A book has been published to capture the first 25 years of the National Farm Medicine Center. "Promoting agricultural health and safety: A history of the National Farm Medicine Center," was written by Marshfield Clinic Hematologist-Oncologist Joseph J. Mazza, M.D., and is illustrated with more than 50 photos. The 48-page hardcover book details the rise of the Farm Center from concept to national research leader, and includes a four-page timeline of key events.

The book can be checked out from the G.E. Magnin Medical Library of Marshfield Clinic. To request a copy of the book, contact the National Farm Medicine Center at 1-800-662-6900.

2014   The Farm Center hires its first anthropologist to better understand the social and cultural fabric of rural populations, and the implications for research, outreach and education.
2013   North American Agricultural Safety Summit, hosted by the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA), is a major success. The Summit marked the end of formal NFMC involvement in the administration of ASHCA, which had “incubated” in the Farm Center since 2007.
2013   The Cultivate Safety campaign begins. The National Children’s Center, in partnership with an advertising agency, developed a multi-pronged national campaign to provide child agricultural safety information to the general public in a user-friendly format.
2012   Dr. Matthew Keifer becomes director of the National Farm Medicine Center. Barbara Lee, Ph.D., director since 2001, continues to lead the National Children’s Center.
2012   "Blueprint for Protecting Children in Agriculture: The 2012 National Action Plan,” is published. The National Children’s Center guided development of the plan with input from the general public and leading researchers.
2012   National Farm Medicine Center’s Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) Rebate Program is launched. Its goal is to encourage farmers to have ROPS installed on their tractors by offering a rebate of 70 percent (up to $865).
2011   The FARM (Farm, Agricultural, and Rural Medicine) Clinic is established to provide consulting services on pesticide exposures, agricultural respiratory and allergic conditions, musculoskeletal disorders affecting the ability to farm and resulting disability issues, complex workers’ compensation and other conditions arising from agricultural exposures.
2011   The Farm Center becomes a collaborator in the new NIOSH-funded Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health center (UMASH), based at the University of Minnesota.
2011   Agricultural Safety Consulting (ASC) conducts its first dairy farm visit. ASC specializes in dairy safety program development, implementation and management, and conducts worker safety training in English and/or Spanish.
2010   Matthew Keifer, MD, MPH, was hired to fill the Dean Emanuel Endowed Chair and to lead the new Wisconsin Dairy Workers Safety and Health Initiative, a partnership joining colleagues affiliated with the University of Wisconsin College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UW Agricultural Research Stations, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin and other organizations. Dr. Keifer came from the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center at the University of Washington, where he was associate director.
2009   NFMC worked with the not-for-profit AgriSafe Network to set up the first AgriSafe-certified course in Wisconsin to offer a core curriculum in agricultural medicine and health.
2008   National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health awarded a third consecutive five-year competitive center grant to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety
2008   The National Farm Medicine Center is awarded nearly $1 million by National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health to follow-up a well-known hearing study of farm youth conducted by the National Farm Medicine Center 15 years ago
2008   The National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety led a project to modify current North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks posters so they’d be applicable to hired adolescent farm workers. The project is titled “Safety Guidelines for Hired Adolescent Farm Workers (SaGHAF).
2007   NFMC hosts the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Sector Council on Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing for a two-day strategic planning session
2007   Led an initiative leading to the establishment of the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America
2006   NFMC hosts the National Institute for Farm Safety annual conference in Sheboygan, Wisconsin
2006   NFMC celebrates its 25th Anniversary
2005   NFMC assumes editorship of the Journal of Agromedicine, a peer-reviewed, National Library of Medicine-indexed quarterly journal
2004   NFMC releases Benchmarking Report: Hiring and Safety Practices for Adolescent Workers in Agriculture
2004   First national Journalists Workshop convenes to expand and enhance media reporting of agricultural health and safety issues
2003   NFMC publishes Creating Safe Play Areas on Farms, the first comprehensive guidelines for designing and building a play area in a farm setting
2003   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awards NFMC a STAR grant to estimate the burden of acute childhood illnesses attributable to drinking water
2002   NFMC is funded by NIOSH to study whether a modification of federal child labor laws could reduce injuries to children on family farms
2001   NFMC hosts the National Summit on Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention and publishes results in 2002
2000   NFMC leads the National Adolescent Farmworker Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee and published its recommendations in 2001
2000   NFMC is awarded a NIOSH grant to assess potential injury prevention impact of NAGCAT using a case series design
1999   North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT) are disseminated nationally, including on a dedicated Web site
1999   NFMC receives funding from NCI to research the molecular epidemiology of prostate carcinogenesis
1998   NFMC receives NIOSH grant to study children’s agricultural work guidelines for relevance, applicability and effectiveness
1997   NFMC is designated by NIOSH as National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, involving multiple projects and external Collaborations
1997   Reproductive Toxicology Lab established, with emphasis on determining adverse effects of agricultural chemical exposures on human reproduction
1996   NFMC leads a national committee that develops National Action Plan for Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention, adopted and funded by the U.S. Congress
1995   NFMC hosts Midwest Seminar for Health Care Providers: Common Rural and Agricultural Health Problems, in Madison, Wisconsin
1994   NFMC receives funding from NIOSH for Upper Midwest Health Study
1993   Environmental Health Laboratory established, with research emphasis on pathogen virulence and infectious disease
1992   NFMC is named one of 10 Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Centers funded by National Cancer Institute (NCI)
1992   National Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Symposium convenes in Marshfield, Wisconsin
1992   NFMC is funded by federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau as a Children’s Safety Network-Rural Center
1991   NFMC is designated a NIOSH Center for Agricultural Disease and Injury Research, Education, and Prevention, involving many projects and external Collaborations
1991   Farmers Caps and Hats research leads to national media coverage for Marshfield Clinic
1990   NFMC is awarded NIOSH grant for Wisconsin Farmers Cancer Control Program
1990   NFMC releases A Guide to Tractor Roll Bars and Other Rollover Protective Structures
1989   NFMC receives funding from NIOSH for comprehensive, population-based farm injury surveillance
1989   NFMC hosts Midwest Conference for Farmers with Disabilities in Stevens Point, Wisconsin
1988   The Country Doctor medical advice column is featured in monthly farm magazines
1988   First NFMC environmental health project is funded by Amoco Corporation to address leaking underground fuel storage on farms
1987   Emergency room-based farm injury surveillance and noise exposure in agriculture pilot study initiated
1987   NFMC receives National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) contracts to develop data collection tools for farm injuries and farm chemical exposure
1985   Today’s Farm Health radio series, with promotion statements by actor Eddie Albert, is broadcasted by more than 200 radio stations nationwide
1984   AgriHealth, a five-part video education curriculum, is developed and disseminated nationally to high school agriculture teachers
1983   NFMC begins health screenings at annual Wisconsin Farm Progress Days
1983   Ag Day, a television education program featuring 22 health topics, is developed and distributed to 70 TV stations
1982   National Farm Medicine Center gets start-up funds from Marshfield Clinic and formally introduced to community and media
1982   First Auction of Champions fundraising event generates $11,000 for NFMC
1981   Farm accident rescue training programs initiated
1981   National Farm Medicine Center formed as a program of Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation
1979-80   Task Force formed to review agriculture-related medical problems as seen by Marshfield Clinic physicians, leading to a feasibility study committee and formal recommendations and formal recommendations to establish a farm medicine center
1981   Farm accident rescue training programs initiated
1972   Awarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for Marshfield’s Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) to study pulmonary response to organic dust -year contract would be renewed three times, until 1992
1960s   Work continues on Farmer’s Lung disease; research expands into new areas including organic dust toxic syndrome and maple bark disease
1959   First federal grant awarded to Marshfield Clinic from National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study Farmer’s Lung disease

National Farm Medicine Center 30th Anniversary

30 Year Anniversary l 25 Year Anniversary

National Farm Medicine Center: Celebrating 30 years of agricultural medicine, safety and health!

Health issues unique to farmers, their families and employees provided the impetus for establishment of the National Farm Medicine Center in 1981.

A group of physicians and other professional staff of Marshfield Clinic began discussing the establishment of an agricultural medicine center that would focus on health issues unique to farmers and their families who made up a large segment of the population in central Wisconsin, and who were also patients of Marshfield Clinic. This concept appeared to be a natural outgrowth of the ongoing research and clinical expertise that already existed at Marshfield Clinic, starting with the Clinic’s acquisition of Dean Emanuel, M.D., a cardiologist who joined the staff in 1958. Dr. Emanuel had a deep interest in respiratory illnesses and farmer’s lung disease, and the Foundation began a series of research projects and investigations of unique maladies occurring in dairy farmers. The rest, as they say, is history.

“Looking ahead, we will enhance our many initiatives addressing agricultural health and safety for adults and children,” said Barbara Lee, director, National Farm Medicine Center. “Our emphasis on underserved populations will expand via the talents and interests of new staff. The strong partnerships we have developed with leaders in agribusiness and producer organizations, safety advocates, researchers and health care providers will facilitate identification and management of issues affecting agricultural populations at the local, regional and national level. Further, with an emphasis on translating knowledge into practice, you will likely ‘see’ us more often as we expand our communication delivery via social media to reach broad audiences.”