Footy's Favourite Farmer plays safe for family

A primary producer from Wycheproof has been crowned Footy's Favourite Farmer in a competition that recognises the significant role farmers play in local footy and netball.


Ricky Allan, who runs a mixed farming operation in the town, has won $10,000 worth of safety improvements tailored to his business. His club, Wycheproof Narraport Football Netball Club (FNC), will also receive $10,000 to make its facilities safer.

The competition developed by WorkSafe in partnership with AFL Victoria encouraged Victorian country football and netball clubs to nominate their local farmer for the grand prize.

Mr Allan said he was privileged to win the award from among the 155 nominations.

"It's very humbling and I'm very proud of that honour," he said.

Coming from a farming family, Mr Allan said a huge motivator for putting safety first was because his business is so closely knit with family.

"Farming is one of those things if you don't love it, you're not going to do it. And the reason you love it is because you are working with the closest people in your life," Mr Allan said.

"For me to be involved in the family farm, you don't want to see anyone impacted…we have young kids around the farm so we have got to be on our toes in terms of safety."

WorkSafe Executive Director of External Affairs Sam Jenkin said the competition was a great way for clubs to show their support for local farmers who play a huge role in country sport.

"Weekend sport is an essential part of country life. It's a time when all of the community can come together to socialise, bond and stay active," Mr Jenkin said.

"And at the end of the day that's what staying safe at work is all about – so people can keep doing the things they love outside work."

Mr Allan, who is also the president of Wycheproof Narraport FNC, couldn't agree more.

"[Wycheproof Narraport FNC] is the heart and soul of the community... to be able to put 150 people here on a Thursday night during the middle of the week for a bit of exercise, a bit of socialising, it's great for everyone's mental health."

He has also picked up some lessons on the field that have helped him on farm, including the importance of teamwork and not fighting fatigue.

"It's okay to delegate. Some jobs are just too big to do on your own."

"It's not life or death if you don't finish that paddock off, if you don't get that job list done. The sun will still come up tomorrow."