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Community Partners for Healthy Farming Intervention Research

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 11(2): 193-203. (doi: 10.13031/2013.18186) @2005
Authors:   J. Ehlers, T. Palermo
Keywords:   Agriculture, Community-based, Ergonomics, Farmer, Farm worker, Intervention research, Participatory research

The purpose of the Community Partners for Healthy Farming Intervention Research (CPHF-IR) program is to implement and evaluate existing or new interventions for reduction of agriculture-related injuries, hazards, and illnesses. Objectives include the development of active partnerships between experienced researchers, communities, workers, managers, agricultural organizations, agribusinesses, and other stakeholders. Specific intervention projects were selected by the competitive review process in response to a request for proposals. The second series of projects (funded 2000-2003) targeted: improved ergonomics for handling grapes (CA) and for small-scale berry growers (WI, IA, MI, MN), engineering controls (KY, VA, SC) and training (IN) related to tractors, private-sector financial incentives for safety (IA, NE), and reducing eye injuries in Latino farmworkers (IL, MI, FL). Partners have provided their unique resources for accessing the target population, planning, implementation, dissemination, and evaluation. They have produced useful engineering controls, educational and motivational tools, and helped build infrastructure for promoting agricultural health as essential to sustainable agriculture. Additional outcomes have included: increased interest among participants in collaborating in further research, the feasibility of Latino lay health advisors as active partners in research, and the value of process evaluation of a partnership to enhance intervention sustainability. NIOSH is utilizing the model created for Simple Solutions: Ergonomics for Farm Workers, a document related to earlier CPHF-IR projects, for a comparable document for construction in both English and Spanish. This program has confirmed that such partnerships can produce not only sustainable interventions but also products and models with the potential to expand farther geographically than originally anticipated and even into other sectors, e.g., for primary prevention among healthcare workers and adolescents, and to introduce public health in social studies and language classes.

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