Farm Safety and Women

Every individual working in the Wisconsin agricultural industry counts and has a part in safety and health prevention efforts and that is why “every farmer counts” as this year’s National Farm Safety & Health Awareness Week theme.

Women play an increasingly critical role in operating farms and ranches nationwide. In 2017, almost 30% of the nation’s principal farm operators who responded to the U.S. Census of Agriculture were women – a number that more than doubled in only five years- with another countless number of women working on the farm to carry out many of the day-to-day operational tasks. Women face unique concerns and challenges while working on farms. For example, women are especially at risk for injuries when working with large animals (dairy and beef cattle especially) as compared to men who are most often injured because of machinery-related hazards. Additionally, women working in animal agriculture may be exposed to animal health products that create unique health risks – one example is when women administer reproductive hormones to animals.

In a recent farm safety video developed by Extension Fond du Lac County Dairy & Livestock Agent Tina Kohlman and Kewaunee County Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom, Kohlman and local veterinarian Lindley Reilly discuss the unique challenges on the farm and how women can navigate around those concerns as they perform their jobs.

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To learn more about prevention and control of exposures that disproportionately affect women, check out:

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