Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said he "knows what it's like to lose a father through an accident" as he addressed a farm safety event.
Mr Coveney's father, former minister of state Hugh Coveney, fell from a seaside cliff while out walking in 1998.
"It's awful in terms of what the family has to go through after that in regards to picking up the pieces, finding a way forward, trying to run a business in the absence of a business person," Mr Coveney said.
He was speaking at the launch of 'Farm Safety Fortnight', a Health and Safety Authority's farm safety initiative which will take place on 500 farms this month.
Minister Coveney said that the department was "putting its money where its mouth is" with its own €13m Farm Safety Scheme. He also said that it may launch a second scheme.