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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.

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.
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.
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.
Becoming the Chautauqua Region Rural Accountable Care Organization
Updated/reviewed June 2016
  • Need: Better care coordination among healthcare facilities and community-based services in order to achieve cost savings and higher quality healthcare for the patients.
  • Intervention: The development of an Accountable Care Organization.
  • Results: Quality performance metrics have continued to improve each year and cost savings have been achieved.

Last Updated: 11/13/2017