Meet AgriSafe's Newest Staff Member: Carey Portell
Carey Portell joins the AgriSafe team as a cattle farmer and champion of farmer/rancher wellness. She understands the balance farmers face when working on and off the farm. Carey’s personal experience as a survivor of a disabling car crash and her return to farm work is an inspiration to those who desire to farm for life. She is a national speaker, and her voice will be heard through AgriSafe’s upcoming podcast series titled “Talking Total Farmer Health.” In addition, Carey assists AgriSafe with marketing communications, training efforts in several programs, farm events, and online learning opportunities! Contact Carey at
COVID-19 Social Media Vaccine Confidence ToolKit
As part of the COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence efforts by CDC/NIOSH and Total Worker Health, AgriSafe staff worked on an IPA project directed at agricultural communities across the country. AgriSafe’s COVID-19 social media toolkit addresses COVID-19 and vaccine confidence for agricultural communities, related businesses, healthcare providers, and educators. The toolkit content includes downloadable social media pieces for community-specific logos and information, user-ready podcasts, webinar links, creative videos, and more (all of which are regularly updated). Materials on vaccine confidence are expert-guided and anchored in evidence-based information that is in compliance with the CDC guidelines. Access the AgriSafe COVID-19 vaccine confidence toolkit for your organizational use today!
Upcoming Suicide Prevention Training
Over the last decade, farmers and farm families have experienced increasing pressures resulting in high levels of stress, mental health, and suicide. This training is not recorded and must be watched live.

In this virtual 1.5 hour QPR training we will provide:
  • Information on the unique challenges farmers face that can lead to stress, depression, and suicide.
  • Examples implementing each QPR component with someone at risk for suicide.
  • Information on how to help someone at risk of suicide.

Register today to save your seat! Dec. 15 from 12 pm - 1:30 pm CST.
Celebrating Diversity in Ag: Meet Liz Gaznak
With diversity in agriculture, Liz Graznak checks a lot of boxes. Liz is a female entrepreneur and agricultural producer that did not originate from a farming family. She has spent the past 12 years building Happy Hollow Farm, a successful USDA-certified organic farm from the ground up in Central Missouri in Moniteau County. She gives props to her wife Katie who has supported this dream from the beginning. Liz runs the day-to-day farming operation and business while Katie works off-farm as an occupational therapist while also managing the day-to-day for their two young children.
Happy Hollow Farm produces vegetables & flowers. Liz’s farm has 11 acres in cultivation with over 100 different varieties and employs four full-time and four part-time employees. Her produce is a favorite at the Columbia Farmer’s Market, serving 3000 customers on a typical Saturday. Farmer pride resonates from Liz “I feed thousands from my farm”.
Liz came to farming through an academic opportunity at Cornell University. Coupled with experiences at a Community Supported Agriculture farm in Ithaca, her farm future was cemented. Her parent’s entrepreneurial spirit planted the seed that a 9-5 work-life was not for her. So, after life-changing encounters with farming, Liz came back home to Missouri to buy land, start her farm and her family.
In 2021, The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) named Liz Graznak the MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year. MOSES serves all sizes and types of organic production, including monocultures, dairy, and animal farms. When asked what this award meant to her, Liz said “MOSES is the largest organic education provider in the world of organic farming. It’s where we go to learn, meet thousands of farmers with varying experiences, support each other, and attend a huge trade show with seed vendors and equipment. An award from MOSES is the pinnacle of recognition from my farming community. I am honored, humbled, and in the company of many that have and continue to do amazing things in their farming communities.”
Liz acknowledges the role that financial stress plays in mental health and farm stress. “For the first 11 years, I put everything I made back into my farm.” Liz states “The financial stress is the same across all farming production sizes. Whether you have a loan in the millions or a $300,000 loan, mental stress and the impact on your family related to the risk of losing your farm is the same.” What does her future hold? The same as all farmers: “Building my farm, increasing sales, becoming more efficient & profitable.”  
Check out the amazing work being done by Liz Graznak at Happy Hollow Farm!
AgriSafe's New Podcast Channel:
Talking Total Farmer Health®
Introducing AgriSafe’s new podcast: Talking Total Farmer Health, available wherever you listen to podcasts! AgriSafe has long been a trusted voice in the health and safety of the people who feed the world, and we are excited to bring that to you in a new format. Listen in each month, when we release a new episode, to hear the latest information from agricultural health and safety experts. Together, we will tackle the safety issues important to producers and Ag workers. This month, for our very first episode, we are talking about Ivermectin. Join us while we answer some burning questions about what Ivermectin is, what it's used for, when it should be taken, and more!
AgriSafe in Action: Montana Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Conference
Dr. Tara Haskins provided a session on agricultural mental health Season’s Change, You Remain at the October 16th Montana Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Conference held in Bozeman, Montana. The robust attendance at the session and collegiate meet topic of addressing farmer and rancher mental stress underscored the urgency of this message. Montana State University Agricultural tour showcased work and research. AgriSafe was able to connect with over 120 young farmers and ranchers as well as Montana Farm Bureau leadership. Thank you Montana Farm Bureau for the opportunity to connect with farmers, ranchers, and their issues in your state.  
AgriSafe Nurse Scholar Spotlight: Whitney Sonnen
Meet Whitney Sonnen, RN (a graduate of the 2020 AgriSafe Nurse Scholar program). Whitney is a registered nurse at a Critical Access Hospital with a Level 4 Trauma Designation. The populations she cares for include men, women, and children living in rural areas associated with the agricultural, logging, ranching, and construction industry. Currently, Whitney is earning her degree to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). She was inspired to pursue this career from her experience in working with critical access underserved populations.

"I saw that there was a noticeable lack in rural medical doctors so I sought to further my career with the end goal to return to providing care to communities primarily funded by agriculture-based careers."- Whitney Sonnen, RN

When asked which Nurse Scholar program topics she found most valuable, Whitney stated that since completing the program she has been able to apply the knowledge first-hand from these program topics: hearing conservation, chemical/pesticide exposures, women’s health, personal protective equipment, and behavioral/mental health. She found the self-paced design of the Nurse Scholar program to be beneficial because it allowed her to continue her daily routines while also advancing her knowledge in order to provide up-to-date and evidence-based care to the communities that she serves. Whitney enjoyed that after each training she was able to easily access and disseminate the provided educational handouts and resources to her surrounding communities.

Whitney stated that the knowledge gained during the Nurse Scholar program helped her identify appropriate personal protective equipment relative to exposures, provide information on an improved ability to identify and prevent symptoms of agricultural-related illnesses, and access clinical and educational resources. 

AgriSafe would like to thank Whitney for her dedication to serving the rural community!
The AgriSafe Nurse Scholar Progam has had over 100 graduates to date. If you would like to join this group of dedicated nurses, click here to find out more information about the program.
November Health Spotlight: Men's Mental Health
The world loses a man to suicide every minute of every day, which is 1,440 male deaths by suicide each day. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and the rate is significantly higher in rural communities than urban areas. As healthcare providers, suicide can often be a difficult but necessary topic to address. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that rural communities already have nearly double the suicide rate as urban areas. Helping men build stronger social connections can reduce the risk of suicide. Community-focused programs such as QPR training and Mental Health First Aid can have a vital impact on mental wellness in our rural communities. As harvest season winds down in many regions, and hours spent in the fields by producers and field workers decreases somewhat, this is a good time to schedule those appointments that can mean so much!

A Deadly Combination- Texting and Driving
We all understand the message “don’t text and drive.” But what does the message mean for Ag producers? General dangers exist operating farm equipment such as tractors, combines, farm trucks, and semi-tractor trailers as well as other high clearance machines. The size, weight, and lack of maneuverability of heavy equipment and trucks can lead to fatal accidents as drivers perform multiple tasks while driving. The increase in susceptibility to causing or being involved in an accident sharply rises if drivers are distracted. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration research shows the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event which includes a crash, near-crash or unintentional lane deviation are 23.2 times greater for truck drivers. This research is easily transferrable for the farm tractor and truck operator. Texting and driving takes our eyes and mind off the road. Check out this No Texting Rule Fact Sheet for easily adaptable solutions to keep yourself and others safe while operating farm machinery. 
AgriSafe Receives FY 2021 Capacity Building Developmental Grant
US Department of Labor awards 11.6 million in grants – AgriSafe receives FY 2021 Capacity Building Developmental Grant

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the award of more than $11.6 million in grants to 93 nonprofit organizations nationwide to fund education and training on hazard recognition and prevention, and on rights of workers to safe workplaces and the responsibilities of employers to provide them (OSHA, 2021).

AgriSafe Network in the fourth and final year of this grant will continue building new training capacity by providing 0.5 - 1 hour of training to 1,100 farm women in the agricultural industry. The targeted audience includes minorities and limited-English proficiency workers. Training topics include heat exposures and illness, PPE, safety for older workers, and farm vehicles (ATV-UTV) safety. In addition, the organization plans to develop new training materials and to offer training in both English and Spanish. If you are interested in this training for your organization, please contact Knesha Rose-Davison by email at New training topics will be implemented beginning January 2022. To view our previous recordings on Ag safety and women’s health click here.
Upcoming AgriSafe Webinars
Anhydrous Ammonia Safety for Farmworkers
Nov. 16, 2021
12pm - 1pm CST
Eliminating Workplace Violence in the Field
Dec. 2, 2021
12pm - 1pm CST
Dec. 2, 2021
3pm - 4pm CST
Dec. 6, 2021
3pm - 4pm CST
Dec. 7, 2021
12pm - 1pm CST