JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Agriculture is celebrating Farm Safety and Health Week, which has been recognized during the third week of September since established by President Roosevelt in 1944. This year’s theme, coined by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), is Protecting Agriculture’s Future.
Each day will have its own theme: Monday is Tractor Safety and Rural Roadway Safety; Tuesday is Overall Farmer Health; Wednesday is Safety and Health for Youth in Agriculture; Thursday is Confined Spaces; and Friday is Safety and Health for Women in Agriculture.
Missouri serves as home to 95,000 farms and employs nearly 460,000 people in agriculture, forestry and related industries. Agriculture remains the state’s number one economic driver, supporting both rural and urban communities from farm to fork. In turn, farm safety and health is of utmost importance throughout the state.
“The safety of our farmers and ranchers remains a top priority for my team each year,” Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said. “We live in a fast-paced world, and an equally-fast-paced industry. Reminding farmers to slow down, pay attention and take care of themselves is something I emphasize as the Director of Agriculture.”
In an effort to help protect agricultural health and safety professionals, healthcare providers, extension agents, producers, farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers, the AgriSafe Network is hosting daily webinars throughout the week. Topics include tractor and roadway safety, grain bin safety, wildfire and heat safety, workplace sexual harassment prevention, injury prevention, and mental health help for youth and adults.
Mental health is equally as important as physical health in the agriculture industry. The Missouri Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the AgriSafe Network, has launched the AgriStress Helpline for Missouri to provide Missouri farmers and ranchers a free and confidential mental health service. The Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Producers can call or text (833) 897-2474 to speak to a healthcare professional.
For more information on National Farm Safety and Health week, visit the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety website.
To learn more about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit Agriculture.Mo.Gov.