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Rural Project Examples: Farmers and farmworkers

Effective Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy One Community Health's Wellness Programs
Updated/reviewed October 2017
  • Need: Difficulties obtaining healthcare access to treat diabetes and obesity for low-income and Spanish-speaking residents of Oregon and Washington's Columbia River Gorge area.
  • Intervention: A local healthcare facility developed wellness programs using bilingual community health workers to provide education and support that improves diets, physical activity, and teaches stress management.
  • Results: Many participants in the wellness programs have maintained or lost weight and have seen reductions in their cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. Vegetable vouchers, cooking classes, and budgeting education has also helped patients afford healthy food.
Salud es Vida Cervical Cancer Education
Updated/reviewed January 2017
  • Need: Hispanic women have the highest incidence rates of cervical cancer among any ethnicity in the United States.
  • Intervention: The development of a lay health worker (promotora) curriculum that provides information on cervical cancer, HPV, and the HPV vaccine to Hispanic farmworker women living in rural southern Georgia.
  • Results: Significant increases in post-test scores relating to cervical cancer knowledge and increases in positive self-efficacy among promotoras.

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Bridges to Health
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: To reduce barriers to accessing healthcare for migrant farmworkers in the rural areas of Vermont.
  • Intervention: Bridges to Health uses care coordination and health promoters to reduce the barriers to accessing healthcare and provides services and education.
  • Results: Some barriers to accessing healthcare have been reduced or removed for migrant farmworkers in certain counties in Vermont.

Other Project Examples

Rural Health Initiative
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: Preventive and chronic medical condition care for farm families/agribusiness owners/employees with time and monetary constraints.
  • Intervention: Through a “Kitchen Wellness” program, a trained healthcare professional provides in-home or on-site complimentary preventive health screening, educational materials, and community referral information.
  • Results: Completion of hundreds of health screenings, tailored health education sessions along with referral information.
Tomah Hearing Conservation Outreach
Updated/reviewed November 2017
  • Need: Farmers are highly susceptible to permanent hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud machinery and livestock.
  • Intervention: Faculty and students from the audiology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison supplied earplugs, free hearing testing, and hearing loss prevention education to attendees and participants at a local tractor pull.
  • Results: More than 10,000 pairs of earplugs have been distributed, and attendees have been receptive to the hearing conservation education provided by the audiology team.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Promotores at Family Health Centers
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: Migrant workers in need of healthcare in Okanogan County, Washington
  • Intervention: A promotora program which educates and helps the migrant and Latino communities access culturally- and linguistically-appropriate healthcare
  • Results: Provided health education so migrant workers were better educated about their health and accessing healthcare resources
Safe Farming, Safe Living
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: In 2014, the Avera St. Benedict Health Center's emergency department experienced a drastic increase in the amount of Hutterite patients with farm-related injuries.
  • Intervention: The South Dakota Critical Access Hospital created a program to educate Hutterite communities on farm hazards and safe work practices.
  • Results: Since the program began in 2015, the Avera St. Benedict emergency department has had no life-threatening agricultural injury admissions from the Hutterite communities. Attendees have said their confidence in their ability to identify hazards has increased, and more of them are using safety equipment on a regular basis.
Farm Assessment and Rehabilitation Methods (FARM) Program
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: To help farmers with disabilities continue farming while protecting their well-being.
  • Intervention: The FARM program helps disabled or ill farmers continue to operate and work their Wisconsin farms.
  • Results: Farmers with disabilities can continue to farm, resume farming, or find an alternative agricultural occupation.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Sowing the Seeds of Hope
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Agriculture workers and their families had high rates of psychological distress and suicide, but limited access to mental health services.
  • Intervention: The "Sowing the Seeds of Hope" (SSoH) program was created to provide affordable and culturally appropriate mental health services to individuals working in agriculture and their families in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
  • Results: The regional program ran from 1999-2011 and successfully established a variety of interventions to help individuals in rural communities’ access behavioral health services.
Pennsylvania Rural Health Farm Worker Protection Safety Program
Updated/reviewed February 2017
  • Need: Agricultural producers and Pennsylvania's diverse farmworker population needed guidance on complying with Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the safe use of pesticides used in agricultural production.
  • Intervention: An outreach and education program providing compliance and technical assistance for growers was developed which included culturally appropriate training materials targeted to workers.
  • Results: Pesticide use training and other farm safety information is now readily available to Pennsylvania's farmers and farmworkers.