There will be no in-person Agricultural Safety and Health Core Course in 2024.

Below we describe a newly formatted set of programs to cover the materials and competencies of the Core Course.


About the Course

The Agricultural Safety and Health Core Course has been the national model of effective agricultural safety and health education for over two decades. The course provides information and skills needed to enable safety and health professionals to anticipate, recognize, and prevent occupational illnesses and injuries among members of the agricultural community. Expert instruction is provided by experienced faculty and specialists including Board-Certified Physicians, Nurses, Veterinarians, and Certified Industrial Hygienists. Certificates are provided upon course completion.

Intended Audience

Appropriate for safety and health managers, health care providers, public health practitioners, veterinarians, and anyone interested in the unique safety and health needs of rural and agricultural communities.

New Core Course Components

When we initially designed the Agricultural Safety and Health Core Course, it was focused to help medical students and family practice residents understand health and safety hazards on the farm.  Over time, this course expanded its audience to include nurses, extension specialists, emergency medicine technicians, pharmacists, health and safety professionals, veterinarians, and farmers themselves. The 40-hour curriculum – including instructional slides and case study examples – have been shared with educators across the country and around the world, helping partners share best practices on agricultural safety and health. This traditional course has been used to educate over 2000 persons world-wide.

In 2024, the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health is pausing the in-person Ag Health and Safety Core Course classes to transition to a new set of educational programs to better fit the needs of our expanding audience. Taken together, we have developed a system of educational programs that meet the goals of the previous synchronous class, but which might better fit into schedules of continuing education for our target audiences.  Below, we describe components of the new Core Corse framework that have been repackaged into units to build expertise across both asynchronous and synchronous platforms. 

Ag Health 101

 Coming soon…

As of this summer, our Ag Health 101 (audio) program was prepared for health care providers. Re-framing our discussions would be needed to make Ag Health 101 relevant to other audiences, such as extension agents or community college students. This audio program has 10 units on topics important to agricultural health, including confined spaces, heat illnesses, and pesticides. Within each unit, there are multiple micro-lessons, each ending with a discussion question to reflect on what has been discussed and how to integrate the information into your personal life or onto the farm. These lessons also have one-page graphical summaries and a list of resources if listeners want more details. There are short quizzes that will be available to take after listening to the entirety of a unit. The Ag Health 101 program, across all 10 topics, combines into an 8-hour audio course. Once this course is completed, we do recommend taking some or all of the Intermediate Ag Health courses, based on interest and need.

Intermediate Ag Health

Our Intermediate Ag Health program is the combined “online modules” that we have presented previously in this newsletter. We now have 11 one-hour modules available on a variety of hazards on the farm, designed to be taken on a computer, with a pre- and post-test integrated into each module’s course. Each course is a stand-alone, and we are revising the website to provide topic grouping that may be suitable for different agricultural operations or specialty student interests.

Ag Health Academy

Our final tier of education, the Ag Health Academy, will be rolling out later this year. Once anyone has completed the other two levels of training, they would be eligible to enroll in this monthly meeting to learn practical information and emerging issue topics relevant to health and safety on the farm. These virtual (“Zoom”) classes will be scheduled to invite experts to provide updates on best practices relevant to ag health and safety, and early topics identified for these expert sessions include personal fall arrest systems, ergonomics, and mental health resources. Anyone who has completed the 40-hour Agricultural Health and Safety Core Course will also be invited to participate in this academy.

If you would like to be involved as an expert for the Ag Health Academy, please email us at

Solutions Workshops

We anticipate adding additional hands-on skills development courses (“Solutions Workshops”) to be provided in association with other regional meetings to round out educational skills for our region’s agricultural health and safety advocates. These would include skills like respirator fit testing, hearing protection fit testing, and gas monitor use.