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Combine harvesting a field of grain.

Training rural leaders

Since 1977, over 1,400 students preparing to become farmers, agricultural education teachers, county extension educators and agribusiness managers, have enrolled in Professor Field's agricultural safety and health class offered in Purdue’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department. This class provides a basic overview of agricultural safety and health issues, equips each student with a set of prepared lesson plans to assist them in presenting safety and health topics on their own, and requires completion of an on-farm safety inspection. Over 1,200 different farms in the state have been involved in these safety audits.

In addition, numerous workshops and presentations have been made to rural leaders and educators throughout the United States. A wide variety of training materials have been prepared to provide rural educators the essential tools to disseminate agricultural safety and health information. Examples of these include:

  • Eye Hazards on the Farm - Slide and video tape program with accompanying teachers kit
  • Don’t Gamble With Your Eyes - Educator’s resource kit
  • Farm Women Safety Workshop Kit - Educator’s resource kit with visuals
  • Using Grain Harvesting Equipment Safely - Educator's resource kit with visuals
  • Using Anhydrous Ammonia Safely - Educator's resource kit with visuals
  • Flowing Grain Hazard Alert Program - Educator's resource kit
  • Farming With Arthritis - Slide and video tape program
  • Farm Family Safety and Health Workshop - Leader's guide
  • Farm and Ranch Safety Management - Student guide and instructor's guide
  • Careful Country Teacher's Kit - Educator's resource kit with visuals
  • Don't Go With the Flow - Educator's kit on commercial grain storage rescue
  • We all Share the Road - Rural traffic safety DVD
  • Gaining Ground on Arthritis - Managing arthritis in the work place DVD

From 1990-1998, the program coordinated the Rural Indiana Safer Kids Project (RISK) with support from the Indiana Department of Health that was designed to train rural leaders to become more effective at promoting rural childhood injury prevention. This project resulted in hundreds of child safety events and presentations to tens of thousands of children.

In 2002, a new series of presentations on emergency preparedness for agricultural production sites were developed and field tested with farm operators. In 2003 the material was offered as a three credit graduate level course in Agricultural and Biological Engineering. This class is designed to assist future agricultural managers in preventing, preparing for responding to and recovering from both natural and man-made disasters. The class involves a service learning project that required students to develop an emergency response plan for an agricultural production site.

Last updated: 07-Dec-2011 3:17 PM