Lantra farming safety training front and centre

Lantra farming safety training front and centre: A father of three, who is a teacher at a Special School in Ballymena, has praised Lantra training and says it has helped young people to forge careers and futures in land-based industries.

Ciaran McCaughan, who lives beside his family’s farm in Co Antrim with his wife Rioghach and children Niamh, Cathair and Riona, has spoken to us about his experiences with Lantra, on receiving major awards, and on giving students the knowledge and skills they need to progress in the world of work.

Lantra farming safety training front and centre

Lantra farming safety training front and centre

In addition to being a teacher at Castle Tower School, delivering Lantra training to his students, Ciaran is a part time farmer, raising Angus Heifer calves through to beef.  In the school environment Ciaran delivers a variety of Lantra training courses to students, including ATV, leaf blowers, mowers and the Level 2 Award in Land Based Activities qualification.

Ciaran recently hit the headlines after winning the ‘Unsung Hero’ category in the prestigious Farming Life Awards in October. The Farming Life Awards recognise excellence in agriculture, talent, and innovation in the sector.  His accolade was awarded in recognition of his work with the young people at Castle Towers School, and for his dedication to training young people who wish to enter the industry.

He said: “Lantra has helped make an immense improvement to the practical and purposeful learning within Castle Tower School. It has provided a framework to help post-16 students gain a recognised qualification and gain a wide range of skills over their three years, including leaf blower, ATV, ride on mower and hedge trimming training.

“There is a job for everyone in this industry, and training is vital for people to realise their dreams and aspirations, whatever they are.

“Lantra is helping to qualify our students and help them gain meaningful employment when they leave school.  The students are much more motivated and enthused, especially with the practical aspects of the courses. This motivation means that the students are much more focussed as they are enjoying all the various tasks.

“Completing a practical ‘land based/agricultural’ qualification is much more appealing to the ‘practical – hands on Learner’. Lantra qualifications are viewed by my students as fun, worthwhile and full of real-life activities for real life work.

“The training also helps with literacy and numeracy tasks (which some students previously wouldn’t have done or felt they couldn’t do) to complete the course, alongside the practical tasks. I have found the training courses and qualification to be a huge motivator to students who were disengaged from the mainstream learning activities in school.

“I wanted to teach ‘Farm Safety’ and teach pupils how to look after themselves and others – there are too many injuries and deaths from quads, tractors, and machinery accidents. I hope, in the delivery of this qualification, I am doing a small part to both motivate and protect the workforce of tomorrow.

“Lantra has given me the opportunity to teach the students that there are only two ways to carry out a job, the RIGHT way, and the WRONG way.  My focus with Lantra is to teach students the ‘RIGHT way’ to use machinery and work with livestock. In class, and while working on the farm, my focus is on safety, and I always encourage the students to take their time and carry out tasks correctly, with the minimum risk to themselves and others.

“Hopefully the training the students undertake will stay with them the rest of their lives, and give them the correct basis for using machinery, helping to prevent accidents or injuries in the future.”

Ciaran continued, “I would love to see many more Special Schools and Mainstream Secondary Schools throughout NI, and potentially to rest of the UK, introduce Lantra qualifications and training into their curriculums.  Lantra is an excellent ‘vehicle’ for students to gain recognised and worthwhile qualifications which can help them start their future ‘work life’”.

Lantra has recently launched a free Children on Farms e-learning safety course which has proved very popular since it became live during the October half term holidays.

The course covers a wide range of areas including children on the farm and the law, children and tractors, children and ATVs and children and falls.  Others concerns, such as children safety around equipment, harmful substances, and the importance of having a farm safety checklist are also covered in the course.

On completion of the free course, participants can download their Children on Farms (E-Learning) certificate.

For further information on this course please log on to

For the latest industry news visit

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.