While the number of non-fatal injuries to farm youth has steadily declined since 2001, the statistics are still startling—every three days, a youth dies in an agricultural incident.
Thanks to new Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines, parents and supervisors can better protect youth on farms by assigning age appropriate tasks. The guidelines were created by the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS) and funded by the CHS Foundation.
“As a farm parent, I understand the impact of children on farms,” says Marsha Salzwedel, project leader and youth agricultural safety specialist, NCCRAHS. “It is our hope that with these resources all children can grow up happy and healthy to make a difference in agriculture.”
The interactive website, Cultivate Safety, includes interactive guidelines for 20 farm tasks ranging from operating farm equipment to interacting with livestock. Parents and supervisors can search tasks and answer a few simple questions to determine if the task is safe to perform. They can also print the guidelines to post in the workplace.
“Everyone knows someone who has been injured on the farm,” says Matthew Faber, gift officer, Marshfield Clinic Health System. “Not only do on-farm injuries impact farmers financially, incidents involving youth especially take an emotional toll on the families and surrounding community.”
As phase one of the project nears completion, the guidelines will be shared with parents and youth through partners such as Progressive Agriculture Foundation, American Farm Bureau and National FFA. Phase two of the project will include updates of 30 more specific guidelines.
“Hopefully, these guidelines will help reduce the number of agriculture injuries and fatalities,” says Salzwedel. “Any way we can reduce injuries and improve the lives of our ag youth is a success.”
To learn more about the ways the CHS Foundation supports projects that improve ag safety in the lives of the next generation and our hometown, visit chsinc.com/stewardship.