Bayer Australia has partnered with the not-for-profit Active Farmers organisations to help improve the physical and mental well being of people on the land, which is particularly important as drought increases pressure on mental health.
The new partnership supports delivery of fitness programs in farming communities across Australia, in remote areas and drought affected communities.
The prevalence of mental illness is considered similar in urban and regional Australia but the rate of suicide is almost double in remote areas, while nearly 70 per cent of people in regional areas do not get enough exercise.
"For farmers and people living in rural communities, the benefits of participating in group fitness aren't just physical but mental and social as well, said Active Farmers founder and chief executive Ginny Stevens.
"The support of Bayer Australia will not only allow us to expand our reach, but offer free
group fitness classes for four weeks to those situated in drought affected areas.
This support will make a true difference to the health and wellbeing of more rural communities across Australia."
The partnership was announced at an event hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack at Parliament House in Canberra.
"I'm a strong supporter of initiatives that bring regional and rural communities
together to promote a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing," Mr McCormack said.
"Programs such as Active Farmers are so important in being able to achieve this. I am delighted to be able to announce the new partnership and the support of drought affected communities."
Joerg Ellmanns, Chairman and Managing Director of Bayer ANZ said his company was proud to partner with Active Farmers
"Better health outcomes results from people understanding how to take preventative measures and to self-manage their own health, as well as engaging with their local community."