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Women on the farm
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STOP! Read all directions before proceeding! We have all seed the warning labels, and we all know that no matter what activity we are participating in, there are safety precautions that must be followed. Our work in the agriculture field is no different. When we work in the agriculture field, we are assuming the risk of the most dangerous occupations in our nation. According to the CDC, everyday about 167 agricultural workers suffer a lost-work-time injury. The next Women on the Farm event will feature not only safety for working on the farm, but also the selection of tools for your body type and capabilities to prevent injury.
Our first speaker will be Kerri Ebert with Kansas AgrAbility Project K-State Research and Extension. She will discuss the nuts and bolts of Women in Agriculture: Your Body Your Tools. She will discuss how women are involved in agriculture, the physical differences between women and men, why those differences matter, the types of common injuries to women and injury prevention strategies.
In 2012 Ag Census women farm operator represented 30% of total farm operators. Women principal operators were 14% of all principle operators. While total principal operators decreased between 2007 and 2012 the number of women age 65+ who are principal operators increased by 3%. The number of women who have been on their present farm for 10+ years increased by 6%.
Female operated farms tend to be: smaller, fewer acres, lower sales, more diversified, and less mechanized. Women are adaptors of sustainable practices and/or organic producers and are involved in direct sales to consumers. Globally women produce more than half the food grown in the world and 60%-80% of the food in most developing countries.
There is an assumption that women don’t work in dangerous professions. Women farm: farming is dangerous. Women tend to be older than male operators. They tend to perform multiple roles in the family; homemaker, child care, off-farm job, caregiver, and farm tasks. These jobs are stressful and impacts women’s health.
Women’s bodies are significantly different from men’s bodies. 40-75% less upper body strength, 5-30% less lower body strength, smaller stature (avg. female is 5” shorter than avg. male), more fat tissue, narrower shoulders, wider hips, proportionally shorter legs and arms, smaller grips, grip strength 50-67% that of males, greater flexibility, and lower center of gravity.
The next three speakers, Alicia Boor, K-State Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent, Dr. Victor Martin, Barton Community College Ag Program Instructor/Coordinator and Charles Atkinson, Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist will focus their attention on farm safety for women and how to work safely around farm equipment.
Keeping women healthy and safe is the goal of this workshop. Paying attention to body mechanics and using ergonomic tools will lower the risk for injuries for women. Learning how to use farm equipment safely will also prevent injuries and/or death.
Join us for the workshop from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on July 28, at the new American Ag Credit building in Great Bend. RSVP by July 25, to Stephanie Royer at Rush County Conservation District at 785-222-2615 ext. 101. There is no fee thanks to our local sponsors. Snacks will be provided.