SFF programs – Sustainable Farm Families™

The most important aspect of a healthy Australian farm? A healthy farming family.

SFF Programs

The innovation of Sustainable Farm Families™ (SFF) has been to contextualise farm family health in the familiar triple bottom line farm-reporting format.

About SFF™ programs

The vision for the Sustainable Farm Families™ program is to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of farm families. This is a major issue facing agricultural business because farmers are:

  • Getting older
  • Working harder and longer
  • Relying more on family members for extra labour
  • Experience high injury rates, illness and premature death.

How SFF™ helps farmers

The Sustainable Farm Families™ (SFF) program aims to address the health, well being and safety issues facing farming industries through a sustainable and evidence-based health promotion program with solid research and cross-sector collaboration.

Great presentations, simple and easy to understand. Personally tailored health plans.” – Yorke Peninsula

Informative sessions prepared and presented by knowledgeable and engaging presenters that encouraged us to be proactive in our health.” – Toowoomba

Health is important and everyone should be aware of their own stats. Take the time to do it.” – Cavendish

It is fantastic” – Cavendish

What farmers say – read more testimonials here.

Farmer health as part of the triple bottom line

The Sustainable Farm Families™ program encourages farmers to view farm family health as part of the ‘triple bottom line’ of farm reporting. Simply put, this refers to ‘people, planet and profit’ – all three are dependent on each other for success and sustainability.

Aims of SFF™ programs

The objective of the Sustainable Farm Families™ program is to:

  • Identify and track farming family health indicators and include them in farm management quality assurance processes.
  • Design and deliver training programs that help farming families identify ways they can improve their health, wellbeing and safety.
  • Communicate program findings to farming families and  health and agricultural sectors.
  • Provide information on the relationship between family health, health as a social issue in rural communities and farm productivity.

The research data and information collected provides critical insight into the relationships between the farmer, their health, their farm and farming sustainability.

SFF™ is about change

SFF™ is a program that is changing:

  • Attitudes and behaviour to personal health, wellbeing and safety
  • Behaviour of farming families
  • Health outcomes for farm families
  • Rural health practice by training health providers

For more information about becoming a SFF Trainer, please click here.

What SFF™ trainers say about the program

“It was professionally presented, well organised, relaxed but an engaging environment/activities. We were very well accommodated and catered for! Thank you kindly for a very educative and enjoyable week”

“Informative, I like the research base”

Read more trainer testimonials here.

Evidence based research

The SFF™ program is a strong and effective tool with an evidence base which demonstrates that the program is increasing farm family’s knowledge and skills, while supporting them to change their lifestyle and reduce risk behaviours. See our publications.

The program fits well in the community and primary health portfolio because it:

  • Integrates health promotion with improved outcomes for the farming community.
  • Creates supportive environments for health as a result of  personal skills development and strengthened community action.
  • Expands service options and access to information to support self-management.
  • Takes a coordinated approach to chronic disease management.
  • Promotes service coordination.
  • Values the participation of farm families in the continuous improvement of the program.

The program is delivered by Registered Nurses (Division One) and requires strong industry support and an understanding of adult learning and social research models.  Through cross-sector collaboration the program builds capacity in the workforce, community, agricultural industry and the individual.

The research data and information which is collected as part of the program provides critical insight to the relationships between the farmer, their health, their farm and farming sustainability.

The program has been showcased as an innovative approach to long-standing rural health issues, and has been recognised with numerous awards.

Further Information

If you are a farm man, woman or agricultural worker and interested in participating in a Sustainable Farm Families™ program, please contact Tracey Hatherell via email: tracey.hatherell@wdhs.net or phone: (03) 5551 8588

Facilitate a SFF™ program

If your agricultural or health organisation is interested in facilitating a SFF™ program for your local farming families, please fill in the form below.

Facilitate a SFF program in your area - Expression of Interest Form