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NDSU Extension to offer farm safety education at Big Iron

Exhibits will cover agriculture-related hearing loss, farm and ranch stress, and grain bin safety.

Farming and ranching are dangerous occupations. To help raise awareness of safety concerns, North Dakota State University agents and specialists will offer several interactive booths on safety during the Big Iron Farm Show in West Fargo, Sept. 13-15. Topics include hearing loss, farm stress and grain bin safety.

NDSU nursing practitioner student Andrea Johnson has teamed up with NDSU Extension farm and ranch safety coordinator Angie Johnson and NDSU Extension gerontology specialist Jane Strommen to tackle the issue of agriculture-related hearing loss.

The hearing loss booth will help farmers and ranchers of all ages determine prevention strategies that will help them preserve their hearing throughout their lifetime.

“Hearing loss is often associated with age,” says Jane Strommen, NDSU Extension gerontology specialist. “However, the level of noise, or decibels, we expose ourselves to over time, is what really can impact our hearing, not just age alone.”

 Attendees will be able to pick up a new NDSU Extension publication that contains a buying guide for choosing the best hearing protection device for the job. Farmers are invited to participate in the team’s hearing loss prevention work for a chance to win a free set of NDSU Extension earmuffs.

The NDSU Extension farm and ranch stress booth will offer resources on stress management. Attendees can participate in “Test Your Stress” to identify how they handle stress on their farm or ranch operation.

“Just as you would stop your vehicle or tractor when the ‘check engine’ light comes on, you need to stop and identify your own warning signals that stress may be negatively impacting your health,” says Adriana Drusini, Extension farm and ranch stress coordinator.

Unchecked stress can contribute to overall health and lead to health issues such as high blood pressure, fatigue, accident proneness and depression.

“We can’t eliminate the stresses that come with farming and ranching, but we can learn to identify, manage and respond with resources in a much better, healthier way than trying to handle it alone,” says Sean Brotherson, NDSU Extension family science specialist.

At the grain bin safety booth, the farm and ranch safety team will have their “slip, trip and fall safety” demonstration ladder that can be used on grain bins to prevent dangerous falls. Attendees will be able to see a lockout/tagout kit and learn how and where farmers can use them on their grain handling operation. The team also will have a class III harness available for attendees to try on.

“Grain bin safety starts with having a plan in place,” says Angie Johnson. “You should never enter a grain bin. However, if you do make the choice to enter a grain bin, what is your plan?”

NDSU agents and specialists will be available to help farmers consider proper safety equipment, air quality, lockout procedures and other factors that can help prevent grain bin tragedies.

For more information about these exhibits, visit ndsu.ag/safety-big-iron.

NDSU Agriculture Communication – Sept. 1, 2022

Source: Angie Johnson, 701-231-1873, angela.b.johnson@ndsu.edu

Editor: Elizabeth Cronin, 701-231-5391, elizabeth.cronin@ndsu.edu

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