- A young farmer from Cornwall who uses her popularity on social media to promote working safely has won The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) Farm Safety Award 2021, sponsored by SGN
NFYFC launched the award for the first time this year as part of its annual YFC Achiever Awards and Maria Warne, 18, from St Mabyn YFC in Cornwall was revealed as the winner at an online ceremony.
Maria has nearly one million fans on the social media platform TikTok and over 34,000 followers on her Instagram account. She regularly posts updates from her family’s beef, sheep and arable farm and is well-known for involving her ‘Granfer’ – 76-year-old Tom Warne – in her posts as he speaks in a very strong Cornish accent.
Maria, who is a Yellow Wellies Ambassador, devotes many of her updates to highlighting farm safety by sharing practical tips or discussing mental wellbeing. Maria’s dedication to promoting these messages to such wide audience impressed the three judges the most.
Judges Hannah Jackson – aka the Red Shepherdess, Steph Berkeley, Manager of the Farm Safety Foundation, Yellow Wellies and Ed Dungait, NFYFC’s Vice Chair were unanimous that Maria should be this year’s Farm Safety Award winner.
Hannah Jackson said during the online ceremony: “Maria makes farm safety cool, which is exactly what we need. She is getting other people involved and taking them with her. She is reaching a huge amount of people and really bigging up farm safety.”
As well as Maria’s social media accounts, she has also encouraged everyone who works on the family farm to take a quad bike safety course and takes part in an annual voluntary workplace safety test.
Maria also faces her own physical and mental wellbeing battles after being diagnosed with arthritis at only 18 years old and uses her personal experience to ensure others are aware of their mental health.
Maria Warne said:
“It still feels extremely surreal to have been nominated for this award, let alone winning it! I’m extremely honoured by the amount of support I have received and am very grateful to everyone who nominated me.
“It humbles me to have been put into such a strong class with such outstanding candidates, who have all shown an incredible commitment to farm safety. I will endeavour to pursue my commitments to such a worthy message to sow and harvest amongst fellow agriculturalists both in farm safety and mental health within the rural community. Thank you once again for everyone’s ongoing support and to all of the honourable judges.”