Farming is a way of life that is ever-changing. Financial uncertainty, market shifts, the unpredictability of weather events, and infectious disease are just a few factors that can impact the health and well-being of agricultural communities. When a potential threat takes form, communication plays a vital role in keeping farmers, farmworkers, and their families safe, healthy, and supported.
As agricultural safety and health communication innovators, our UMASH team constantly explores how we can more quickly and effectively respond to current, emerging, or re-emerging issues. We know that access to timely and accurate information can help agricultural communities stay informed and take appropriate action to minimize risks.
But with an infinite amount of information and sources online, how do you know what resources to share? To answer this question, UMASH Senior Communications Specialist and Analyst, Cassie Edlund, created a strategic approach to assessing and leveraging resources to help communicators better identify and share resources best suited to their audience’s unique needs.
I created this tool to develop a simple and practical way for communicators and partners to assess resources they share with their audiences. As a public health communicator, this tool has helped me understand what resources resonate with the audiences I’m communicating with.
The tool uses five criteria: Quality, Coverage, Resonance, Appearance, and Accessibility to help guide what resources may or may not be fitting for an audience.
Cassie’s strategic tool played a vital role for UMASH when responding to the re-emergence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the Upper Midwest in the Spring of 2022. To enhance prevention, UMASH aimed to create an HPAI toolkit to help poultry producers understand what avian influenza is, how to prevent the spread of disease, and take proper precautions. Using Cassie’s strategic tool, UMASH identified what existing resources could be helpful for farmers, farmworkers, and clinicians when navigating this timely issue and what gaps might need to be filled.
Cassie has featured her tool in a virtual poster session at the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Symposium and the International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health (ISASH) Conference. Across all of her work at UMASH and with our partners, Cassie has provided meaningful insight on how professionals can strengthen their communication efforts to better reach and support the agricultural communities they serve.
Responding to Emerging Health and Safety Risks in Agriculture
Thank you, Cassie!