zealand Young Farm­ers car­ries out in schools to pro­mote the pri­mary in­dus­tries.

“We have a ded­i­cated team of teach­ers and ter­ri­tory man­agers across New Zealand help­ing schools use our unique learn­ing re­sources, run TeenAg clubs and get stu­dents onto farms,” she said.

Lynda started at Young Farm­ers on Oc­to­ber 1 and is based in Christchurch.

“Mem­bers are the back­bone of our or­gan­i­sa­tion,” she said.

“Our net­work of al­most 80 clubs are a key part of com­mu­ni­ties, help­ing grow lead­ers and keep­ing young peo­ple con­nected.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to hear­ing from mem­bers and un­der­stand­ing what’s im­por­tant to them,” she said.

New re­search on wear­able tech­nol­ogy in high-risk work en­vi­ron­ments to help make work­ers safer has been given a mil­lion dol­lar fund­ing boost.

The govern­ment has awarded the grant to Dr Judy Bowen and her team at the Univer­sity of Waikato.

There has been a boom in fit­ness and per­sonal track­ers as well as smart­watches that gather per­sonal met­rics such as heartrate, ac­tiv­ity lev­els and hy­dra­tion lev­els. Add in en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors such as tem­per­a­ture and lo­ca­tion, and you may be able to sup­port worker safety by iden­ti­fy­ing lev­els of fa­tigue or un­safe work con­di­tions.

But Judy says there is lit­tle sci­en­tific ev­i­dence to show that the pro­posed tech­nol­ogy can be used in this way in prac­tice.

She has al­ready done sev­eral years of re­search with forestry work­ers — a sec­tor in which 30 work­ers have been killed on the job since 2013.

Judy says it is know that heart rate vari­abil­ity can be a good in­di­ca­tor of fa­tigue, but wrist based de­vices aren’t very ac­cu­rate and chest straps are un­com­fort­able to work in.

“We’re look­ing at putting that tech­nol­ogy into a com­pres­sion shirt,” she says.

“Then we’ll see what other kinds of other sen­sors we can put in there.”

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