Partnerships

There has been a tight focus on farm safety the past few months. The proposed child labor laws threw farm safety in the spotlight. The proposal was thrown out, but the lime light has continued to shine. Some might say it’s even gotten a little brighter.

When the regulations were retracted, the issue of farm safety was put on the shoulders of the industry. Government officials, agriculture, and farm safety entities have stepped up. It is our responsibility to set an example by starting a conversation.

We all want the farm safety movement to be successful.

Agriculture wants it to be successful. Needs it to be!

How do we proceed? What will move things forward with the strongest momentum for the greatest impact? Until now all of the various organizations have essentially worked in silos, each doing their own thing. Larger umbrella organizations (like the International Society of Agricultural Safety and Health) provided an opportunity for every organization touching farm safety to offer project updates and share ideas.

The recent scrutiny the farm safety movement has seen has people evaluating if it’s working. There has been talk of extending beyond a working relationship into a collaborative partnership between agencies such as Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor, and Extension. Some states have actually done it. And like every marriage, there have been some disagreements.

It means something different to all of us. We all have a different card to play, a different horse in the race. And some of us are long distance and others are sprinters.

Some worry farm safety is just a current event and will be replaced in a matter of time.

At that point, the question becomes how do we make sure the spotlight doesn’t move onto something else?

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About Farm Safety For Just Kids

Farm Safety For Just Kids is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries, and fatalities to rural children and youth. We produce and distribute educational materials addressing various dangers commonly found in the rural environment. Farm Safety For Just Kids is supported by a chapter network of grassroots volunteers located throughout the United States and Canada. The organization also has part-time outreach coordinators in several states. Chapters, outreach coordinators, and volunteers conduct educational programs to raise awareness about safety and health issues affecting their communities.
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37 Responses to Partnerships

  1. Craig S. says:

    Farm safety will always have a bright future. With different advancements in the farming industry, it must be made known to all of the people who will be operating these machines or implements how to handle them safely.

  2. Blaine Bishop says:

    I think that farm safety will always be in the spotlight because most farmers put a large emphasis on its importance. I don’t think there is a farm owner who tries to put a worker in a dangerous spot. But lets be honest, some jobs are just dangerous and no matter how hard you try, there is’nt a really safe way to do them. I also think that these kids know the risk they are taking when they persue these jobs. Agriculture will never be as safe as an office job, like some people think it should be. When you spend your day around livestock that outweighs you three or four times over, accidents will happen. When you spend your day turning wrenches to get equipment back into the field, accidentss will happen. I applaud the people who are trying to make our lifestyle safer.

  3. Kielly Jewell says:

    Like many of the comments before mine, I too was raised and worked on a farm from a very young age. As modern agriculture continues to be scrutinized by the public, farm safety can’t be emphasized enough. However, I do not feel that regulations and laws are the best way to ensure safety. Those would just make the farmer’s job more difficult and create even more hoops to jump through. I believe that while outreach and safety demonstrations should be conducted with the current farmers and members of the older generation, reaching out to the younger generation would be the most beneficial. Maybe creating a farm safety unit in agricultural classes in high schools would be an easy way to reach the greatest amount of people. Even beyond that, farm safety could be incorporated into 4-H and other similar programs. In order for safety procedures to become the norm, they have to be taught and instilled at a young age.

    -Kielly Jewell

  4. Zach Nixon says:

    I agree with Aaron in what he said. We will never be able to end accidents happening in the agricultural setting. Thats just part of it. But accidents are always treated in a negative way. How about we realize that accidents are learning opportunities. You cant learn if you dont mess up. Another note is people need to realize that when you grow up on a farm or in a farming community, work is just a part of life. You arent being treated unfairly, its just part of it. I feel like kids who grow up with an ag related background are much more likely to be hard workers when they grow up.

    Zach Nixon

  5. Richie Robinson says:

    I think it was a good thing that the proposed child labor laws were thrown out. Farms have always used children in the family to help get work done. Changing that now would make no sense. I agree that agricultural safety is important, but I don’t think there should be rules and regulations set on it. Farmers don’t need another thing to have to worry about. I believe that the best solution would be for farmers to make a conscious effort to practice safety. If everyone tries hard and focuses on safety, then there will be less injuries and incidents.

    -Richie Robinson

  6. Matt Jeffers says:

    Safety in agriculture has always been an important issue for me, I was raised on a farm around livestock and I quickly learned the importance of farm safety. Working around livestock can be more dangerous than people think, especially for young childen. Unfortuately, accidents will happen on a farm, and I have come to realize this, but if we can limit those accidents we can make agriculture a safer lifestyle for future generations on the farm.

    -Matt Jeffers

  7. I think that the issue of farm safety must not be overlooked. It is a very important issue and all should be educated on it. Far too many farm-related accidents happen yearly. However, when it comes to the child labor, I was more than thrilled when the proposal was thrown out. Having grown up on a farm, helping on the farm at a young age, and watching my cousins work vigorously on the farm at an early age, it was never that any of us were being forced to work on the farm, we wanted to work on the farm. It’s just like any family business or trade. My mother was an elementary, from an early age I loved it, I used to beg her to let me grade papers. She never forced me to do her dirty work. This is similar on family farms. The children see what their parents are doing and want to help, they want to do what dad or mom is doing, just like I wanted to help my mom grade papers, in my opinion it’s no different, and should be treated no different by the public.

  8. Craig Schneider says:

    Farm safety should be evident on the farm every day. At any point in time anything can go terribely wrong. I recently had an uncle who had his leg caught in a sweep auger and he is almost 45 years old. Children are not the only ones who need to be aware of farm dangers, and it should always be in the mind of anyone who steps on a farm.

  9. Travis Geist says:

    Safety and health are critical when it comes to farming and agricultural. Many different operations are happening when farming, making it a very hazardous place to work. Safety should come first before anything. An accident could happen anytime on your farm and you are the one that is reliable for the farm. If the accident is serious or causes death you could be sued and loss your farm, so take to proper cautions to make your farm safe. I do agree that partnerships like Department of Agricultural, Department of Safety, and Extension should all join to help making farming safer. By them all joining and focusing on farm safety it can’t do nothing but help. Also by these partnerships all focusing on farm safety the spotlight should not move away. The Department of Agricultural and Safety are two big organizations with them two and others working on it, it should get the word out and make sure everyone know how serious it is.

  10. Michael Bachmann says:

    Farm safety always has and always will be an issue in the agricultural community. In order for the farming industry to maintain a bright future, farm safety must remain a pressing issue. Different departments can set safety standards but unless someone is there to enforce them, it will require farmers and their workers to make a conscious effort to create a safe working environment.

    – Michael Bachmann

  11. mag7cd says:

    Farm safety ultimately starts with either the person doing the work or the adult overseeing the work being done. People have to be aware and responsible enough to minimize accidents while working on a farm. This is similar to any job you will have throughout your life. Imposing regulations on farm workers is an inefficient way to solve this problem. I personally grew up on a farm and it gave me a very unique skill set for the professional world that I could have not developed anywhere else. Therefore the last thing we want to do is steal that opportunity from the children who are privileged enough to have the opportunity. The best way to impose and promote farm safety is by building awareness. Implementing training and programs to helps people develop knowledge and awareness would be the most efficient way to implement farm safety.

    -Marc Griffith

    • Richie Robinson says:

      I completely agree with you Marc. People should be responsible for making sure that they are working safely and responsibly. Regulations would just be another thing to think about and would ultimately make farm work take more time and farmers couldn’t work as efficiently. I think it is a great thing for kids to be able to work on farms. They learn a great deal about hard work and responsibility that they otherwise would not acquire.

      -Richie Robinson

    • Daren Lovenduski says:

      I agree that the best way to gain safety experience is be exposed to the dangers in the agricultural industry. Making someone aware of these dangers will have the most impact and be the most efficient way to train.

      -Daren Lovenduski

  12. To me farm safety is not just a current event, it is a lifestyle. Anyone who works on or around a farm or farm machinery should be educated on safety procedures that go along with it. I think for agriculture now a day’s farms must be safe. It shouldn’t be only one person’s job to make sure this happens, it should be everyone’s job to make sure safety is always focused on and followed.

    • After reading everyones responses, I would have to agree with them. Farm safety will never leave the spot light and we must always keep trying to prevent accidents but understand that sometimes they do happen. There are two kinds of accidents, pure accidents, meaning that there was nothing you could do about it, and preventable accidents, which means that if safety would have been followed that accident could have been prevented.

  13. Chris Cravens says:

    The spotlight on farm safety will always be there, regardless of how many accidents happen or how many are avoided. As we see quite often, regardless of how many accidents are prevented and how good of a safety record agriculture has as a whole, all it takes is one serious, if not fatal, accident to put the issue back into place. In my opinion, we have to face the fact that although we try our best to prevent accidents, they will happen and things will go on. I’m not saying we shouldn’t promote safe practices, it’s just that there should be more focus on correcting the problem in the future rather than reacting negatively and claiming that the safety movement is not going forward. Sooner or later, people will have to realize that agriculture must continue to provide food for the world population regardless of the risk of accident and injury.

    • Chris Cravens says:

      I am glad to see that the majority of us have the same opinion on this matter. If I were to reply to everyone I agreed with there’d be a lot of them. We realize that farm safety is a big deal to us, but the way that people above us are going about it is not the best way. Farm safety should be impemented by individual farms and people, not organizations making laws and rules that should be followed. WIth the amount of farming that needs to take place in the future, putting tighter restrictions on how farming is done will only hurt production in the long run.

    • aaronkerr says:

      I agree with you Chris the spot lite will always be on Ag. One of the things that people must realize is that most of the accidents that occur on the farm go unreported. The thing that most people see and know is what is reported in the media, and the accidents that get to the media are the very worse and those are what get people stirred up. Like I said in my first post, there is no way to prevent all of the accidents, but if we all use a little common sense we can prevent some of the accidents and make our industry a safer one.

    • I really love the point you made, that it should be all about encouraging safe practices for the future, and not reprimanding the accidents that do happen. Accidents are bound to happen at any job where heavy machinery is a norm, but that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be implementations in place to help keep those operators as safe as possibly. Whether that’s safety session seminars; these could be put on my dealerships, or even local Adult Ag programs; or advancements in the technology of the machinery, something needs to be done. Those who provide food for the world need to be as safe as possible when they are working to meet up to that great task.

  14. Nora Dodd says:

    I completely agree that farm safety is a huge deal. Although, I feel like trying to implement codes, guidelines, and regulations that farmers have to follow just isn’t the way to go about spreading the word. Farmers have enough things to deal with without the government coming in and trying to tell them what they can and cannot do. I feel like the child labor law would have had a huge impact on agriculture as a whole if it had passed. Farm families have worked together for years and many families have no other place to turn then to look within their families to have things done on the farm. I grew up on a farm and was helping from a very young age. All my farm-oriented friends had been helping since they were very young too. It’s just how it is on the majority of farms, and I feel like a better person because of it. It isn’t like factories in China. Families care about their children. Children are raised with a sense of responsibility and pride by growing up and working on a farm. I am so thankful that the child labor laws were not passed. I feel they would have had very negative impacts on production levels, family farms, and American Agriculture as a whole. Given all of this, I do feel that things need to be done about farm safety. Many farmers are too busy, stubborn, or just not interested to go to seminars or informational sessions on safety. I know that my father would not attend one if given the choice. I feel like one way to truly succeed in spreading the word about farm safety is to actually get farmers engaged in improving their equipment and facilities through some sort of incentives. Farmers aren’t just going to go fix things on their farms if they do not feel it is necessary or beneficial to them. Advertisements, informational videos, and safety presentations help out a lot, but it is going to take all of us working together to get the word spread about farm safety. We need to remember it only takes one piece to create a domino effect and really get things rolling about safety.

  15. Daren Lovenduski says:

    Agricultural safety continues to be a pressing issue in the Agricultural Industry. Farmers and other workers are always running big, dangerous equipment, climbing on top of tall buildings, and going in dangerous grain bins. An inexperienced person performing any of these tasks would be hurt or worse in a matter of seconds. Agricultural Safety however, I believe, is on the move. Yes it is a very “dim light” movement, but it is in fact happening. Advances in modern technology have start to shine down on the agricultural community. Phone applications that can detect a tractor rollover or a grain entrapment are underway. If the above industries were to create a partnership in order to make the Agricultural Industry a safer place, I believe great things would come. The development of standards and life saving devices lies in the hands of these agencies. Exposing a “brighter light” on the safety of the Agricultural Industry is needed, and hopefully is soon on it’s way!

    • Travis Geist says:

      I agree with you on how they should create partnerships to make the Agricultural industry a safer place. By joining together to make a partnership is only going to bring more attention to agricultural safety and its going to help get the word out more.

  16. Kaleb Heintz says:

    I personally do not feel that anyone would argue that farm safety is crucial for the success of the agricultural industry. Furthermore, that is exactly why I do not fear that it will ever be overlooked. Farming is a dangerous occupation and will always present new hazards with each technological advancement. Which in turn will bring new awareness with each injury or casualty, and as long as there is a risk of injury there will always be a spotlight on farm safety. Nevertheless, it will take a large group of people working together to create progress in the farm safety movement. Individual support groups are great but they all need to push it together in order for it to be successful.

    • Zach Nixon says:

      I agree with everything you’ve said. Do you ever think that regulations will get so bad that one day farms will be nearly impossible to operate?

    • Garrett Sims says:

      Hi, Kaleb. I agree with your post completely. Farm safety is and always will be an issue especially with each new technological advancement. Coming from a agricultural background, I see new technologies that can bring confusion to people on certain pieces of machinery and could potentially cause injury.

  17. Stuart Strom says:

    Farm safety is one of the most overlooked things in the farming industry. From personal experience, I have seen some the lack of knowledge of safety and dangers of farm equipment. From what i have concluded, a lot of this comes from the older generation. Now, obviously I don’t mean all older farm workers, because that is not true. But, when they learned their skill, safety was not as big of a concern as it is now. I think that as long as we continue to educate and emphasize safety the new generations of farmers, it will becomes less of an issue and more second-nature.

    -Stuart Strom

    • Nora Dodd says:

      I completely agree with you that farm safety is overlooked. I also agree that we need to emphasize safety to the new generations, but also I feel like we cannot overlook the older generation. Although the saying goes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, I feel like this is false. We need to continue to emphasize safety to older farmers just as much as we do the new generation. We all need to work together in this and spread the word about safety. Although it wasn’t as big of a concern in the past it needs to be now and older farmers cannot be overlooked. In order to advance in agricultural safety we all need to change and adapt no matter how hard it is. Children look up to their grandparents and mock what they do. So why shouldn’t we try to educate the old generation? In doing so we would effectively be helping the younger generation as well.

    • Michael Bachmann says:

      I agree that the older generation is more susceptible to farm injuries. They are not as physically fit or as mentally sharp as they used to be which just increases the chances of an accident happening. Also all the new technology can be very difficult for older farmers to understand which also adds to the risk of injury.

  18. Garrett Sims says:

    I believe farm safety is a large topic in agriculture that is overlooked in today’s youth and should actually be stressed more due to the fact that there are less farms in the U.S every year. I think it is a good idea that these partnerships could be forming to promote agricultural safety. I agree with the statement above that farm safety shouldn’t be an issue, it should be a standard.
    -Garrett

    • Connor Seth Thomas says:

      I like how Garrett pointed out the fact that the number of farms in the United States is decreasing each year. As the number of farms decreases, it’s going to become easier and easier to group together in an attempt to apply farm safety across the board.

  19. Dylan Lange says:

    Farm saftey has a bright future. I believe that many people percieve farms as being a harzardous place to work because you only hear about the negatives that occur in farming. My local newspaper read this week, “Area Teen Killed in Farming accident.” She was operating a tractor when it overturned taking her life. We all know stories and tales of deaths on the farm because they are the most talked about. When someone does something positive you dont hear about the accolades. I beleieve the brighten the furture of agriculture saftey we must all work to promote agriculture as a whole. If not we will be stuck in a mislead society that does not understand the true background of farming families and they stress people put on safety.

    -Dylan Lange

    • Kaleb Heintz says:

      I agree with Dylan’s perspective on this subject. There is no doubt that farming accidents are highlighted and then used as ammunition against today’s youth working and growing up on the farm. The only way for us to push these harsh criticisms aside and to raise a positive awareness for farm safety is through cooperation and teamwork.

    • Marc Griffith says:

      Farming is a dangerous occupation and awareness dose need to be raised. People always look at the bad side of things though. Although it is dangerous accidents are fairly rare and sometimes they just happen. Therefore, I think the only way to implement safety is continually make more people aware and improve upon making equipment safer.

      -Marc Griffith

  20. Connor Seth Thomas says:

    To guarantee a bright future for the Agricultural industry, farm safety cannot be overlooked. It’s just one of those issues that cannot be emphasized enough. People NEED to know that the agricultural community is stepping up their efforts to promote safety practices across all corners of the industry. To ensure that the spotlight does not fade from this issue, I believe that a strategic marriage between the various industry players needs to take place. A bond that ties them all together on the issue and allows for permanent and constant attention to be given. If everybody works together, there is no telling how far we can go. Perhaps someday, farm safety won’t be an “issue”, but more of a standard.

    -Connor Thomas

    • Dylan Lange says:

      I agree with your comments completely. Coming from a farming background, most of are stressed from the get go about the importance of safety. I feel like many students at our university are doing what it takes the promote a bright future for upcoming young farmers.

    • Aaron Kerr says:

      Having been raised on a family farm, I have learned how dangerous of a lifestyle it is. I was watching the Department of Labor very closely and was very happy when they withdrew their proposed policy. When learning about the proposed regulations, I heard several comments about how children were just put out there and expected to work in these dangerous conditions. People must realize that a parent or grandparent would never intentionally put their child in harms way. Yes I had to come home from work a few times to get some band-aids or go to the doctor to get a foot X-rayed growing up, but it was not because I was put in the dangerous positions, Accidents just happen.
      We will not be able to prevent all the accidents but if be do what we can we will have a safer industry. An agricultural lifestyle requires a lot of hard work, but for me that lifestyle is all I have ever known. I would never want to change how I was raised.

      Aaron Kerr

    • Kielly Jewell says:

      While I think it is a good idea for industry leaders to band together to take a stance on farm safety, I think it would be tough for that to actually take place. While I’m sure all large agribusinesses are concerned about safety, they all have their own personal stake in different aspects of agriculture. What one company may consider to be a priority, another company may have no concern about it. As bad as it sounds, it is all about the bottom line for those companies and if they are going to contribute large amounts of funding to some form of awareness or educational piece, it has to be in the best interest of each individual company.

      -Kielly Jewell

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