USDA grants $836K toward farmer safety initiatives


The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has recently granted $836,494 in support for farmer safety and health, including three AgrAbility projects. Through education, this support aims to help prevent fatalities and serious injuries associated with the farming profession, and provide assistance to those in need.

NIFA awarded six new grants. Three of the projects are state and regional AgrAbility initiatives, and the Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification (YFSEC) Program funded the other three projects.

“The AgrAbility projects address specialized needs of farmers with disabilities through direct agricultural assistance, education, and networking,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The YFSEC projects continue NIFA’s commitment to a coordinated approach to providing agricultural safety and health education for rural youth.”

The AgrAbility program supports partnerships between Cooperative Extension Services and nonprofit disability organizations to educate about farmer safety and provide assistive technology solutions to agricultural workers with disabilities and their families. The YFSEC Program supports national efforts to deliver timely, pertinent, and appropriate farm safety education to youth seeking employment or those already employed in agricultural production.

Among the new AgrAbility grants, the Ohio AgrAbility Project will provide farm safety education to multiple agricultural and medical groups, conduct on-farm assessments, provide farmers with disabilities with individualized recommendations about farm accessibility, identify assistive technology providers, and link up farmers through supportive peer networks. Among the new YFSEC program grants, the University of Nebraska Medical Center will lead a project to build upon and strengthen the activities and accomplishments of the Safety in Agriculture for Youth (SAY).

The following AgrAbility grants totaled $536,494:

  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, $180,000
  • Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, $180,000
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, $176,494

The following YFSEC grants totaled $300,000:

  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, $100,000
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, $100,000
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, $100,000
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