Evaluation of an Occupational Injury Intervention among Wisconsin Dairy Farmers

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Hard, David L.;
  • Chapman, Larry;
  • Josefsson, Kjell G.;
  • Taveira, Alvaro D.


Objectives: Dairy farming injury rates are high. Previous agricultural research has shown that better information flow can speed adoption of more profitable practices. We conducted and evaluated an intervention to increase voluntary adoption of three production practices that were safer and more profitable than typical practices: barn lights, bag silos, and a mixing site for calf feed.

Methods: Print mass media, public events, university Extension, and dairy farmers already using the practices were all enlisted to disseminate information to 4,300 northeast district Wisconsin dairy farmers. Evaluation questionnaires were mailed to independent samples of farm managers before (N = 582) and after (N = 572) the 12-month-long intervention.

Results: After the intervention, more managers reported getting information about barn lights from public events (12% vs. 23%) and private consultants (8% vs. 17%) and about silo bags from print media (79% vs. 87%) and private consultants (9% vs. 14%). More managers were aware of barn lights (48% vs. 72%) and the calf feed mixing site (44% vs. 56%). There was a nonsignificant tendency for more managers to report adopting barn lights (12% vs. 23%).

Conclusions: Improving information flow to operation managers about safer, more profitable production practices may be a relatively easy way to supplement conventional injury control efforts in high-hazard industries.

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