The Center funds pilot projects (up to $30,000 per project) intended to promote innovative outreach and research efforts to prevent agricultural injury and illness. The pilot program supports both community-based organizations and academic researchers, especially new investigators and trainees.

Proposals addressing mental health, chemical safety, machine safety, and prevention of slips, trips, and falls are especially encouraged. However, any topic of relevance to the GPCAH mission and/or NIOSH priority goals for the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing industry sector is welcome.

Academic/scholarly research pilot grants

Potential recipients include students, staff, and faculty of academic institutions who are creating new agricultural safety and health knowledge and/or assessing and promoting best safety and health practices. Basic and applied research projects will be reviewed for scientific merit. Learn more about the project and how to apply here.

Community outreach/education pilot grants

Potential grantees are typically staff members of community-based entities who will develop and deliver evidence-based agricultural health outreach programs. Projects will be reviewed for feasibility, impact, and ability to test innovative outreach/education methods. Learn more about the project and how to apply here.

Academic Pilot Grant Awardees 2020-2021

Three out of 11 applicants were funded for 2020-2021 pilot projects. Two of the proposals were academic and one was community-based.

Examining the role of agricultural cooperatives in protecting farmers’ mental health (Y Liang, Occupational and Environment Health, University of Iowa)

Stress, depression, and suicide have been reported among farmers. Cooperatives provide farmer-members market stability, technical support, and support networks but the effects of these programs on mental health are not well understood. Non-cooperative farmers may use similar programs from farmer support organizations, agricultural extension offices, and agribusiness. This project will examine associations between variables describing cooperative membership, social support, and programs accessed and outcome variables capturing levels of stress and depression.

Respiratory protection training following COVID-19: Developing and testing interactive educational resources in the ag health and safety classroom (C Sheridan, Ag Health and Safety Alliance)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NIOSH and the NIOSH Ag Centers generated evidence-based guidance for agricultural workers on how to deal with potential PPE shortages and plan for similar events. The overall goal of this proposal is to develop three new evidence-based interactive infographic resources about respirator use in agriculture, strategies to address current or future PPE shortages, and proper use/prolonged storage of N95 respirators. These resources will be piloted among agricultural students, health care professionals, and safety managers. Evaluation results will be used to revise the resources for broader, national use. After engaging with these resources, participants will be more prepared to address respiratory health challenges and PPE shortages in similar future crisis or public health emergencies.

Preventing workplace injury in pig production systems: applying behavior change interventions for safe animal handling (J Rudolphi, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

2019-2020

Train-the-trainer program to promote safe respirator use for farmers and pesticide applicators(Hoidal, Minnesota State Extension, Minneapolis, MN). Due to shifting trends in pesticide use, pesticide applicators are increasingly required to use respirators. There is a significant lack of knowledge around respirator selection and use, as well as a lack of educational resources and infrastructure across Minnesota to support fit testing, which is a
necessary component of respirator selection. This project will develop and deliver a series of train-the-trainer respirator safety and fit testing workshops across Minnesota. Additionally, the project team will develop a portfolio of outreach materials to be used by rural healthcare professionals, extension educators, agricultural coop health and safety managers, and other state-based pesticide safety education programs. (Determined by UMN IRB to not be human
subjects research.) Progress consistent with the proposed timeline was reported in a mid-project report. Six respirator fit test workshops were completed with a total of 36 participants. An online respirator fit “toolkit” was developed and disseminated electronically. Methods developed by the investigators were presented in July at the 2019 North Central region Pesticide Applicator Certification and Training Meeting in Duluth, MN.

Growing resiliency in tough times (GRITT): A text-messaging mental health intervention for farmers (Holmstrom, Michigan State University / Michigan State Extension, East Lansing, MI). The purpose of the proposed project is to develop a text messaging-based mental health intervention to educate agricultural workers about (1) farm-related stress and (2) coping strategies and available resources to manage that stress. The intervention will be tested among 325 agricultural workers in Michigan to assess feasibility, usability, and acceptability. Workers will also be surveyed on farm stress and coping strategies, the use of adaptive coping strategies, and perceived social support. Reductions in perceived stigma surrounding mental health, farm stress, and the use of maladaptive coping strategies will also be examined. Progress on this project was delayed by difficulties with internet-based recruitment. Ongoing consultation with the PI has resulted in development of a new recruitment strategy anticipated to be free of prior difficulties.

Airing out farm stress (Moynihan, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, St. Paul, MN). This project aims to address the silence around the ways that stresses inherent in farming can affect the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of agricultural workers and farm family members. The team will use radio programming on the Red Rivers Farm Network to air five 60-second programs that will each reach a listening audience of more than 100,000 NorthDakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota farmers. The team will enhance the reach of this effort by (1) creating deeper, complimentary 10- to 15-minute podcasts for each topic and (2) harnessing the power of social media brought by project partners. Evaluation will include tracking audience interactions via social media, podcast downloads, and requests for access to stories and materials. During implementation of this pilot grant project, GPCAH funds paid for the production of 5 radio spots and podcasts which have been accessed by more than 25,500 people. Since then, the project has leveraged GPCAH funds and attracted outside funding to complete ten additional radio spots. The investigators continue to support the original pilot project aims by promoting additional podcasts via electronic networks and on social media. Long-term follow-up of project impact is in progress.

Opioid crisis response in farm communities: overdose prevention and training for farmers and agricultural workers (Ziegenhorn/Novak, Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition [IHRC], University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA). This project aims to conduct and evaluate opioid prevention training and outreach with two important agricultural populations in Eastern Iowa, specifically agricultural employees and migrant farmworkers. The team will conduct six community “train-the-trainer” sessions with over 120 farmers and agricultural employees and will partner with the Proteus Migrant Health Program to conduct six migrant health outreach sessions to connect with 50 migrant farmworkers. The team uses a community-engaged, peer-to-peer approach to adapt an established opioid overdose prevention training for agricultural populations. As of its last reporting (August 2019), the IHRC had conducted naloxone trainings in 14 rural communities, ranging from one-to-one trainings to formal “town hall” type events. In total, the IHRC has trained 58 eligible agricultural workers (or family members of an agricultural worker) on overdose prevention and has distributed 841 naloxone kits. IHRC volunteers have produced naloxone training and education materials in Spanish and have conducted three outreach sessions with Proteus (a migrant healthcare delivery organization): (October 10, 2018: Williamsburg, Iowa (East Camp); April 4, 2019: Postville, IA; May 1, 2019: Williamsburg, Iowa (West Camp)). Pilot project investigators are now tracking reports of overdose reversals attributable to project training and naloxone distribution for use in formal project evaluation. Presentations describing the project and its accomplishments were disseminated on Iowa Public Radio (November 2018) and at the April 2019 Iowa Governor’s Conference on Public Health. (Note: Funding for this fourth project came from the GPCAH Emerging Issues funds.)

 

  • Public Health Agriculture Related Mental Health Research (PHARMHR) (E Zabel, Minnesota Department of Health Center for Occupational Health and Safety).The long-term goals of our work are to prevent suicide, mental health-related hospitalizations, and other adverse mental health outcomes in the farm community. The proposed project will design and evaluate mental health indicators using existing public health data on farmers and farming communities to inform public health practice and health care delivery. Using an advisory council, we will move beyond passive release of mental health data toward active dissemination. We will track how, where, and when data from this project are being used by public health and other professionals, and will modify the dissemination plan as appropriate to ensure effective use of data. Current funding will sustain the data collection and dissemination effort after development. Dissemination of this information will give public health and mental health service programs what they need to implement and evaluate prevention efforts and design effective interventions in rural and farming communities.
  • The Impact of Drought Conditions on Occupational Psychosocial Stress among a Midwest Farmers Cohort (Jesse D. Berman, Div. of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Jesse E Bell, PhD, Dept. of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center; Marizen Ramirez, PhD, Div. of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Nathan Fethke, PhD, Dept. of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa College of Public Health; Fredric Gerr, MD, Dept. of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa College of Public Health
    Drought is considered the most far-reaching natural disaster, yet our understanding of droughts public health impacts is inadequate and incomplete. Increased psychological stress is among the most notable drought-related health consequence and agricultural workers are considered increasingly vulnerable to drought conditions Their occupational and economic reliance on water, combined with often limited access to mental health care, places them at greater risk. Despite their vulnerability, we are aware of no studies examining the effects of drought on measures of psychosocial stress among U.S. agricultural populations. Our project will use an existing survey of 518 Midwestern farmers across a 40 year period and apply a case-crossover longitudinal study design to estimate the association between drought conditions and occupational psychosocial stress. We hypothesize an association between measures of drought and occupational psychosocial stress among farmers. The results will fill an important research gap and inform resilience strategies to reduce environmentally mediated stress among agricultural workers.
2017-2019
      • Hydrogen Sulfide Exposure and Impact on Swine Barn Dust Induced Lung Inflammation (C Charavaryamath, Iowa State University Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ames IA).
        Swine barn workers are exposed to various airborne occupational contaminants and report respiratory symptoms and many long-term health effects. The impact of low-grade hydrogen sulfide gas on the lung’s innate immunity is unknown. This study involves toxicological laboratory studies in mouse models to identify how hydrogen sulfide gases impact the lung’s innate response to bacteria.
2015–2017
      • Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) Simulation and Hearing Protection Device Fit Testing (J Gibbs, M Cheyney, University of Iowa, Dept of Occupational and Environmental Health, R Meschner, S Klemuk, University of Iowa, Dept of Communication Sciences and Disorders/Audiology). This team (a) designed a NIHL simulator for use at outreach events and (b) examined how well hearing protection fits farmers
        (E-A-R fit™ validation test). Fit test data show most farmers achieved better personal attenuation using ‘Push-In’ style ear plugs than with formable foam style ear plugs despite the higher manufacturer-reported Noise Reduction Ratings for formable foam plugs. This study provided preliminary data for additional funding and will lead to a scientific publication and recommendations for changes to hearing conservation recommendations among agricultural workers.
      • Occupational Safety and Health Prevention among Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in Iowa (A Johannes, University of Iowa, Dept of Occupational and Environmental Health – graduate student).
        In collaboration with Proteus, Inc. (a nonprofit organization that provides healthcare to migrant farmworkers), study investigators examined injuries and illnesses, healthcare-seeking behavior, and use of prevention measures among 70 migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Less than 40% of survey respondents reported receiving information on any common health problem from their doctor, employer, or elsewhere. Participants requested more information on prevention, management, and treatment of these health concerns. These results have been shared with employers and Proteus staff.
      • Identifying Job Demands and Health Outcomes among Iowa Beginning Farmers (M Ramaswamy, University of Iowa, Dept of Occupational and Environmental Health – graduate student). Study personnel estimated associations between (a) physical and psychosocial demands and (b) general and musculoskeletal health status and acute injury occurrences among 98 beginning farmers. Women and men differed significantly with respect to exposure to certain physical demands. Men reported higher exposure to holding powered equipment with hands (median [IQR]: 3.0[1.9-3.6], men; 2.0 [1.0-3.0], women) as well as using manual tools (median [IQR]: 3.6[3.0-5.0], men; 2.5 [1.0-3.2], women).Participants reported occurrence of musculoskeletal pain over the past 12 months, with 62% reporting pain in the neck/shoulder region, 45% in the elbow/hand/wrist region, and 69% in the low back region.
      • Increasing the Use of Hearing Protection among Young Adult Swine Confinement Workers (J Rudolphi, University of Iowa, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health – graduate student).
        This project examined safe behavior (hearing protection use) and differences between 72 young study adult swine production workers who used smart-phone tracking with and without daily goals for hearing protection use. After completing the baseline survey, all participants were mailed hearing protection kits. Instructions for downloading and using a smartphone app to log behaviors was sent to participants in the two intervention groups. The greatest increase in reported hearing protection use was in the intervention with goal group, who reported a mean use increase of 47%. The intervention without goal group reported a mean increase of 42% and the control group reported a mean increase of 32%.
2014-2015
        • Metagenomics and Staphylococcus Aureus Colonization in Livestock Workers (Kates, A. University of Iowa, Dept. of Epidemiology, Iowa City, IA – graduate student). Study investigators are examining the nasal microbiome of 33 non-livestock and 26 livestock workers in order to compare those with aureus colonization to those without S. aureus colonization to identify risk factors for this outcome. All RNA sequencing and spa typing has been completed, and data are currently being analyzed.
        • Identifying agricultural behaviors of Iowa’s young farmers (J Rudolphi, University of Iowa, Dept of Occupational and Environmental Health – graduate student). An online survey was completed by 222 young farmers and showed that young female farmers reported safer work practices than young male farmers. In addition, the study found a strong link between workplace policies and safer work practices. A manuscript is in development.
2013-2014
  • Effect of Elevated Carbon Dioxide on Lung Inflammation in Barn Dust Instilled Mice (D Schneberger, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE). The investigators tested co-exposures of mice to both barn dust extracts and an atmosphere with 5000 ppm CO2. Although no changes were noted with CO2 exposure in the absence of barn dust, the addition of CO2 to barn dust was associated with an increase in inflammatory markers in comparison to barn dust alone.  These results provide evidence that controlling CO2 concentrations in swine barns may prevent respiratory inflammation among swine workers. These results led to an American Thoracic Society presentation, additional funding, and a peer-reviewed publication.
2012-2013
  • Determining the mechanisms and outcomes of ATV crashes among high-risk groups in the Great Plains Region (C Jennissen, G Denning, K Harland, University of Iowa, Dept. of Emergency Medicine, Iowa City, IA). This project compiled 1996-2012 Iowa FACE data and nine state press clipping data to identify factors associated with agricultural ATV/UTV crashes. Data were compiled for academic publication and results have led to further funding from the Kohls Foundation (Kohls Cares) for community ATV/UTV safety outreach activities.
  • Genetic variation in endotoxin receptors and their association with COPD phenotypes (T LeVan, J Merchant, & K Kelly, University of Iowa, Dept. of Occupational and Environmental Health, Iowa City, IA). Using stored blood samples of Keokuk County Rural Health Cohort participants, a nested case-control study examined the relationship between COPD and specific single nucleotide polymorphisms. A previously unknown association between COPD and HHIP polymorphisms rs13118928 and rs1542725 was observed. The results have been published in the academic literature.
  • A tractor rollover detection and emergency reporting system (A Bulent Koc, W Downs, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO). Project investigators developed the first rollover detection sensor system with a Bluetooth connection to iPhone/iPad. This technology was shared with the ASABE and resulted in two scholarly publications. Researchers provided demonstrations to more than 1600 individuals at events sponsored by the Cattlemen Association, Pork Producers Association, and the Missouri State Fair. More than 50 media stories covered these events.  One of the academic papers resulting from this project also was awarded “Best Paper” recognition at the 2013 International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health Conference.
Community Pilot Grant Awardees 2020-2021

Respiratory protection training following COVID-19: Developing and testing interactive educational resources in the ag health and safety classroom (C Sheridan, Ag Health and Safety Alliance) In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at US AFF Centers and NIOSH/CDC worked together to generate a plethora of evidence-based guidance for agricultural workers on how to deal with potential PPE shortages and plan for similar events. The overall goal of this proposal is to develop three new evidence-based interactive infographic resources about respirator use in agriculture, strategies to address current or future PPE shortages, and proper use/prolonged storage of N95 respirators, following the pandemic. These resources will be piloted among ~230 agricultural students, health care professionals, and safety managers. Evaluation results will be used to revise the resources for broader, national use and to construct an academic paper for an outreach publication. We believe that after engaging with these resources, participants will be more prepared to address respiratory health challenges and PPE shortages in similar future crisis or public health emergencies.

2019-2021

Stress on the Farm: Strategies to Help Each Other (David N. Brown, PhD, LMFT, CFLE, Behavioral Health State Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Chad Hart, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Economics, Iowa State University & Grain Markets Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach).
This pilot project will provide a culturally relevant suicide prevention “‘gatekeeper” training to the agricultural community in Iowa. The project anticipates providing at least fifty interactive “gatekeeper” suicide prevention trainings across Iowa, in conjunction with Iowa State University Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension sponsored Farm Bill meetings. These meetings will train between 2,500 and 5,000 agriculture producers and agribusiness professionals in an intervention strategy to identify persons at risk of suicide and refer them to treatment or supporting services as needed. Risk and protective factors of suicide will be addressed. The project will be evaluated for short-term knowledge and potential for behavior change as well as a 3-month follow-up assessing behavior change as a result of the training.

2018-2020
      • Growing Resiliency in Tough Times (GRITT): A Text-Messaging Mental Health Intervention for Farmers. (A Holmstrom, Michigan State University Department of Communication, East Lansing MI).  Chronic stress among agricultural workers is associated with negative outcomes including mental illness, substance abuse, poor physical health, risk of injury, and suicide. This project aims to develop a text-messaging mental health intervention to educate agricultural workers about farm-related stress as well as coping strategies for stress management. The intervention will be pilot tested among more than 300 agricultural workers in the state of Michigan to assess feasibility, usability, and acceptability. This innovative intervention has the potential to overcome multiple barriers to accessing mental health information in rural agricultural communities.
      • Opioid Crisis Response in Farm Communities: Overdose Prevention and Training for Farmers and Agricultural Workers (S Ziegnhorn, Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition; N Novak, University of Iowa Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Iowa City IA). This project aims to conduct and evaluate opioid prevention training and outreach with two important agricultural populations: agricultural workers and migrant farmworkers. The team will conduct 6 community “train the trainer” sessions with over 120 producers and agricultural workers, and will partner with Proteus Migrant Health Program to conduct 6 migrant health outreach sessions to 50 migrant farmworkers in the state of Iowa. The project uses a community-engaged, peer-to-peer approach to adapt and implement an established opioid overdose prevention training. The goals are to prevent opioid overdose among agricultural workers and to build capacity to respond to the opioid crisis in agricultural communities. The team will evaluate the impact through pre- and post-assessments conducted with training participants and through analysis of routine program data on overdose reversal reports.
      • Airing Out Farm Stress. (M Moynihan, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, St. Paul MN). Farming is a stressful occupation at the best of times and current pressures are mounting. Financial problems, price and market uncertainties, weather, farm transfer issues, production challenges, marital difficulties, isolation, and social pressures can be significant and debilitating sources of stress for agricultural workers and family members. This project aims to tackle the silence around how the stresses inherent in agricultural production can affect the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of agricultural workers. This project involves a partnership with a local radio network (Red River Farm Network) to create and air 60 second programs that will each reach a listening audience of more than 100,000 North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota agricultural workers and family members. The project also involves the creation of more in-depth 10-15 minute podcasts on each mental health topic as identified by community advisory group members.
      • Train the Trainer Program to Promote Safe Respiratory Use for Pesticide Applicators. (N Hoidal, University of Minnesota Extension, Minneapolis MN) Due to shifting trends in pesticide use, applicators are beginning to use more chemicals that require respirators. However, there is a significant lack of knowledge around respirator selection and use, as well as a lack of educational resources and infrastructure across the state to support fit testing (a necessary component of respirator selection). This project will develop and deliver a series of train the trainer respirator safety and fit testing workshops across the state of Minnesota. Additionally, the project involves the development of outreach materials to be used by rural healthcare professionals, extension educators, agricultural coop health and safety managers, and other state Pesticide Safety Education Programs in the region.
2017-2019
  • Agritourism Safety and Health Best Practices Workshops (H Hoyle, Iowa State University, Ames, IA). Agritourism is growing in the Midwest region. Although adding an agritourism segment to an existing farm may seem appealing, numerous risks arise once these farms open and charge a fee for the public to visit.  For example, one illness or injury linked to an agritourism destination could be catastrophic to not only the injured party and the agritourism destination segment, but to the entire farm, ruining the livelihoods of the owners, their families, and employees of these destinations. With the growing number of agritourism destinations, there are currently no injury or illness prevention activities aimed towards these agritourism destinations. In order to provide effective interventions for the prevention of agriculture injury and illness on agritourism destinations, the Visit Iowa Farms Program will work with the Iowa State Pesticide Safety Education Program and the Center for Food Security and Public Health to coordinate three agritourism destination safety and health best practices workshops across Iowa.
  • Anhydrous Ammonia Emergency Response Training Program (D Neenan, National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, Peosta IA). This project involved the development and delivery of an anhydrous ammonia safety program for agricultural producers, family members, and emergency response personnel in North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Minnesota. The interactive program used a new anhydrous ammonia safety trailer. Topics such as anhydrous ammonia safety during transport, machinery safety, chronic health issues, personal protective equipment, basic first aid procedures, and communication were covered. More than 20 trainings were provided through partnerships with local colleges, extension personnel, local agribusinesses, and regional emergency service organizations.
2015-2017
  • Grain Bin Safety and Emergency Prevention among Farm Families (D Neenan, B Kruse, National Education Center for Agricultural Safety [NECAS], Peosta, IA; A Becker, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO). NECAS customized existing grain bin engulfment rescue training designed originally for emergency responders for delivery directly to farmers and farm families. The new training incorporated best practices and a unique hands-on engulfment and retrieval simulator. The training was delivered to more than 200 attendees at 12 locations in four states.
  • Safe Farming, Safe Living: CPR Outreach to the Leut (M Gale, Avera St. Benedict Health Center, Parkston, SD). This program presented certification-level educational information and outreach to eight Hutterite colonies (400 individuals) in South Dakota in order to improve health outcomes of farm-related injuries. Content focused on preparing for emergencies (e.g., calls to responders), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillator (AED) use, and basic first aid. One hundred twenty six individuals were officially trained in Adult First Aid/CPR/AED (US Red Cross). Farm youth were also trained on how to perform basic first aid and to contact local emergency response personnel. Overall, post survey data demonstrated that colony members felt confident that they could perform CPR, use an AED, and perform first aid in the field.  A YouTube training video about emergency response to a farming incident is currently being prepared.
  • Gove County farm safety and health fairs: ATV safety, emergency response, and educational displays to prevent agricultural injury and fatality in Northwest Kansas (C Nelson, Gove County Medical Center, KS). Study personnel collaborated with multiple stakeholders to design a Farm Safety and Health Fair for farm families in Gove County, Kansas, a rural agricultural community. More than 40 farm children and 35 adults attended the event. The project increased safety awareness about ATV use, handling grain and farm chemicals, and dangers associated with common harvesting activities.  Fifteen children were awarded ATV helmets for participating in training activities. The fair also focused on knowledge of basic first aid/emergency response to help farm families respond quickly and effectively to reduce fatality rates. This training is particularly responsive to the community since, in Western Kansas, a large proportion of farmers live 30 or more miles from a Critical Access Hospital.
2014-2015
  • Family ATV Safety Training (J Mortensen, North Dakota Farm Bureau, Bismark, ND). Two ATV safety classes were provided in rural North Dakota to 56 farm youth and one or both parents. During the training, parent focus groups identified several solutions for reducing ATV injuries among farm youth.  Notable solutions included monitoring the ATV keys and keeping them out of children’s reach, performing frequent safety checks, and purchasing helmets.  The project also led to a radio PSA on ATV Safety Awareness (https://www.ndfb.org/news/atv-safety-awareness/).
  • Safe Farming, Safe Living: Educational Outreach to the Leut (K Lutjens, Avera St. Benedict Health Center, Parkston, SD). To address the large number of agriculture-related injuries in rural South Dakota, Avera St. Benedict Health Center personnel provided culturally appropriate agricultural safety and health training to ~500 residents of the Dakota Hutterite Colonies. Topics included eye protection, heat/cold illnesses, sun and water safety, large animal safety, PTO/Rollover prevention, and ATV safety. The investigators observed a 51% reduction in agriculture trauma-related incidents after the training, and the Hutterite community requested additional future safety trainings.
2011-2014

Piloting an occupational ATV/UTV safety workshop for Iowa farmers (C Jennissen, G Denning, K Harland, University of Iowa, Department of Emergency Medicine, Iowa City, IA; A Winborn, Greater Johnson County Rural Health and Safety Clinic). This team developed and delivered a workshop on the safe use of ATVs/UTVs in agriculture. Post-workshop surveys found that 44% of attendees stated they were more likely to wear a helmet when using an ATV after attending the workshop.

      • Promoting Harness and Lifeline Use in Grain Bin Entry for Farm and Elevator Workers through Development, Training, and Distribution of Specific Lifeline Installation/Procedures/Use Training Curriculum (R Aherin, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL; D Hill, Emergency Services Rescue Training Inc., Penn State University, State College, PA). The investigators developed a safety harness and lifeline use curriculum for grain bin entry and pilot tested it among 25 farmers. Project investigators partnered with grain bin manufacturers and a farmer’s cooperative to retrofit older grain bins. This collaboration has influenced the new ASABE x624 Grain Bin Entry Design Standard.
      • Using technology to enhance the flexibility, adaptability of training tools for community-based training in grain handling safety (J Adkisson, Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, Springfield, IL; R Aherin, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL; P Rhomba, Illinois Farm Bureau, Bloomington-Normal, IL). This project built on community partnerships with the development of training tools to promote grain handling safety. Special emphasis was given to designing a visual learning assessment tool to address low literacy participants (e.g., photos and videos).  The materials were assessed by experienced trainers and are now available to the public at http://grainsafety.org/resources-2/. The YouTube training videos created with funds allocated to this project have been viewed more than 21,000 times.
      • Web-based interaction encouraging safe and healthy rural-related behavior (S Burgus, Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, Urbandale, IA; K Funkenbusch, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO). Project personnel conducted a pre- and post-survey of farming youth who participated in an agricultural safety and health blog. Users reported that the blog was a useful tool for discussing health and safety topics with other young farmers.  Participants included farm youth in all nine GPCAH states.  The blog had more than 2,700 views and 141 Facebook shares during a one year period.
      • Using community-based partnerships for grain safety awareness and prevention training across the grain handling spectrum (J Adkisson, Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, Springfield, IL; R Aherin, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL; P Rhomba, Illinois Farm Bureau, Bloomington-Normal, IL). The project developed and disseminated grain handling safety messages and trainings (printed, PSAs, wallet cards and decals), and supported the construction of the Grain Handling Safety Coalition website (now one of the most popular grain safety information sources available on the web with sustained funding from over 15 organizational members). Public Service Announcements were aired on 70 Farm Bureau affiliate radio stations and were also disseminated through OSHA QuickTakes. Interviews of participants were incorporated into NPRs grain bin fatality story (Howard Berkes, Buried in Grain, 3/24/2013, see http://www.npr.org/2013/03/26/174828849/fines-slashed-in-grain-bin-entrapment-deaths). Community trainings reached 517 people (students, farmers, elevator employees, others)
      • Prevention of injury, illness, and fatality due to grain entrapment and exposure (D Neenan, National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, Peosta, IA). This project addressed the ongoing burden of grain entrapment deaths within the region by providing four interactive grain safety and rescue training events to over 350 farmers, grain industry employees, and rural volunteer rescue personnel. As of October 2016, there were nine successful grain bin rescues performed by volunteer emergency response personnel who had attended the training.

The impact of drought conditions on occupational psychosocial stress (J Berman, Environmental Health Sciences, University of Minnesota, Oct 2019 to March 2021) This ongoing academic project merges longitudinal data regarding occupational psychosocial stress collected in a previous GPCAH core research project (n=518 regional farm owner/operators) with spatial and temporal estimates of drought conditions. Based on the mid-year report, results from this academic project were incorporated into an oral presentation at the 2020 meeting of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology. In addition, the PI reports one manuscript in preparation for submission to Current Environmental Health Reports and a second in preparation for submission to American Journal of Epidemiology.

Massey N, Shrestha D, Bhat SM, Kondru N, Charli A, Karriker LA, Kanthasamy AG, Charavaryamath C: [2020] Organic dust induced mitochondrial dysfunction could be targeted via cGAS-STING or mitochondrial NOX-2 inhibition. bioRxiv 2020.07.01.182535; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.01.182535  (2017 Pilot Grant)

Shrestha D, Bhat SM, Massey N, Maldonado CS, Rumbeiha WK, Charavaryamath C: [2021] Pre-exposure to hydrogen sulfide modulates the innate inflammatory response to organic dust. Cell Tissue Res. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00441-020-03333-3 PMID: 33409657 (2017 Pilot Grant)

Brown DN: [2020]. Responding to the behavioral and mental health needs of Iowa agribusiness. North Central Cooperative Extension Association Speed Meeting on Mental and Behavioral Health. Virtual. (2019 Pilot Grant)

Brown DN: [2020] Responding to behavioral health needs among rural Iowans and farming communities. Iowa Institute for Cooperatives Winter Meeting. Cedar Falls, IA, Storm Lake, IA. (2019 Pilot Grant)

Brown DN: [2019] Stress on the farm: Strategies to help each other. Iowa Farmers Union 2019 State Convention: Farming in a Climate of Change. Given to farmers at: Grinnell, IA, Des Moines IA, Cedar Falls, IA, Storm Lake IA. (2019 Pilot Grant)

Brown DN, Dunnegan D, Day D: [2020] Suicide prevention and the agricultural community. Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health (MRASH) Conference. November 17-20, 2020. (2019 Pilot Grant)

Brown DN, Santiago AD: [2019] Responding to behavioral and mental needs among rural Iowans and farming communities. National Association for Rural Mental Health Annual Conference. Santa Fe, New Mexico.  (2019 Pilot Grant)

Hoidal N: [2019]. Breathing Room: Building Capacity for Respirator Fit Testing Panel Discussion Panel Member. North Central Region Pesticide Applicator Certification and Training Workshop (PACT). July 22-24, 2019. Duluth, MN. (2018 Pilot Grant)

Moynihan M: [2019] Panelist for webinar titled The farmer mental health crisis: Understanding a vulnerable population. American Psychological Association. August 26, 2019. At The farmer mental health crisis: Understanding a vulnerable population (apa.org) (2018 Pilot Grant)

Moynihan M: [2020] Trying Times: Tools to Understand and Alleviate Farm Stress. 2020 SARE Farmers Forum at Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Conference. January 21-23, 2020. At https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PInZdhmbfr4&list=PLQLK9r1ZBhhFE9SoxG1v-zKTLIfrezEpO&index=9 (2018 Pilot Grant)

Stress on the farm: strategies to help each other (D Brown, Iowa State Extension and Outreach, Oct 2019 to March 2021) This community outreach project offered a culturally relevant suicide prevention “gatekeeper” training to the agricultural community in Iowa. The project provided 95 suicide prevention trainings in 87 Iowa communities, in conjunction with ISU Extension & Outreach and Farm Service Agency sponsored Farm Bill meetings. These meetings trained approximately 4,376 agriculture producers and landowners in an intervention strategy to identify persons at risk of suicide and refer them to treatment or support services as needed. Risk and protective factors of suicide were also addressed.

Airing out farm stress (M Moynihan, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Oct 2018 to March 2020) This community outreach project tackled the silence around how stresses inherent in farming can affect the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of farmers and farm family members. Five pilot radio stories funded by GPCAH (60-second spots each with a 12 to15-minute companion podcast) grew into a series of 25 episodes underwritten by additional community and foundation support. The PI estimated that by mid-March 2020, the series had reached well over 100,000 radio listeners on 19 stations in three states. The podcasts had more than 64,500 “listens.”

The website for IHRC Overdose Education & Naloxone Distribution information is at https://www.iowaharmreductioncoalition.org/overdose-education-naloxone-distribution/#

The website for IHRC Health & Social Services information is at https://www.iowaharmreductioncoalition.org/services/

The website for University of Minnesota Extension for Commercial, noncommercial pesticide applicators is at https://extension.umn.edu/pesticide-safety-and-certification/commercial-noncommercial-pesticide-applicators#respirator-resources-1089714

IowaHRC: [2018] Promotion of overdose protection and naloxone access. Instagram post. November 13, 2018. At https://www.instagram.com/p/BqIiwmIhwUk/

Hoidal N: [2019] Promotion of fit-testing workshops titled SPOTLIGHT: Building capacity for respiratory health. Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH). At Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center – SPOTLIGHT: Building capacity for respiratory health (umn.edu)

IowaHRC: [2019] Promotion of naloxone and training to reverse overdoses. Instagram Post. February 18, 2019.  At https://www.instagram.com/p/BuG_pp2BkSP/

IowaHRC: [2019] Promotion of safety checks for opioid users. Instagram post. April 25, 2019. At https://www.instagram.com/p/BwsHJJUhx6u/

Crann T, Burks M: [2019] Interview with M Moynihan titled Podcast tackles ‘how to not let the farm wreck your marriage’ and other farm stresses. MPRnews. May 6, 2019. At https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/05/06/atc-podcast-tackles-how-to-not-let-the-farm-wreck-your-marriage-and-other-farm-stresses

Blanchard SK: [2019] Story titled Why Drug Dealers Are an Under-Utilized Anti-Overdose Resource. Filter. May 28, 2019. At https://filtermag.org/why-drug-dealers-are-an-under-utilized-anti-overdose-resource/

Yager A: [2019] Story titled ‘Complicated issue:’ Local officials, advocates discuss impacts of needle exchanges. Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, IA. June 30, 2019. At https://www.telegraphherald.com/news/tri-state/article_cdf52e49-7636-5bf7-9b3f-9ad7f04645ac.html

Brooks J: [2019] News article on TransFARMation podcast titled In hard times, farmers try to help each other through. StarTribune, Minneapolis, MN. August 10, 2019. At https://www.startribune.com/in-hard-times-farmers-try-to-help-each-other-through/533196972/

O’Leary J: [2019] Story titled Home Field Advantage: Matt Kroul Exemplifies the ANF Spirit. Iowa Magazine. September 2019. At https://magazine.foriowa.org/story.php?ed=true&storyid=1863

Staff Writer: [2019] Story titled Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition works to prevent overdose deaths. Iowa Cattleman. September 2019. At https://www.thegazette.com/subject/opinion/staff-editorial/iowa-sees-success-in-overdose-reversals-but-theres-much-more-work-to-do-20200213

Henderson OK: [2019] Story titled Two statewide officials trained to respond to opioid overdoses. Radio Iowa. December 2, 2019. At https://www.radioiowa.com/2019/12/02/two-statewide-officials-trained-to-respond-to-opioid-overdoses/

Boshart R: [2019] Story titled Naloxone training at Iowa Capitol. Sioux City Journal, Sioux City, IA. December 2, 2019. At https://siouxcityjournal.com/naloxone-training-at-iowa-capitol/image_ee066d01-37e7-5493-bdb5-55e47186199b.html

Mercodo M: [2019] Story titled Iowa Organization Offers Free Access to Naloxone. WHO-13, Des Moines, IA. December 2, 2019. At https://whotv.com/news/iowa-organization-offers-free-access-to-opioid-overdose-reversing-drug/

Mercado M: [2019] Story titled Iowa Organization Offers Free Access to Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug. KDSM-TV, Des Moines, IA. December 3, 2019. At https://kdsm17.com/news/local/iowa-organization-offers-free-access-to-opioid-overdose-reversal-drug

Joens P: [2019] Story titled With opioids taking scores of Iowa lives each year, state officials learn how to administer naloxone. The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, IA. December 6, 2019. At https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2019/12/02/narcan-naloxone-iowa-opioid-crisis-overdoses-responses/2588043001/

Staff Writer: [2019] Story titled New state program mails free opioid overdose-reversal kits to Iowans. The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, IA. December 27, 2019. At https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/health/new-state-program-mails-free-opioid-overdose-reversal-naloxone-kits-to-iowans-20191227

Staff Writer: [2020] Editorial titled Iowa sees success in overdose reversals, but there’s much more work to do. The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, IA. February 13, 2020. At https://www.thegazette.com/subject/opinion/staff-editorial/iowa-sees-success-in-overdose-reversals-but-theres-much-more-work-to-do-20200213

Moynihan M: [2020] Delivered testimony at Minnesota House Ways & Means Committee, Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division hearing, February 20, 2020.

IowaHRC: [2020] Promotion for requesting supplies from IHRC via the mail. Instagram Post. March 23, 2020. At  https://www.instagram.com/p/B-GA7PbnVCV/

TransFARMation podcast: There is Life after Farming. Apr 19, 2019, https://www.rrfn.com/podcast/2019/04/19/transfarmation-life-beyond-the-farm/

TransFARMation podcast: The Ostrich Syndrome. May 20, 2019 https://www.rrfn.com/podcast/2019/05/20/transfarmation-the-ostrich-syndrome/

TransFARMation podcast: How Not to Let the Farm Wreck Your Marriage. Apr 3, 2019 https://www.rrfn.com/podcast/2019/04/03/transfarmation/

TransFARMation podcast: Shifting the Conversation about Mental Health. Jun 17, 2019. https://www.rrfn.com/podcast/2019/06/17/transfarmation-shifting-the-conversationabout-mental-health/

Holmstrom, A. Addressing Stress with Text. Mental Health Roundtable Flashtalk.International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health Conference (ISASH); Des Moines, IA, June 24-27, 2019.

Meyer K. 2019 Agritourism destination safety and health best practices workshops. International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health Conference (ISASH); Des Moines, IA, Jun 24-27, 2019.

TransFARMation podcast: A Survivor’s Journey. May 6, 2019 https://www.rrfn.com/podcast/2019/05/06/a-survivors-journey/

TransFARMation podcast: It’s OK to Not Be OK. Jun 3, 2019 https://www.rrfn.com/podcast/2019/06/03/transfarmation-its-ok-to-not-be-ok/