Agricultural safety group announces first grant recipients

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Delivering on its promise to encourage and provide financial support for agricultural safety and health interventions at the local and/or regional level, the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) has made the first awards of its Safety Grant Program.

“We anticipate these 10 projects will foster new ‘champions’ of worker safety and health,” said Leon Graves, committee chair and vice-president of Dairy Marketing Services.

Grants were judged on their potential to facilitate timely application of evidence-based safety/health strategies by producers, hired farm workers and their families. Grants (up to $10,000) for 2014:

•  “Equipment for Onsite Safety Training in Livestock Operations,” Gordon Moore, Moore Ag Safety, Goodwell, OK.

•  “Development of a Mobile App for Agricultural Hazard Assessment and Mitigation,” Alex Heiphetz, AHG, Inc., State College, PA.

•  “Learning How Safety is NOT an Accident on Dairy Farms,” Judy Wright, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Auburn, NY.

•  “Agricultural Safety for Farmers and Farmer Cooperatives in Southwest Georgia,” Cornelius Key, Flint River Farmers Cooperative, Newton, GA.

 •  “Respirator Training Program and Fit Assessment for Agricultural Producers,” Michael Pate, Utah State University, Logan, UT.

 •  “Arthritis Prevention and Self-management program for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in North Carolina,” Nick Turkas, Arthritis Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Region, Charlotte, NC.

 •  “Safe Play Zones for Farmworker Children,” Mike Gempler, Washington Growers League, Yakima, WA.

 •  “Staying a Step Ahead: Heat Illness Prevention Training for the Agricultural Industry,” Amy Wolfe, AgSafe, Modesto, CA.

 •  “Equipping Farmers with Tools in Farm and Food Safety,” Ben Burkett, Indian Springs Farmers Association, Petal, MS.

 •  “Electronic Library of Safety & Training Resources,” Robert Aherin, University of Illinois/Grain Handling Safety Coalition, Urbana, IL. 

“The applications were thoughtfully prepared and covered a number of topics related to ASHCA’s priorities, considering issues of national significance while acknowledging safety/health concerns of regional or commodity specific importance,” Graves said.   

The committee developed a formal set of guidelines for internal management, promotional announcements, peer-reviews, follow-through, and overall evaluation of the Safety Grants program. Joining Graves were ASHCA Board representatives, members-at-large and administrative staff: Dan Hair, Workers Compensation Fund; Jan Klodowski, Agri-Services Agency; Amy Liebman, Migrant Clinicians Network; Brady Miller, Texas Cattle Feeders Association; Dennis Murphy, Penn State University; Aaron Yoder, University of Nebraska; Barbara Lee, ASHCA executive director; and Kathie Smith, ASHCA administration. 

Grant recipients will be sharing their project results with ASHCA members and others.  For information on the program and Frequently Asked Questions, go to www.ashca.org

The next grant submission deadline is Jan. 7, 2015. Priorities for 2015 funding will be posted on www.ashca.org by early September.

Individuals, organizations and businesses can support ASHCA's Safety Grants program with financial contributions and/or "in-kind" support.



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