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A ground-breaking farming campaign, originally launched in Ireland in 2018 to raise money for mental health charities, will host its first UK seminar and auction-based livestock event in Shropshire on Friday 13th September 2019.

A mental health conference and workshop, hosted at the Halls Livestock Auction Centre in Shrewsbury, will be followed by an auction of donated calves and breeding hoggets. All the proceeds will go to three charities associated with farming that already carry out tremendous work in the mental health field: Cheshire Agricultural Chaplaincy, the DPJ Foundation and the Farming Community Network (FCN).

“The aim of the initiative is to create awareness around mental health and wellbeing amongst farmers. The campaign highlights the importance of farmers talking to each other, remaining positive and seeking help if required,” explains organiser Peter Hynes.

Cases of farm suicide have increased in recent years and charities are trying to break down the walls and reach out to farmers who may need help.

The campaign organisers are asking farmers to kindly donate a dairy-bred heifer calf or breeding sheep hogget. “The sale will have celebrity auctioneers and, thanks to our sponsors Volac, every farmer who donates a calf or hogget will receive either a free bag of Volac Blossom calf milk formula or Volac Lamlac milk powder. We are still accepting entries and would also welcome dairy/beef-cross calves because smaller herds may not have surplus heifers,” says Mr Hynes.

Samantha Sampson, from sponsors Volac, adds: “This campaign has seen a superb uptake from the farming community in both Ireland and the UK, which shows how important bringing mental health to the fore is for farmers. We are committed to supporting the livestock farming community, so are delighted to continue our involvement in such an important mental health initiative focused on our industry.”

The charity auction is free to attend and is being promoted through social media with the Twitter handle @RearingG and hashtag #RearingToGo. To obtain more information or to donate a calf or hogget, please contact: Peter Hynes on 00 353 87 0644678.