Oct. 30, 2023


Scott Heiberger

Melissa Ploeckelman

Youth agricultural safety featured in public health journal 

Special issue to provide foundation for international webinar, Nov. 14

A changing world and a milestone anniversary led to the publication of an extensive collection of international research papers, reports and editorials related to youth agricultural safety.

“Safeguarding Youth from Agricultural Injury and Illness: International Perspectives,” edited by the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, has been published by the open-access journal, Frontiers in Public Health. The special issue includes 29 manuscripts from Argentina, Australia, Burkina Faso, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Nigeria, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. Its content is also available as an e-book. Simply go to the special issue page and click the “download e-pub” tab.

The special issue began two years ago when Frontiers invited Barbara Lee, Ph.D., director of the National Children’s Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, to serve as a guest editor. Lee suggested an edition dedicated to youth agricultural safety. At the same time, the National Children’s Center was celebrating its 25th anniversary.

“What’s changed in the past 25 years is our network of colleagues. I approached Frontiers with a new concept,” Lee said, to feature international perspectives on children, agriculture, safety, and health in one publication.

“Even before the National Children’s Center was established, Marshfield was the hub of discussion for child agricultural injury prevention. We held the first national gathering on the topic in 1992,” Lee said.

Lee assembled a team of Marshfield-based colleagues as editors, along with two international editors, Peter Lundqvist, Ph.D., professor at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden, and Richard Franklin, Ph.D., professor at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. Marshfield Clinic Research Institute editors included: National Farm Medicine Center Director and Research Scientist Casper Bendixsen, Ph.D.; and associate research scientists Bryan Weichelt, Ph.D., Florence Becot, Ph.D., and Andrea Swenson, Ph.D. Research Coordinator Christopher Benny served as topic coordinator, promoting the call for papers and working with the editorial board and authors.

“Now we want to take some of the bigger messages of what we learned from compiling this special issue to international audiences,” Lee said.

Themes emerging from the special issue include the need for more comprehensive injury data, the role of public policy, and an examination of regulations regarding children working in agriculture.

“As we begin to share these international perspectives, we’re asking how we can best work together,” Lee said. “For instance, do we develop an international action plan? We definitely need to share and modify resources that have been effective, such as evidence-based work guidelines for youth.”

WEBINAR NOV. 14: A webinar leveraging this special issue will take place Nov. 14. Click here to register. The webinar, titled, “Safeguarding the health and safety of children in agriculture,” is being organized jointly by the International Association of Work in Agriculture and the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. The webinar will shed light on the health and safety of children in agriculture in Northern and Southern countries, with an emphasis on family farm systems. After a discussion of recent research, attendees will engage in a moderated discussion of opportunities for future research and interventions, as well as collaborations.

MEDIA KIT: Click here for the full release, flyers and social media posts promoting the Frontiers in Public Health special issue and webinar.


Cover, special issue of Frontiers in Public Health dedicated to international child agricultural safety and health. (Image courtesy Frontiers in Public Health)
Cover (.jpg)

Girl harvesting strawberries. (Image courtesy Frontiers in Public Health
Girl Harvesting Strawberries (.jpg)

Boys in Australian canola field with grandfather. (Photo by Richard Franklin) 
Canola Field (.jpg)

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