GIFFORD, Ill. — Rural health and farm safety were the focus of Carle Health’s exhibit at the Midwest Ag Expo.
“This is the second time Carle Health has had a booth here. This time we are doing blood pressure checks and some basic skin checks as well as all of our other information we have on farm safety,” said Amy Rademaker, Carle Health Rural Health and Farm Safety program coordinator.
“It’s going great. We’ve had a number of people stop by and in certain instances we said they need to call their primary care physician. We’re getting the kids involved. We had some of them come by and talked to them about farm safety and how do we mitigate some of those issues.”
The exhibit also promoted a free new webinar series that began Jan. 26 that’s open to all and is under the theme “A Mother’s Game Plan for Safety and Health.”
This series is designed to create a place for women in agriculture to understand the risks, needed protection and supervision for tasks performed by youth on farms.
This project is designed to shift the mindset and behavior of parents and grandparents, leading to safer and healthier lives for our farm youth and those who visit and work on farms.
While the target of this work will be women who serve as family influencers, the materials will be suitable for all adult family members.
The groundwork for this project was laid by the development of the Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines and by the U.S. Child Agricultural Safety and Health Think Tank.
Funding for this project was provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health via the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. Grant.
The free webinars will be held about every other week through April 24 from noon to 1 p.m.
“We have a different topic in each one. We’re going to talk about how we can look at different things that we know that statistically are of significance in our rural population. We’ll talk about what those risks are and how do we decrease those risks,” Rademaker said.
“We know that kids are going to be doing X, Y and Z. What can we do to make it safer. Sometimes we can’t completely take the kid out of the picture, but what can we do to make it safer.
“So, it will be a free series at carle.org/FarmSafety. They can register. We will record them, so if they missed one they can go on the website and be able to hear it. We will also have a series of podcasts that are going to be part of that. There is definitely some engaging information.”
Each webinar will focus on a specific topic which include ATVs and UTVs, grain handling, technology advancements in agriculture, overall health of youth in agriculture, tractor operations and safety, working with livestock, and other issues.
“We’re going to have a full gamut and there will be people from all across the United States that are going to be our experts in the fields, and many of them farm kids or still active farmers, as well.
“Check out that website because we have all kinds of resources there,” Rademaker added.
The initiative aims at creating a safety mindset, developing a safety-first culture in the home setting and around the farm. Outcomes will include the following:
• Developing safety and healthy habits early in life, thereby influencing the rest of their lives.
• Improving knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs towards risk of childhood injury and illness.
• Creating a healthier and safer environment for youth and for the farming operation as a whole.
• Reducing acute and chronic issues related to agriculture across central Illinois.