By now, you know you can count on CCSI to tout the many benefits of soil health on cropland and of implementing soil health practices in your farming operation. We love healthy soil! Today, we’re focusing on FARMER health. We also love farmers!
Each year since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety & Health Week. This recognition is led by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), the agricultural partner of the National Safety Council and has been proclaimed as such by each sitting U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt. The timing for farm safety and health awareness is not a coincidence. The third week in September sees the approach of fall harvest, one of the busiest and most dangerous times of year for those in the agriculture profession.
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2018 (the most recent available) indicates that the agriculture sector is still the most dangerous in the United States, reporting 574 fatalities that year, equating to 23.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. (See www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfoi_rates_2018hb.xlsx). In addition to fatalities, farming accidents cause a substantial number of injuries each year.
Agriculture has always been a challenging field mentally as well as physically. Long hours, changing weather, uncertain markets and more weigh heavily on the minds of farm professionals throughout the year. The added stress of a worldwide pandemic this year has led to a more fragile mental well-being of all of us, farmers included. It’s more important than ever to find ways to manage your stress. Carve out a few minutes to engage in a favorite hobby, sit quietly with a cup of coffee before starting the day, look to loved ones and mentors for advice and support.
This year’s theme for National Farm Safety and Health Week is “Every farmer Counts”. Farm professionals face a growing number of challenges each year but continue to dedicate themselves to providing necessities for a nation that relies on them. Please visit https://www.necasag.org/nationalfarmsafetyandhealthweek/ for a number of resources to acknowledge and celebrate National Farm Safety and Health Week.
We can’t have healthy soil without healthy farmers! We wish everyone a safe, healthy, bountiful harvest this fall!
Sheila Schroeder CCSI Northern Program Manager