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Wanted: New Safety Recruits

Operation FarmSafe 05/20/2012 @ 11:00pm Launching a preemptive strike against farm safety threats.

LaMar Grafft knows that farming is a high-risk business. Grafft, a former farmer, knows it’s easy to underestimate the shadowy danger zone lurking in a farm’s perimeter.

Over the past decade as a safety reviewer for the Certified Safe Farm program, he’s visited many farms where safety risks have receded into the scenery like camouflage fatigues. He knows it often takes a new set of eyes to help farmers recognize these threats to the well-being of family and employees – and the bottom line of the farm business.

That’s why Grafft recently visited the Kalona, Iowa, operation of Phil Winborn and his son, Andy. They’re new recruits for the CSF program created in 1996 by the Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH) at University of Iowa.

A CSF on-farm review is like a safety patrol of the perimeter of your farm operation. It’s unrelated to any regulatory agency, and the farm operation’s score is confidential. (See sidebar at right to learn how you can apply for a free review and a $2,500 grant to make needed repairs.)

The CSF coalition includes partner programs in five states: Iowa, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

“Our research indicates that higher CSF scores are related to reduced illnesses and serious injuries, resulting in lower medical bills,” says Kelley Donham, I-CASH director.

Work in progress
Safety is a multigenerational priority for the Winborns. Andy and his family moved back to Iowa one year ago, and his school-age children enjoy being at the farm as Andy helps Phil.

“Over time, I’ve learned that safety is an attitude,” Phil says. “And we have to keep working at it.”

Operation FarmSafe offers farmers a chance to outmaneuver work-related dangers. Make your move today.

Apply for a Grant
Four Operation FarmSafe winners will receive a $2,500 grant to make improvements to their farm operation and an offer for a free Certified Safe Farm review. Send a one-page application by May 31 with:

  1. A brief description of your operation and family members working with you.
  2. An explanation of how you and your family would benefit from a review/grant.
Thanks to Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance for funding four grants. Recipients will be notified in early June and will need to make an appointment with a CSF reviewer to visit their farm by late July or early August. Specified work must be done before harvest when a Successful Farming editor and photographer will visit.

Send entries to:

Operation FarmSafe
Successful Farming Magazine
1716 Locust Street/LS257
Des Moines, IA 50309-3023

Or enter online at www.agriculture.com/OperationFarmSafe.
This article was originally posted by Cheryl Tevis.

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