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Projects & Products

Partnerships are at the heart of the National Children’s Center’s key projects. The Center engages in specific interventions with agribusiness, media, insurers and major farm organizations to protect children at work and at play.

Action Plans and Reports lists the publications developed by the National Children’s Center to inform stakeholders of Center activities as well as reports on special projects.

Agritourism is a project to develop health and safety guidelines specific to children for farmers involved in agritourism. A recently updated online tool enables agritourism operators to conduct virtual safety-walkthroughs of their operations, and to print out an array of signs necessary for visitor safety.

Mini-Grants provides short-term funding to support feasibility and pilot projects in the outreach, prevention/intervention, education, and research areas.

Model Policy is a voluntary guideline that provides background and guidance to employers that hire young workers. Information is included regarding the rationale for age-appropriate assignments, training needs for adolescent workers, ideal supervision, and mentoring by adult workers. This voluntary “best practice” approach can be adapted to specific work settings.

Nurture is the newsletter of the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, dissemining children's rural health and safety information to professionals in the fields of health and safety, agribusiness, policy-making and the media.

Safe Play is a project that provided the first comprehensive guidelines for designing and building an outdoor safe play area on a farm. A recently updated online tool captures key elements of the project for parents and others who want to design and construct their own Safe Play Area.

Safety Guidelines for Hired Adolescent Farmworkers is a set of seven poster guidelines developed in English and Spanish addressing supervisor responsibilities for ensuring work conditions are appropriate and adequate and for assessing their teen workers. Training and supervision tips, specific to teens and to each job, are provided.

NEW Projects for 2015-2019

Advanced Knowledge Mobilization and E-communication (AKME) led by Matthew Keifer, MD. The health communications, marketing, and technology specialists of AKME facilitate messaging, packaging and dissemination of information across all projects. This team collaborates with center-wide and external partners. AKME facilitates timely and culturally-appropriate communication strategies, including social media, virtual meetings, and mobile applications. Considered the centerpiece project of the National Children’s Center.

Evaluation Core Guiding the documentation and analysis of the success of the National Children’s Center and its projects in achieving objectives for research, education, and public service. Evaluation data provide empirically-driven feedback to guide decision-making, policy formulation, and improvements at the center.

Filling the Gaps in Child Agricultural Injury Data led by Barbara Marlenga, PhD. This project is exploring the most promising, existing public health data systems to determine their utility for adding to the limited data currently available via the NIOSH/NASS surveillance process. Preliminary work by Dr. Marlenga’s team has provided insights into potentially valuable agriculture-related data embedded within child death reviews, trauma registries, and emergency medical services data. Recommendations will guide future policies for national data collection.

Protecting Children While Parents Work in Agriculture co-led by Amy K. Liebman, MPA, and Barbara Lee, PhD. Aims to increase the engagement of agribusiness leaders in facilitating availability of, and access to, off-farm child care services for migrant and immigrant agricultural workers with children younger than 12 years. It is based upon the successful RCMA model in Florida.

Protecting the Health of Youth Agricultural Workers led by Diane Rohlman, PhD, and Shelly Campo, PhD, of the University of Iowa. Includes a randomized controlled trial blending elements of Total Worker Health with agricultural safety. Content on substance abuse, fatigue and cell-phone use will augment existing safety resources and policies for employers. Results will inform its impact on both English- and Spanish-speaking supervisors.

Strengthening Organizational Capacity to Prevent Childhood Agricultural Injuries led by Barbara Lee, PhD. The project leverages current relationships with organization executives to reach into networks of leaders across domains of youth serving organizations, insurance companies, agricultural media, and agricultural bankers. The project uses marketing approaches and principles of corporate social responsibility to increase the number and spectrum of groups that incorporate a focus on childhood farm safety into their ongoing systems, policies and communications with constituents and members.

Sustaining the SAY National Clearinghouse led by Dennis Murphy, PhD, with his Penn State team. In 2013, responding to the agricultural community’s rejection of proposed updates to child labor laws, the USDA awarded funds to establish a clearinghouse for educational resources. The Safety in Agricultural Youth (SAY) clearinghouse is now under construction. This project will evaluate the roll-out of SAY at a regional level, then, based upon results, generate recommendations for SAY’s modification, termination or long-term sustainability.

Understanding Beginning Farmers and Ranchers led by Casper Bendixsen, PhD. Strives to understand the attitudes of millennial generation, non-traditional family farmers whose livelihood has been launched by USDA-funded support. As an anthropologist, Dr. Bendixsen will compare and contrast demographics and practices of African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics and other unique groups in order to guide future culturally relevant interventions addressing children and farm safety.

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