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Mobile COVID-19 Vaccinations and Immigrant Dairy Workers

APRIL 2021 Dairy workers in the country face considerable occupational risks and hazards in their daily operations. As essential workers, the risk of contracting COVID-19 has become an additional concern. Many are immigrants, and in the face of other barriers such as language, transportation and immigration concerns dairy farms are finding it difficult …

SPOTLIGHT: Being essential – What does that mean for dairy farms?

Essential: [noun] Something necessary, indispensable, or unavoidable Since COVID-19 arrived a year ago, the word essential has become a common term, particularly with CDC guidance, defining certain occupations and people as essential workers. In March 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declared agriculture, including the dairy industry, …

Recognizing our Essential Workers

MARCH 2021 The Virtual Migrant and Community Health Conference: Recognizing Our Essential Workers was held the week of March 22 – 26, 2021. The Promoting Worker Health and Safety Project for Immigrant Dairy Workers presented an hour session – giving an overview of the project previously in Wisconsin and currently in Minnesota. Chela Vazquez …

SPOTLIGHT: Safety Should be a Team Sport in Dairies

MAY 2020 Dr. Gus Brihn is a Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine Resident with the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Brihn is part of our UMASH team with the Promoting Worker Health and Safety for Immigrant Dairy Workers project and has been instrumental in providing insights of the veterinarian’s …

Dairy Star Highlights Promoting Worker Health and Safety for Immigrant Dairy Workers

MAY 2020 The Promoting Worker Health and Safety for Immigrant Dairy Workers project was recently featured in the May 11, 2020 Dairy Star. The story highlighted the work of Chela Vazquez and Ana Contreas Smith who make up the training team. Chela and Ana provide free safety and health training on site for dairy farms with their Spanish speaking employees. …

Worker Safety is Safety for All of Us

APRIL 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic has far reaching effects, most recently named are the meat packing plants across the country. Many of the workers are from Haiti, Guatemala, and Mexico as well as many African Americans who spend many hours in strenuous conditions to contribute to the farm economy and our food supply. Amy Liebman, who is a researcher …

SPOTLIGHT: Training Dairy Workers on Health and Safety

 APRIL 2020 Chela Vázquez Coordinator and Trainer vazquezc@umn.edu It’s been two years since I joined UMASH doing trainings on health and safety in Spanish for dairy workers in Minnesota. My job entails going to dairy farms, meeting workers and engaging them in discussion about potential injuries on the farm and ways to prevent it. I have learned …

Faces of UMASH: Meet Ana Contreras Smith!

Hello! My name is Ana Contreras Smith. I joined the UMASH team in July as the Dairy Safety Trainer for the Promoting Safety and Health for Immigrant Dairy Workers program. I have been working in agricultural industry mostly with dairy producers since graduating from the University of Minnesota. When I first started working in the industry I quickly …

All About Health – Dairy, Mental and Occupational Come Together

The 2019 Dairy Health Conference was held April 17 and 18 at the University of Minnesota – St. Paul Campus. Dairy veterinarians, industry representatives and dairy producers gathered to learn the most recent information in dairy research from experts in the field. Carol Peterson worked with Jessica Yost from the Dairy Education Center to provide …

Calm handlers = Calm cows

The 2019 Upper Midwest Dairy Industry Association was held April 16 and 17 in St. Cloud and Rochester, Minnesota respectively. Jeff Bender, co director of the UMASH center was one of the event speakers and he focused his talk on calm, thoughtful working with cattle. Low stress or positive animal handling is a key initiative of UMASH. Calm handlers equal …