The Iowa Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance Project

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Popendorf, William;
  • Reynolds, Stephen, J.;
  • Burmeister, Leon F.;
  • Jones, Martin;
  • Lewis, Mary Q.;
  • Scarth, Robert;
  • Whitten, Paul S.;
  • Zwerling, Craig


The Iowa Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance Project was a crosssectional study that assessed the health and safety status of Iowa farm families and others who lived and worked on those farms. Data were collected using a comprehensive mail-out questionnaire that was sent to 989 representative Iowa farm operators, their families, and hired help. Three hundred and ninety (39%) farm operators returned the questionnaire. Here, we present an overview of the methods of this survey and some illustrative results. We expected that this rural sample would be similar to urban dwellers surveyed during a national health interview in terms of accessing medical care. Instead, this study's farm participants had much less difficulty getting medical care than U.S. farmers questioned in 1987 (3.4% compared with 7.3%, respectively).We found that the average age of all tractors being used by this cohort of Iowa farmers was almost 24 years. Not even 40% of these tractors had Roll Over Protective Structures (ROPS).

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