FAQ: USDA is expanding a program to provide safety training for youth working on farms. A national work training curriculum and educational materials on farm safety are to be developed. How will that program be carried out?
Answer: More than 2 million youth working on farms and ranches will soon benefit from USDA funding set aside to develop national work training curriculum and educational materials on farm safety. USDA in late September announced the funding to provide safety training for youth working in ag production.
"Working on the farm or ranch is hard work and can also be dangerous," said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, when the grant announcement was made. "By working together, we can be sure young people in rural America have the opportunity to reap the many benefits of helping out on the farm, while also staying safe. This grant announcement expands our ongoing farm safety partnership and will help further educate and protect young workers who represent the future of American agriculture."
Ann Bartuska, USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics, made the announcement at the North American Agricultural Safety Summit in Minneapolis. "Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the nation, as such, thousands of youth are injured and hundreds are killed every year by hazards found on the farm," she said. "As these youth play a vital role in the productivity of American agriculture, USDA has a responsibility to provide the education and resources needed to train youth in safe farming practices."
Grant will provide safety training for youth working in ag production
The grant will provide safety training for 2 million youth working in ag production. The additional funding expands USDA's ongoing farm safety partnership and will help further educate and protect young workers who represent the future of American agriculture, she said.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
USDA awarded $600,000 to Pennsylvania State University to develop a national training curriculum that lessens agricultural hazards to young workers. The training will align with Career Cluster Standards of the National Council for Agricultural Education.
The USDA project will establish a national steering committee to engage the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Labor, FFA, Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, Ag Safety and Health Council of America, National Council for Ag Education and other partners. The committee will work to identify curriculum and testing gaps, certification needs and industry-recognized credentials.
Materials and information will be available nationally to teach farm safety
Curriculum materials will be placed on the eXtension website in the new Ag Safety and Health Community of Practice to be used in both formal and non-formal settings. Materials will be accompanied by a national outreach strategy that will promote use of the curriculum by teachers and farm safety instructors as well as parents and 4-H youth programs.
Additionally, the project will determine resources required to sustain a clearinghouse for national youth farm safety and education curriculum, state certification requirements and testing.
Latest announcement builds on previous efforts to promote farm safety for youth
USDA made the award through the Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification Program, which was established in 2001.
Agricultural education is an important part of an individual's career and technical education, said Bartuska. As such, it needs to provide instruction that leads to industry-recognized credentials. In addition, vocational ag program curricula need to be aligned with current career standards and curricula that integrate agricultural safety and health. More information is available at www.nifa.usda.gov.