Education by Community Members about Farm Safety

  • Adams, Marilyn;
  • Burgus, Shari

Community programs in agricultural safety and health have been most effective when key leaders are identified locally to organize and facilitate activities and are provided with relevant and reliable resources. Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, a national non-profit organization based in Earlham, Iowa, has been working with the Center for Agricultural Disease and Injury Research, Education and Prevention at the University of Iowa and other NIOSH centers to address these very issues.

Farm Safety 4 Just Kids has developed a chapter structure to involve these key leaders and community members. Currently 41 chapters of Farm Safety 4 Just Kids have been developed in sixteen states and two Canadian provinces. Chapters provide an effective, two-way network that allows the dissemination of educational resources while gathering issues of concern at the grassroots level pertaining to childhood injury and death on the farm. This system allows efficient utilization of resources developed by a variety of agencies as well as those identified, developed or adapted by local chapters themselves.

Local chapters identify the health and safety needs and resources in their local communities and plan activities and educational programs to address farm safety issues relevant to the area. Activities include: day camps, awareness walks, walkathons, displays, exhibits, booths, contests, school programs, etc.

Agricultural safety and health agencies, such as NIOSH-Sponsored Centers for Agricultural Disease and Injury Research, Education and Prevention can benefit from association with these chapters by utilizing the distribution network and obtaining grassroot input to validate other research efforts. They can, in turn, assist chapters by developing, reviewing and adapting resources that are responsive to specific agricultural systems and educational needs of the state and/or region.

Through formal and informal training, identification of key personnel and exchange of resources, many organizations working together within a chapter can provide a vehicle for enabling local communities to plan and conduct programs utilizing technically accurate and culturally appropriate materials and methods.

This research abstract was extracted from a portion of the proceedings of "Agricultural Safety and Health: Detection, Prevention and Intervention," a conference presented by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The authors noted above are from: M.A. Adams and S.K. Burgus, Farm Safety 4 Just Kids.

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