UMASH Twitter Chat

UMASH periodically holds Twitter chats about various farm safety and health topics. Below, you will find directions for accessing Twitter chats, upcoming chats, and saved conversations. Interested in a particular topic? Message or email us at umash@umn.edu, and check out our Twitter page!

How do I join a Twitter chat?

  1. Each Twitter chat has a hashtag, which we will share on Twitter prior to the event. Search the hashtag, and click on Latest.
  2. Introduce yourself
  3. Start by responding to a question, then asking your own. Always use A1/A2/A3 + the hashtag in your tweets. Here’s an example.

Upcoming Twitter Chats

Growing Rural Health: Focus on Farmers

National Rural Health Day (NRHD) recognizes that rural communities experience unique healthcare challenges. Agricultural communities, including BIPOC producers, agricultural workers, and Tribal communities, experience their own set of challenges. A week before NRHD, UMASH is hosting a #RuralFarmHealth Twitter chat. The focus will be the health challenges faced by rural agricultural communities and what we can do to address them. Anyone can attend, including residents of agricultural communities, organizations, and healthcare providers.

  • What health challenges and concerns do agricultural communities face?
  • What challenges do rural agricultural communities experience in accessing healthcare?
  • What are creative ways to address the health challenges agricultural communities experience?
  • How has farm life changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How has access to broadband affected your daily agricultural practices?
  • What can we do to support agricultural workers in light of COVID-19?
  • Why is it important to make farm safety and health inclusive, diverse, and equitable?
  • Where do you see gaps in resources to support healthy agricultural communities?
  • What have we not covered yet? What questions do you still have?

Saved Twitter Chats

#UMASHExpo Twitter Chat

Eighteen people and organizations participated in the Twitter chat. The key theme of community ran throughout the conversation. Participants noted that farm incidents extend beyond the injured person, affecting healthcare personnel, family, and visitors. Communities all have an important role in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Participants discussed anxieties about respirator shortages, following proper precautions, the effect of the pandemic on farmworkers, and finding childcare. With work-life balance so difficult right now, this has implications on the mental health of communities. A participant noted the need for research to include rural communities. Another explained that it’s difficult to study farm safety when not all injuries are reported and such data isn’t widely available. Fortunately, farm safety can be incorporated in many ways, such as having nutritionists talk about zoonoses. The Twitter chat ended on a high note: There are many resources and organizations promoting farm safety.


  • A1: According to the WI Farm Fatality Report, roadway deaths accounted for 29% of all farm fatalities. https://marshfieldresearch.org/nfmc/wi-farm-related-fatality-reports#UMASHEXPO
  • A1: Transportation incidents are the leading cause of death, but many hazards exist on the farm, & not just to workers but also to visitors, family members, EMS personnel, & other healthcare workers responding to accidents. #UMASHExpo @UMASHcenter
  • #A1: Although the rate of non-fatal injuries to children in agriculture has dropped by 60 percent since the National Children’s Center was established in 1997, agriculture remains hazardous for children and youth. https://cultivatesafety.org/parent-first-farmer-second/#UMASHExpo
  • A1: Safety and health at ranches and dairies is a big concern in our region! Animal handling, zoonotic disease, bending and lifting, and use of heavy machinery are some of the health and safety concerns. #UMASHExpo
  • A1 – finances, balancing the costs of operations, farm transition, low commodity prices, and the next (6th) generation on our farm.
  • A1: Children and youth on farms and in the worksite are one of the biggest concerns. A child dies in an agricultural-related incident about every 3 days! #UMASHExpo
  • A1: Grain bins, there’s a lot out-of-condition grain that can be dangerous to work around, especially when alone #UMASHExpo @UMASHcenter
  • A1 – ATVs, tractors, equipment, and the presence of young children in the worksite. These are my top worries, in terms of farm safety. We expect to see more injuries and more exposure on the farm, as schools remain closed (or virtual) into 2021 #UMASHExpo @UMASHcenter
  • A1 again – https://wcax.com/content/news/UVM-Medical-Center-calls-number-of-ATV-injuries-this-year-alarming-571700541.html#UMASHExpo @UMASHcenter
  • A1: The most common hazard with grain bins is engulfment. The primary causes are moisture and grain removal. Moisture can cause the grain to stick together and form a crust or bridge at the top surface of the grain. https://go.usa.gov/xfGvF #UMASHExpo #TwitterChat
  • A1: Tractor roll overs and run overs are a big risk on farms. #UMASHExpo
  • A1 – New reports show 41 WI ag-related deaths in 2017 & 34 in 2018. Large % was from public road collisions. Follow all state lighting and marking requirements for older equipment & federal regulations for newer machinery. https://bit.ly/fatreprelease #UMASHExpo @UMASHcenter

Top Critical Risks on farms could be:

  • Vehicle rollover/runover
  • Entanglement
  • Electrocution
  • Hazardous substances
  • Handling livestock
  • Fall from heights
  • Drowning
  • Confined space entry

  • A2: Rural #firefighters and first responders are highly esteemed in #ruralcommunities. With tools and knowledge, they can be influential on farmers’ health and safety decisions in their communities. http://umash.umn.edu/portfolio/rural-firefighters-delivering-agricultural-safety-and-health-rf-dash/#UMASHExpo
  • #A2: Visiting agritouism sites can teach our youth a lot about agriculture and where our food comes from, but we need to make sure the sites are safe. Especially now during a worldwide pandemic. This site can help keep communities safe: https://safeagritourism.org #UMASHExpo
  • Q2: I think we all have an opportunity to lead well – so model healthy behaviors and continue to learn and talk with community members and partners #UMASHExpo @UMASHcenter
  • A2: We work hard to encourage our rural communities to participate in research. Hopefully that research will contribute to keeping them both safe and healthy.@UMASHcenter #UMASHExpo
  • A2: Communities can support agriculture through strong youth programs like 4H and FFA, farmers markets, ordinances which benefit production ag, and the promotion of buying local. @UMASHcenter #UMASHExpo
  • Staying safe during COVID-19 with federal protections, varying state regs means farmworkers depend on local communities to help them stay safe. Local health departments, local health centers, local advocates partnering with workers and employers. #UMASHExpo
  • R2: We need to take responsibility, take the farming seriously in every aspect. From small farms to big ones, we need better regulations #UMASHExpo @UMASHcenter




  • A6: We see a gap in fatality and injury surveillance. We can’t know what resources are needed if we don’t know the cause. We use http://AgInjuryNews.org to help us find media mentions of farm incidents to fill those gaps. @AgInjuryNews   #UMASHExpo
  • #A6: While farms can be a great place to live, work and play, they can also be dangerous. Explore the categories here to learn more about accidents and preventing injuries to youth on farms. https://cultivatesafety.org/accidents/  #UMASHExpo
  • A6: I think it needs to be a part of all farm conversations/agribusiness even if it’s subtle. So maybe tag a zoonotic infection intro to a dairy nutrition talk. #UMASHExpo
  • A6: Agree with @weicheltb on the financial incentives and take it to the next level to help farmers and ranchers better understand that investing in safety is good for their bottom line and the future of their farm operation. @UMASHcenter  #UMASHExpo
  • 1/2 Rural communities haven’t always been included in research. This means research is missing a key portion of the population+not necessarily addressing that community’s needs. We are working to enroll a million or more people to better reflect the diversity of the US #UMASHExpo
  • 2/2 A6: We are happy to help give representation in research to the rural community. We are also grateful for other organizations, like @FarmMedicine who do great work and research for the farm community too! They are so valuable! #UMASHExpo @UMASHcenter


No specific question

  • Long hours, isolating work, unexpected weather, and fluctuating prices make agricultural work a stressful job. It is important we let farmers know that there are resources and people waiting to help, especially in these difficult and uncertain times. #farmstress #UMASHExpo