AgriSafe Network COVID19 Webinar April 2nd 2020

As the COVID19 virus spreads, many of us are wondering what precautions agricultural producers should be taking and how those precautions might differ from the recommendations given to the general public. The AgriSafe network is preparing a webinar to address these issues on April 2nd 2020. The webinar is free to AgriSafe members and $30 for nonmembers. You can participate in the webinar as it happens if you log in to your computer during the event or watch it as a video afterwards. Registration for the webinar is already open and can be found at the link below.

Additionally, keep an eye on the CDC’s latest recommendations on preventing the spread of COVID19. Most of these are common sense things that we should be doing anyways like frequent hand washing and staying home if you’re sick. Keep in mind though that this virus is particularly severe for people over the age of 70 and anyone with pre-existing lung, heart, and immune system conditions. The vast majority of healthy adults and children who catch the virus will recover without becoming seriously ill, but if you or a family member falls into one of the high risk categories, be especially careful about potential exposures. Here is the link to the CDC’s recommendations page:

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Celebrate the 4th Safely

I know a lot of us are trying to take advantage of the weather and will be working all day today, but just in case you or members of your family are able to take a break and celebrate I thought I’d post a few articles on some 4th of July safety topics.


Fireworks are probably one of the biggest hazards of the 4th. They can be a lot of fun, but they are basically small explosives so it’s important to handle them carefully. If you’re planning on including fireworks in your celebration, check out these safety tips from the national safety council.


Another common problem people encounter while celebrating the 4th is food borne illness. With hot temperatures and many people eating outside, it’s easy for perishable foods like potato salad or cream-based dips to go bad, plus with so many people involved in prep it can be hard to know if everything was prepared safely in the first place. Having a thermometer handy can be a big help since it can be hard to tell just by looking if foods are being kept at the proper temperature. Check out the article by Food Safety News for more tips!


A third major safety concern on the 4th is water. A lot of people use the time off to hit the pool, go to the beach, or even take a boat out on the water. Large crowds make being in the water even more hazardous than usual. Also, given how the weather has been lately be extra careful about water quality if you’re swimming in a natural body of water, especially if it’s a pond or creek at home that isn’t being tested. There have already been several people this year who have gotten seriously ill from bacteria and toxic algae in the water. Here is an extensive article by the Red Cross that sums up some of key tips for staying safe in the water. The second article is from Country Living and gives some advice on how to tell if a pond is safe for swimming.


Finally, a lot of the country is supposed to have temperatures in the 90’s today. While heat can be a problem throughout the summer, I think people have a tendency to ignore some of the signs of heat-related illness and don’t pay as much attention to using sunblock when they’re having fun. Here is a list of things from Love to Know to keep in mind when you’re spending time out in the sun:

Hope everyone gets to take at least a little bit of a break today and remember to celebrate safely!

Event: Ergonomics training from the AgriSafe Network

The AgriSafe Network has announced the dates for several online ergonomic training sessions. A lot of physical issues associated with farming like back and knee problems are due to repeated stress rather than one-time injuries. The sessions are titled “Ergonomic Safety for Farm Women”, but the principles involved apply to anyone looking to prevent injuries and illnesses caused by ergonomic issues. The dates of the seminars are April 3rd, May 22nd, and July 16th. Click on the link below to see the course description and to register for a training session:

Happy National Ag Day!

Today is National Ag Day, promoted by the Agricultural Council of America. The purpose of National Ag Day is to promote an understanding of how food is made, the importance of agriculture in our everyday lives and in the economy, and to promote agricultural careers. This year’s theme is Agriculture: Food for Life. You can check out the National Ag Day website and search for local Ag Day events at the link below.

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Veteran Farmer Program seeking a veteran farmer who uses a prosthetic arm to participate in documentary/receive a free prosthetic

I came across this add on Facebook this morning and thought I would pass it along. I originally saw it on the Agrability Facebook page, but they had shared it from the PA Veteran Farming Project page. There doesn’t seem to be a link to an outside webpage, but here is the content of the original Facebook post by PA Veteran Farming Project:

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“Prosthetic manufacturer is seeking a veteran in ag or veteran hobby farmer to receive a high-tech prosthetic arm, in partnership with an ag equipment manufacturer. Selected veteran will be required to participate in filming a documentary over 2 weeks this April. Veteran ideally would reside in or near Philadelphia, Cleveland, Portland (OR), Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, Kansas City. Selected candidate must hold qualified insurance for follow-up visits outside of the project timeline.
If interested, PM or email and we will connect you with the project manager. This information is provided as a service only and does not imply endorsement.”

Event: Free Manure Gas Training in Johnson County IA March 4th and 7th

The Great Plains Center for Agricultural Safety and Health is hosting two free manure gas training seminars, one on March 4th and one on March 7th. The seminars will take place at the Johnson County Iowa extension office. A bump tester for hydrogen sulfide monitoring systems will be available in the extension office until March 15th and you can bring in and test your hydrogen sulfide monitors for free. Click on the link below to view the event page on the Iowa extension website.

Event: Child Agricultural Injury Prevention Program

The Marshfield Clinic has just released locations and dates for their Child Agricultural Injury Prevention Program. There will be three in-person workshops in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Iowa.  The Pennsylvania event takes place in March while the other two will be over the summer. The program is aimed at farmers and local agricultural health groups and covers injury prevention strategies for working and non-working farm children. Each event is limited to about 60 participants, so if you’re interested be sure to sign up soon!

Click here for event information and registration

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Event: AgrAbility 2019 training seminars online

AgrAbility has announced their 2019 training seminars.  The seminars will take place January 29th-January 31st. Topics for this year include understanding the risks for older farmers in agriculture, an introduction to the AgrAbility online toolbox,  shoulder injuries in agriculture, program updates, farm tool shop safety, and advice for beginning farmers. You can register online using the link below by January 25th if you want to participate in the seminars as they happened, or you can watch this and previous year’s sessions online.

Click here to register if you want to participate in the seminars

Click here to see program descriptions and to see seminars from previous years

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Iowa Event: Agritourism Destination Safety & Health Best Practices Workshop Dec 14, 2018

For those of you in Eastern Iowa, here is the information for an upcoming event hosted by the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health.  The workshops focus on giving visitors to your farm a safe, fun experience but a lot of the information is also relevant to general farm safety. There will also be a similar event on January 8th in Black Hawk County, IA.

Click here to view available dates, sign up information, and detailed event schedule

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