Almost nine in every 10 farmers feel connected with their local community, according to a survey by insurance company FBD.
The ‘Rooted in the Community’ survey found 88% of farmers feel a bond with their locality, versus 75% of people living in urban areas.
They link this bond to local GAA clubs, churches, charity groups, neighbourhood watch initiatives, and tidy towns committees.
FBD chief executive Fiona Muldoon said: “Farmers have a strong sense of community as well as a natural instinct for looking out for one another.
"You only have to turn on the news to see extraordinary acts of kindness as people support each other during the recent flooding crisis.
“That’s why we want to recognise and celebrate the people who are making a difference, the ordinary people who go the extra mile for others, through our Community Champions for Change awards.”
FBD is asking people to nominate their Community Champion for Change, someone who makes a big difference in the community and deserves recognition.
The overall winner will get €1,000 for the community project of their choice.
Some 56% of farmers said that they were engaged with a community group in their locality, considerably higher than the national average of 41%.
Some 40% of farmers are currently involved in GAA, while 35% are involved with their local church communities.
Engagement in local community groups is also age-driven. It peaks in the 45-54 age band, with 49% of Irish people involved.
Involvement then decreases with age, dropping to 40% among over-65s.
However, 76% of farmers said they previously engaged with local groups, versus the 56% currently involved. FBD hopes its awards may help reverse this slide.
“This figure is a concern as the ageing profile of farmers means they are more at risk than ever of becoming more isolated and more vulnerable as they get older,” said Fiona Muldoon.
“That’s why initiatives such as FBD’s Champions for Change are important.”
In all, 40% of farmers know and trust their neighbours well enough to leave the keys to their homes with each other, while 32% said they would feel comfortable enough with their neighbours to spontaneously drop in for a cup of tea.
“Maybe you know someone who helped save a life or who prevented serious injury on a farm by calling in at the right time,” said Ms Muldoon.
“Perhaps you know someone who has used their own experience of a farm accident to help make others safer. If so, we encourage people to tell us their story and nominate their Community Champion of Change,”
To nominate a Community Champion for Change, visit FBD or Facebook, send an email to email@example.com or enter at championsforchange.ie/awards before January 31.
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