It is well known that work is good for youth, and that agriculture provides opportunities to develop work skills and gain an appreciation for the land. It is also well known that the farm worksite is dangerous, resulting in numerous injuries and fatalities. Since 2009, more youth die working in agriculture than in all other industries combined. These injuries and deaths are often associated with youth performing agricultural work that does not match their developmental level/abilities.
The overall goal of this initiative is to help youth work safely in agriculture by helping parents and supervisors assign work consistent with a youth’s abilities. A 16-person steering committee was formed with members from across the agricultural industry to provide guidance on topics, design, content, and dissemination. Child development and physical content experts were recruited to help develop content, and all materials were reviewed multiple times prior to release.
The Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines (AYWG), formerly known as the North American Guidelines for Children's Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT), were updated/developed based on:
- child ag injury/fatality data
- latest scientific evidence
- changes in production agriculture
- priority topics
- information technology
- health communications theory/practice
Click here for more information on the history and development of guidelines for youth working in agriculture.
Currently, there are 51 work guidelines (3 more under development), along with supplemental materials on supervision, communication, child development, benefits of farm work and a media kit. The guidelines are housed on the mobile friendly Cultivate Safety website and are available in three formats: interactive, read, and print. Print versions of the guidelines allow for selection of skin tone and equipment color to make them culturally appropriate and attractive to a variety of audiences. The AYWG web pages, guidelines and supplemental materials are all available in English, Spanish and French. Three topic specific AYWG booklets (farm equipment, animals and gardens) are under development and will also be available in English, Spanish and French.
Parents and farm supervisors can use the Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines to assign age/ability appropriate work to youth, provide appropriate levels of supervision, address hazards and implement appropriate protective strategies, all of which help reduce injuries and fatalities to youth working in agriculture.
Guideline Media Kit
A media kit is available to assist with promotion and dissemination of the Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines.
Funding for the guidelines was made possible by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and CHS Community Giving.