This is a week when the focus is on safety in one of the nation's most dangerous occupations – agriculture.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a declaration making September as Farm Safety Month and the week of Sept. 21-27 as Farm Safety and Health Week on Sept. 19, the same day that President Obama signed a similar national declaration and other organizations announced special activities in observation of farm safety.
The national declaration took note of the productivity of America's farmers and ranchers and of the hazards of the occupation from "vehicular fatalities and heat related illnesses to falls and sicknesses from exposure to pesticides and chemicals" and called for measures to raise awareness of the dangers and increase the safety of agricultural workers.
The state declaration also called for appreciation of the work farmers and ranchers do and the risks that inherent in the job.
"I appreciate Gov. Brownback's proclamation," says Holly Higgins, Kansas Farm Bureau's organization director/safety and agriculture education director. "It's a great reminder to all of us that farm safety is important, and should be thought about every day on our farms and ranches."
For more than 66 years, Kansas Farm Bureau, the state's largest farm organization, has had a full-time staff position dedicated to safety and health issues for farmers.
"Kansas Farm Bureau is a farm organization, and we understand keeping our farm families safe is an important issue," Higgins says. "We value this opportunity and thank our volunteers who have helped spread the safety message."
In addition to KFB staff, County Farm Bureaus provide hundreds of farm safety programs every year reaching thousands of adults and children.
To bring awareness, KFB offers a multitude of Do-It-Yourself programs for volunteers and those interested in learning more. Annually, a safety poster program provides an opportunity for children to learn, consider and draw ways to stay safe on the farm. Kansas Farm Bureau is the only organization in the state that tracks farm accidents—something we've done since 1980.
For more information on farm safety, visit KFB's farm safety site.