AgriSafe in Action- February 2018 

New! Nurse Scholar Program 

The AgriSafe Nurse Scholar program is a
free distance learning opportunity available to rural nurses working for nonprofit organizations, government agencies or educational institutions.

Distance education (a total of 18 hours),  provided by experienced health & safety
educators will enable rural nurses to  increase  their knowledge base in  identification and  assessment of diseases  related to agricultural work exposures.

Application period: Applications for the AgriSafe Nurse Scholar program can be
submitted between February 1, 2018 and May 3, 2018.

Interested applicants must provide proof of licensure in primary state of practice, a
brief educational history/background, and area/type of current nursing practice. 
For more information contact  BSN,COHN-S, Clinical Director. To find out more about the AgriSafe Nurse Scholar Program,click here .
New!  2018 Board Members 

Please join AgriSafe in welcoming three new exceptional agricultural occupational health & safety leaders to our national board. 

Jessica Wilburn, RN, MSN, CEN  Jessica is not only the nurse coordinator for AgriSafe-NC but also co-owns and operates a certified angus seed stock farm with her husband. She has more than 10 years of experience in emergency medicine, is certified as an AgriSafe provider, NIOSH spirometry technician and as a hearing conservationist by the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation. Jessica also has an extensive background in agricultural respiratory protection. She has first hand experience in the challenges and opportunities that exist with implementation of AgriSafe programs with diverse farm populations producing multiple commodities.
Jean M. Matthews
, MSN, RN Jean Matthews is a dynamic health care professional who has always been true to her farming roots. Jean grew up working on her family's farm in Colerain, NC where they raised corn, peanuts, soybeans, tobacco, cotton, and livestock. She still lives on a small farm outside of Ahoskie, NC. Jean has many years of health care experience including working as a clinical nurse, a public health nurse, a nurse practitioner, and nurse educator. She holds a Master's degree in nursing and has obtained Agriculture Medicine and Safety certification. She is currently employed with the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program at East Carolina University where she works primarily doing health assessments with farmers, fishers, and loggers at a rural federally qualified health care center in Ahoskie. Jean is always the one who reminds those of us on the GWEP team about the health, safety, and prevention needs of the agricultural community .Jean has excellent communication skills and is always an effective advocate for farm health and safety issues. She has a passion for the farm population.
Sebastian Galindo,
PhD  Sebastian the Co-Director of the Evaluation Program for the new Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety.  He served as evaluator for a variety of research, teaching, and extension initiatives in Agriculture and Natural Resources. As a faculty member in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida, he is in constant contact with Extension faculty and clientele, which keeps him up to date of existing and emerging health and safety issues in agriculture.  He also holds equivalent to U.S. professional degree DVM from Mexico.

Healthy Heart Awareness 

The latest guidelines published by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association define categories of high blood pressure with noteworthy changes.  

About 610, 000 Americans die annually due to heart disease. Factors that contribute to these outcomes include busy, multi-tasking lives, access to fast and packaged foods, increases in electronic screen time, and less time spent in cardio exercise, which can lead to weight gain and increased risk of heart disease.  As with our agricultural population, in most areas of the U.S., we are  an aging population - an additional risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. 

Healthy, balanced diets, physical exercise, making time to enjoy friends and family, regular blood pressure checks, and an awareness of family cardiac history can help turn the corner on risks for high blood pressure and heart disease issues. In addition,  set aside the salt and experiment with some of the wonderful low sodium and flavorful spices!

Know your numbers:
According to the most recent guidelines, 46% of U.S> adults have high blood pressure!

Systolic (top) number       Diastolic (bottom number)
Under 120                            Under 80     Normal blood pressure
120 - 129                              Under 80     Elevated blood pressure
130 - 139                              80 - 89         Stage 1 hypertension (high blood pressure)
140 and over                       90 or over   Stage 2 hypertension
MS Farm Bureau Staff and Members with AgriSafe 
Mississippi Farm Tours 

AgriSafe staff  were given the opportunity to tour a couple of Mississippi cattle operations in Hancock County, MS. 

Mr. Lewis Breaux manages a cattle feed operation, along with rye grass for hay and interestingly, supplements his farm with  a  successful municipal biosolvent business. During our second tour, Mr.  Lance Wedworth produces cattle (Brahman, Herefords, or F1's) using modern genetics and breeding techniques. The onsite tours provided insight on day to day operations and experiences that farmers and ranchers face. This experience helped to reinforce the important work of AgriSafe as we, Protect the People who Feed the World. 

Special thanks to Mississippi Farm Bureau partner ,Chris Shivers, Region 8 - Forestry, Horticultural crops and our farm tour hosts- Mr. Louis Breaux IV and Mr. Lance Wedgeworth.  To see more from our Farm Tours, be sure to visit our Facebook page for pictures and video content. 
New Website! 

Please check out AgriSafe's new and improved website.

Our new streamlined site offers information on our latest resources for health professionals, course information for young workers and information for our farmers and ranchers. 

Be sure to visit our site to stay connected to the latest resources in  agricultural occupational health and safety. Notable sections of our website include Upcoming Events and Women's Health pages. Much more to come, stay tuned!   

Upcoming Webinars (Register Early, Space Limited) 
Understanding Agricultural Respiratory Hazards with Emphasis on Respirator Selection as a Prevention Strategy
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 
12:00pm - 1:00pm Central Time
Cost: free and open to the public

Presenter: Charlotte Halverson, RN, BSN, COHN-S
Clinical Director, AgriSafe Network

Confined Space: Grain Bin Entry
Thursday, February 22, 2018 
12:00pm - 1:00pm Central Time
Cost: free and open to the public

Presenter: Dan Neenan, BA, MBA
Director, National Education Center for Agricultural Safety
Respiratory Protection Program Adapted to Grain Handling Operations
Friday, February 28, 2018 
12:00pm - 1:00pm Central Time
Cost: free and open to the public

Presenter: Charlotte Halverson, RN, BSN, COHN-S,
Clinical Director, AgriSafe Network 
FREE Training: Respiratory Hazards in Grain Handling 

AgriSafe in partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) is offering  health and safety training to grain handling workers through training workshops.

Training topics include confined space grain bin entry, respiratory protection program and prevention strategies. 

Target audience includes agricultural producers, workers in high-hazard grain operations and English and non-English speaking grain handling workers.

For Grain Bin Entry Training contact  Dan Neenan, Director NECAS  or call 

For Respiratory Protection or Agricultural Respirator Hazards contact  Knesha Rose-Davison, Health Communications Coordinator or call 866-312-3002.

For additional program details, click here  
2nd International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health 

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is pleased to announce open registration for the  2nd International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health® . The conference will be held at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, near Washington, DC. The purpose of the conference is to convene researchers and practitioners from the United States and abroad that are making important contributions to advance Total Worker Health research and practice. 

Early Registration available through March 31, 2018. 
Would you like to share your story? Submit your ag health and safety stories and/or pictures with contact information to    Knesha Rose-Davison at AgriSafe Network. We'd love to hear from you. Stay tuned with AgriSafe on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn.