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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Agricultural Health and Safety – Models and Innovations

These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.

Effective Examples

Farm Dinner Theater

Updated/reviewed August 2022

  • Need: To encourage farmers to make health and safety changes on their farms.
  • Intervention: Farm Dinner Theater is an event in which farmers and their families watch three 10-minute plays covering health and safety topics and then discuss solutions to the issues addressed in each.
  • Results: In a study, farmers who attended the plays were more likely to make changes and tell others what they learned, compared to farmers who received an educational packet with the same information.

Promising Examples

Tomah Hearing Loss Prevention Outreach

Updated/reviewed November 2023

  • 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 an annual tractor pull event.
  • Results: Between 2014 and 2019, the audiology team distributed more than 16,000 pairs of earplugs; attendees were receptive to the hearing loss prevention education provided by the team.

Other Project Examples

AGRIMEDIC

Updated/reviewed February 2024

  • Need: To reduce farm injuries and improve EMS and fire/rescue's response to these injuries in rural Louisiana and Mississippi.
  • Intervention: AGRIMEDIC is a two-day training for first responders.
  • Results: 810 first responders have received training.

Rural Firefighters Delivering Agricultural Safety and Health (RF-DASH)

Added October 2023

  • Need: To reduce injuries in agricultural communities and improve emergency responders' preparedness when called to farms and ranches.
  • Intervention: RF-DASH equips rural fire/EMS personnel and others with agricultural health and safety knowledge and tools to pre-plan for agricultural emergencies as well as assess and then mitigate agricultural hazards.
  • Results: Over 80 firefighters and EMTs have received training to become RF-DASH trainers.

Farm Assessment and Rehabilitation Methods (FARM) Program

Updated/reviewed February 2023

  • 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: Since 2009, the FARM Program has helped over 3,500 farmers continue to farm, resume farming, or find an alternative agricultural occupation.

Pennsylvania Rural Health Farm Worker Protection Safety Program

Updated/reviewed May 2020

  • 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 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.

Last Updated: 2/1/2024