Friday, January 21, 2022

Play

Despite a failed attempt in the U.S. Senate, more than 200 business owners call for federal reforms to strengthen election laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court deals another blow to abortion providers.

Play

President Biden gets cheers and jeers as he marks his first year in the White House, the Jan. 6 committee wants to hear from Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court rejects another challenge to the Texas abortion law.

Play

Expanded broadband akin to electrification in rural America 80 years ago; small Wyoming grocery store survives monopolization; revitalized Kansas town gets national recognition; and Montana's Native communities look for voter suppression work-arounds.

ND Brings Farmer Safety Back to the Forefront

Play

Thursday, January 13, 2022   

2022 will see a renewed focus on farmer safety in North Dakota. A key position has been filled to focus on education designed to reduce accidents and fatalities on farms.

It's been more than 15 years since North Dakota had a farm and ranch safety coordinator through North Dakota State University Extension Services, a gap attributed to cuts in federal funding.

But with new money from the Legislature, Farm and Ranch Safety Coordinator Angie Johnson has been hired.

She said these days, producers face so many pressures, and it can be hard for them to think about slowing down and being extra careful.

"We are under Mother Nature's control, and also with the markets," said Johnson. "And so, how do you make really good, rational, safe and healthy decisions for yourself when you're under that kind of pressure?"

She said it's about more than just avoiding rushing on the job - things like healthy sleep habits also are important.

Johnson said it's hard to get true data on accidents in North Dakota, because so many family farms aren't required to report to OSHA. But in 2020, the state ranked second in the nation for injuries in confined spaces on farms.

Shane Sickler - a fourth-generation farmer and member of the North Dakota Farmers Union - was injured in an accident several years ago.

He said he had noticed the decline in safety outreach, and feels a rejuvenated program will help producers, especially those seeing higher turnover with their staff.

"We're moving so much faster," said Sickler. "Equipment changes a lot, so you have to adapt to the equipment more often. And with inexperienced help that comes - that you hire, maybe every year - you have to re-educate 'em about the equipment and stuff."

As she shapes prevention education, Johnson said she'll gather feedback from local extension agents on the types of accidents they're seeing too often in their counties.

She also encouraged farmers to not ignore mental health concerns, so they're in the best position to run a safe operation.

"Take advantage of the rural mental health services we have," said Johnson. "They're so, so much better - they're improving. Telehealth has been a huge factor."



Disclosure: North Dakota Farmers Union contributes to our fund for reporting on Rural/Farming. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Republican Jeff Flake. (Flickr)

Social Issues

A wave of new Arizona voters in the 2020 election changed the normally conservative state to one where progressive candidates and ideas have a fightin…


Environment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …

Social Issues

Healthcare workers at an Oregon hospital have achieved what they say is a "win" after several strikes in recent months. Nearly 300 workers and …


Pennsylvania has over 300 million square feet of big-box building rooftops, which new research suggests could provide almost half the electricity that these buildings consume if they were outfitted with solar panels. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …

Social Issues

If Iowa wants to create healthier outcomes for its residents, advocates say there are steps policymakers can take right now to make it happen…

Over the course of the pandemic, North Dakota has received more than $350 million in federal aid to help struggling renters, but says it has sent back roughly 40% of that money unspent. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, but groups working …

Social Issues

Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …

Social Issues

After a defeat on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they'll keep trying to pass voting-rights legislation, and one Wisconsin group wants …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021