A Study of the Impact and Efficacy of Health Fairs for Farmers

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Kirkhorn, Steven;
  • Rydholm, Laura


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two regional multi-disciplinary farm health fairs, pairing cardiovascular and agricultural health and safety risk factor assessments and education, in agricultural regions in southern Minnesota in 1999 and 2001. This study explores the rationales and motives cited as having an influence on: (1) work practice and lifestyle adaptations, (2) resistance to such changes, and (3) compliance with health fair recommendations. Evaluation took the form of standardized telephone surveys and callbacks with an open-ended component administered by a parish nurse interviewer and conducted six months following each of the fairs. Participants had received individualized work practice and lifestyle recommendations based upon their medical results and questionnaire responses. Of the 378 total attendees at the two farm health fairs, 272 (72%) participated by filling out on-site questionnaires, and 284 (75%) completed a post-fair interview. Participants who were actively farming totaled 237 (63%) of all participants. A majority of those interviewed on callback (78%) reported either work safety or lifestyle changes, while 47% of those actively farming claimed varying work safety changes as a result of the fair. The conclusions drawn from the follow-up interviews include: (1) the two farm health fairs resulted in a substantial number of participants positively modifying lifestyle and work practices, (2) the stand-alone farm health fairs were effective in attracting farmers, and (3) low-level stressors identified in the participants could be effectively addressed by knowledgeable rural health care resources such as parish nursing.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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