Whether harvesting fields or processing incoming grain at the local elevator, harvest is the agricultural industry’s busiest and most dangerous season. Long hours and strenuous, outside work contribute to the high risk environment.  Learning to recognize hazards and protect against them is essential to keeping this unique workforce safe.

National Farm Safety & Health Week is held annually the 3rd week of September led by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS).

Free virtual training is available daily September 20-24.

  • GHSC Harvest Safety Learning Series – 10am
  • AgriSafe/NECAS – 12pm and 2pm

Explore the full range of FREE training below. 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

10 am CDT

Get Ready for Harvest – Machine Guarding & LOTO

GHSC Harvest Safety Learning Series #1

This refresher on machine guarding basics will help ensure your equipment is ready for harvest activities and properly guarded. Discuss Lock Out/Tag Out and its importance when working around equipment including the equipment used to harvest and move grain.

Presenters: Paul Ronczkowski, MPH, CSP, Owner White Eagle Occupational Safety and Health Services, LLC,  Professor Emeritus, Illinois State University ; Butch Hendrix, Safety Director, Kokomo Grain, Fire/Rescue, police officer.

Register once for the Harvest Safety Learning Series and choose sessions at registration.

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12  pm CDT

What’s New in Tractor and Agricultural Vehicle Safety

Tractors have traditionally been a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries on and around farms and ranches. Other agricultural vehicles are adding to this trend. This webinar will cover the basic hazards associated with agricultural tractors and agricultural vehicles and how to prevent injuries from these hazards.

Presenter: Aaron M. Yoder, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Host:  AgriSafe

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2 pm CDT

Rural Road Safety: A Shared Responsibility

Rural roads play an important role in moving people and goods in the U.S., but all too often, crashes occur, and fatalities happen. These fatalities are not just statistics, but are our loved ones and community members, so how do we proactively work to reach zero? In this webinar, we will examine the concept that rural road safety is a shared responsibility, discuss safety culture, and delve into some strategies that can be used to improve safety for all rural road users. You will leave this webinar with actions you as an individual can take to make a difference.

Presenter: Jaime Sullivan, B.S. Civil Engineering and M.S Civil Engineering, National Center for Rural Road Safety (Rural Safety Center) Director

Host: AgriSafe

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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

10 am CDT

Personal Safety During Harvest

GHSC Harvest Safety Learning Series #2

When hazards cannot be eliminated and engineering controls won’t work, personal safety really is personal. When the last line or ONLY line of defense is a person’s actions or personal protective equipment (PPE) what should they know? This interactive presentation will demonstrate and discuss some of these situations including recent innovations in PPE, from head to toe, and describe how each innovation breaks down a barrier for the use and usability of PPE.

Presenters: Ellen Duysen, MPH,COCH, Outreach Coordinator Central States Center for Agricultural Safety & health (CS-CASH) University of Nebraska Medical Center; Paul Ronczkowski, MPH, CSP, Owner White Eagle Occupational Safety and Health Services, LLC,  Professor Emeritus, Illinois State University; John Lee, SHES (Safety, Health, Environmental Services) Director, Grain and Feed Association of Illinois.

Register once for the Harvest Safety Learning Series and choose sessions at registration.

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12  pm CDT

A Look at Stress and Mental Health During COVID-19 and the Impacts to Farmers and Other Sectors

Hurricane Michael was the worst agriculture disaster in Georgia’s history. The Department of Agriculture partnered with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) to develop outreach and educational materials to support farmer mental health in the state. The goal was to provide strategies for coping with disaster and building resiliency in Georgia’s Agriculture Community after Hurricane Michael. This work continued during COVID-19. The Georgia Food and Feed Rapid Response Team (GA RRT) and partner agencies created a COVID-19 Food, Agriculture, and Hospitality Stress Workgroup to assess the impacts of stress and mental health across the nation through two online surveys. This presentation will cover partnership building, the evolution of farmer crisis resources in Georgia, and the development of outreach initiatives to inform food, agriculture, hospitality workers, and the public about the importance of the ABCs of Compassion Fatigue that includes awareness, balance, and connections. The evolution of this project has led to improved outreach and connection to crisis resources across sectors, and a goal to promote resiliency for farmers and the whole community during these unprecedented times.

Presenter:  Venessa Sims, MEP, GA-CEM, BA Psychology, Director of Emergency Management, Georgia Department of Agriculture

Host:  AgriSafe

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2 pm CDT

Food in the Field

With 18+ hour work days, stress of the weather, dealing with markets and policies, and limited nutritious, one handed dining options, it is easy to put healthy eating on the back burner during the busy seasons of harvest and planting. Food in the Field is an online nutrition program seeking to nutritiously feed those who feed us in the field and everywhere in between. This webinar will cover valuable tools to help you plan ahead for the busy seasons as well as research supporting the role of nutrition in mental health and wellbeing.

Presenters:  Hannah Guenther, Food, Nutrition, and Health Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension; Tara Dunker, Food, Nutrition, and Health Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension

Host:  AgriSafe

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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

10 am CDT

Grain Handling Hazards – Protecting Young & Inexperienced Workers & Those They Learn From

GHSC Harvest Safety Learning Series #3

Does the risk of injury/fatality while performing grain handling tasks differ between young and/or inexperienced workers and those who teach them? This session discusses findings regarding grain handling risks and focuses on the types of hazards posed to workers.

Presenters:  Salah Issa, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Agricultural & Industrial Safety and Health, Dept. of Agricultural & Biological Engineering; Butch Hendrix, Safety Director, Kokomo Grain, Fire/Rescue, police officer.

Register once for the Harvest Safety Learning Series and choose sessions at registration.

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12  pm CDT

Developing and Implementing a Pilot Agricultural Community Suicide Prevention Program for Farmers and Farm Families

This presentation describes a pilot community-based suicide prevention program. Eighteen trainers from various farmer-connected groups such as commodity groups, equipment dealers, farm safety trainers, teachers, ministers, and rural health nurses obtained credentials as QPR (Question-Persuade-Refer) trainers. Over 450 persons were trained from these constituent groups in an 8-month period of time using training materials customized for the farming community. Using a Community of Practice framework challenges and successes in establishing mutual engagement, joint enterprise, a shared repertoire, and meaning in practice. Program revisions and the next steps forward are discussed.

Presenter:  Joan Mazur, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Southeast Center for Agricultural Health & Injury Prevention, University of KY, College of Agriculture, Food & Environment.

Host:  AgriSafe

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2 pm CDT

Pediatric Farm-Related Injuries: Safeguarding Children Who Visit or Live on Farms

Injuries are the most common cause of death for children and adolescents, and farms and ranches present many unique hazards to youth. During this presentation, we will discuss many of these including augers, grain bins, gravity boxes, tractors, power take-offs (PTOs), manure pits, chemical exposures, animals, and gasoline-powered pressure sprayers. One of the most common causes of serious injuries and deaths to youth on farms and ranches are the use of off-road vehicles (ORVs) like all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), utility task vehicles (UTVs), and recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs). The safety concerns and prevention strategies related to ORVs will be a featured segment of the presentation. A general overview of how the growth and development of youth affect the risk of injury, and the role healthcare providers can assume to impact injury prevention will be discussed.

Presenter:  Charles Jennissen, MD, Clinical Professor, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Host: AgriSafe

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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

10 am CDT

Agricultural Confined Spaces

GHSC Harvest Safety Learning Series #4

Farms and commercial grain facilities have a variety of confined spaces where essential work tasks are performed. If not correctly identified, these spaces can be especially perilous to workers unfamiliar with the hazards they pose. Join Dr. Aarron Yoder as he discusses what to look for and what safety practices are a “must” to protect yourself and others at the worksite.

Presenter:  Aaron Yoder, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha), Dept. of Environmental, Agricultural & Occupational Health

Register once for the Harvest Safety Learning Series and choose sessions at registration.

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12  pm CDT

Anhydrous Ammonia Safety for Farmworkers

Anhydrous ammonia (NH3) is an effective nitrogen crop fertilizer used throughout the Midwest and beyond. Anhydrous ammonia is potentially dangerous, as it seeks water from the nearest source, which may be the human body – especially the eyes, lungs, and skin because of their high moisture content.

Few problems occur when anhydrous ammonia is handled properly and applied as intended. However, it is important for all individuals working with this type of fertilizer to understand the potential health risks, necessary safety precautions, and proper response in the event of exposure. The focus of this training is on anhydrous ammonia safety during transport and application, including the anatomy of the nurse tank and toolbar, safety inspection processes, hitching, and unhitching safety, personal protective equipment (PPE), rural roadway safety, and first aid/emergency procedures.

Presenter: Dan Neenan, MBA, Paramedic, Manager, National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS)

Host:  AgriSafe

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2 pm CDT

Best Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Protect Your Lungs

Respiratory protection strategies for women working in agriculture can be a challenge. Purchasing respiratory protective equipment and achieving proper fit is often difficult. This one-hour webinar program will address dangerous exposures in agricultural work and the importance of respiratory protective equipment for women. It will include training tips and evidence-based resources for use in clinical practice and worker education

Presenter: Charlotte Halverson, RN, BSN, COHN-S, Clinical Director, AgriSafe Network

Host:  AgriSafe

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

10 am CDT

Protect Your Investment – Storing Grain for Quality and Safety

GHSC Harvest Safety Learning Series #5

Storing quality grain begins before it comes out of the field. From harvesting equipment, storage structures, grain drying and aeration, this session discusses techniques and tips that improve storage quality, reduce future safety risks, and protect your profits.

Presenters:  Kent Rausch, PhD, Associate Professor, Food and Bioprocess Engineering, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Jeff Decker, President, Decker Consulting & Investigations, Inc; President GHSC Board of Directors

Register once for the Harvest Safety Learning Series and choose sessions at registration.

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12  pm CDT

Stepping Boldly Into Tough Conversations

Difficult conversations are something that people rarely look forward to. The reality is ignoring a situation and hoping that it will resolve itself, rarely works. Join us on September 24th to learn how to confidently step into a tough conversation and promote open communication.

Presenter:  Rena Striegel, MBA, President, Transition Point Business Advisors

Host: AgriSafe

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2 pm CDT

Zoonotic Disease and Pregnancy:  A Deeper Dive

Zoonotic diseases are transmitted between farm animals and humans and can pose additional risks to those who are pregnant. Farmers and farmworkers have higher levels of risk for contracting zoonotic diseases because of the frequency of their exposure to animals. Understanding how the disease transmission process works, building a team, and effectively communicating within that team is essential in preventing the spread of zoonotic disease. Women working in agriculture should be aware of the following special considerations during pregnancy, which animals are common carriers of zoonotic disease, symptoms of the disease(s), prevention measures, and pregnancy risks.

Presenter:  Knesha Rose-Davison, MPH, Public Health Program Director, AgriSafe Network

Host:  AgriSafe

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