March 7, 2022

CONTACT: Scott Heiberger

Celebrate Agricultural Literacy Week (March 21-25) by sharing agricultural safety stories with a media toolkit provided by Telling the Story Project, a collaboration of four regional agricultural safety centers funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The toolkit contains social media posts linking to personal stories told by farmers, agricultural workers, family and community members who have been impacted by injuries, fatalities, or close calls. Their experiences provide valuable information to learn what went wrong and how to prevent similar outcomes. The common thread: “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

Agriculture Literacy Week, now in its 17th year, is a great opportunity to share these stories, especially with the next generation of agriculture, such as middle school, high school, and college students. 

“Ag Literacy Week is about telling stories, reading stories, and hearing stories, all to promote learning. Telling the Story Project stories fit so well with that intent,” said Stephanie Leonard, occupational safety manager at The University of Iowa Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health. “Our stories can be used year-round to teach injury prevention lessons and to initiate safety conversations with family and friends, as well as to normalize these discussions.”

Other participating centers in Telling the Story Project include Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (University of Nebraska Medical Center); Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (University of Minnesota); and National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute). 

Agricultural media editors say that real stories make safety messages more relevant, according to UMASH-funded research published in the Journal of Extension. 

Telling the Story Project content is meant to be shared. Farmers, media professionals, teachers, Extension, and safety professionals are especially encouraged to link to the stories and repurpose content. Please see terms of use for republishing and crediting.


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