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Combine harvesting a field of grain.

Primary Program Areas

Activities associated with the Agricultural Safety and Health Program have been categorized into three areas:

  1. Prevention of rural and agricultural-related injuries and occupational illnesses.
  2. Rural emergency preparedness.
  3. Rehabilitation assistance for farmers, farm family members, and agricultural workers impacted by disability.

The primary emphasis of the program since its establishment in 1945 has been the prevention of rural and agricultural-related injuries. Efforts have also been made to address the more common types of occupational illnesses associated with agricultural production. Reducing the incidence of injury and disease among the target population has the greatest potential for long term benefits and reduces the need for investments into the remaining two program areas.

The desired outcomes from program activities in the rural emergency preparedness area are: greater public awareness of the severity and impact of rural injuries; reduced mortality rate for injuries that are frequently enhanced due to the length of response time, inappropriate response techniques and lack of agricultural-related first response training; increased emergency medical and rescue capability in rural communities; and enhanced preparedness for natural and human caused disasters.

Since 1979, the Agricultural Safety and Health Program's Breaking New Ground Resource Center and Outreach Program has offered a variety of rehabilitation services to farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers who have desired to remain productive in agriculture despite severe disabilities. This area of activity has brought considerable attention to the program and has provided significant services that have not been readily available through traditional channels. Activities have included: design and development of appropriate assistive technology, prevention of secondary injuries, on-site technical consultation, referrals to appropriate agencies, dissemination of information and relevant resources, peer support networking, and public awareness activities. The Breaking New Ground Resource Center was a catalyst for the establishment of the AgrAbility Program in 1990 that now serves farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers throughout the U.S. From 1991-2000, Purdue provided leadership for the National AgrAbility Project with an emphasis on serving states without AgrAbility Projects. Between 1993 and 2002, the program provided a home for Purdue's THE CHAPS Program (Therapy, Health, and Education through Children and Horses As PartnerS). This nationally accredited program provides therapeutic horse-related activities for children with disabilities. In 2003 it became a formal component of Purdue's Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education.

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