Extension and Ag Research News


NDSU Extension offering education at Big Iron

NDSU Extension personnel will have exhibits at the east end of Hartl Ag Building.

Farmers, ranchers and others will have an opportunity to learn about agricultural safety, and stress and mental health management during the Big Iron farm show in West Fargo, North Dakota, Sept. 12-14. Information on the new North Dakota State University major, Precision Agriculture Technology and Management, also will be available. 

NDSU Extension personnel will have exhibits at the east end of Hartl Ag Building. In addition, Extension agents and specialists will be available to answer questions about crop and livestock production.

“This is an opportunity for people to stop by to view the displays, ask questions, provide input or just visit,” says Ken Hellevang, NDSU Extension agricultural engineer.

Agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries. Farmers are at very high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries and farming is one of the few industries in which family members, who often share the work and live on the premises, also are at risk.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a rate of work-related deaths per 100,000 workers in the agricultural industry that is seven times higher than the national average. Two-thirds of deaths in the agriculture industry occurred to workers 55 years of age and older. Fall harvest time can be one of the busiest and most dangerous seasons of the year for the agriculture industry.

Grain entrapment is one of the major hazards related to grain farming. People will have an opportunity to measure their “pull” in a tug of war with grain entrapment. A person buried to the waist in grain requires an extraction force equivalent to their own body weight plus an estimated 600 pounds. Proper grain entrapment rescue procedures will be shown along with other grain safety guidance.

Many injuries occur when equipment starts automatically or when someone turns it on not knowing that someone is in danger. This can be prevented using a process called lockout tagout. A lock is placed on the switch and only the person working on the equipment has a key. Lockout tagout equipment will be displayed at the booth.

Another aspect of the exhibit will focus on resources available to help producers survive the many challenges they face that make farming a stressful occupation. Farm and ranch stress Extension specialists will be available to discuss resources and methods of appropriately dealing with the stress.

A new NDSU major, Precision Agricultural Technology and Management, combines an understanding of agricultural and physical technology and sciences, with economics and managerial skills. This understanding of science, technology and related practices, including unmanned aerial systems (drones), remote sensing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, sensors, robotic applications, cloud computing, big data management and site-specific resources management is a crucial component of modern agriculture. Graduates enter the job market ready to meet the needs of their employer and clients, or to apply their skills on their own farm. Faculty will be available to discuss this new program at NDSU.

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering students will have their one-fourth scale tractor on display. Students design and build the tractor, then compete against other teams from across the country. In 2023, they won the durability category and placed second overall in national competition. Each year, agricultural technology students recondition a tractor as a club activity, and will have several on display.

NDSU Agriculture Communication – Aug. 25, 2023

Source: Ken Hellevang, 701-231-7243, kenneth.hellevang@ndsu.edu

Editor: Kelli Anderson, 701-231-7881, kelli.c.anderson@ndsu.edu

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