Many farmers in our region continue to live and work well past retirement age. Aging can bring on new challenges on the farm. The body changes with age, sometimes causing slow reaction times, mobility challenges, eyesight, and hearing loss. As you can imagine, these physical changes can make working with farm hazards like pesticides, animals, and heavy machinery more dangerous.
With this in mind, UMASH has been working on projects and encouraging conversations to help make sure farmers are safe on the farm as they grow older.
In 2020, UMASH hosted online community forums and asked agricultural community members and health professionals about what made it difficult for farmers to continue to live and work on the farm as they age. We heard common concerns about accessing healthcare, managing stress and anxiety, maintaining balance and coordination, and preventing musculoskeletal injuries.
UMASH responded to these concerns by partnering with community organizations that worked to make aging on the farm easier and safer for farmers.
At the 2023 NORA Symposium, UMASH graduate student Erica Shuck presented a 5-minute summary of these projects and shared recommendations for next steps to support the aging agricultural workforce:
An engaging virtual forum bringing together individuals and groups committed to the well-being of farmers as they age
Thursday, October 12
To build upon these conversations and partnerships, UMASH is hosting another virtual forum to bring together anyone committed to the well-being of farmers as they age. Join us on October 12, 2023, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. to learn more, network, and participate in a panel discussion and Q&A with UMASH aging partners.
UMASH is excited to gather familiar and new partners across diverse fields and expertise, including farmers, experts on aging, ag health and safety professionals, occupational therapists, health practitioners, social workers, veterinarians, and more. Join us in collaborating on solutions for healthy and safe aging in agriculture.
This work has been a part of UMASH’s Emerging Issues Program. This program identifies health and safety concerns that are impacting agricultural workers in the Upper Midwest. Concerns could be about injuries, diseases, farming practices, or anything else affecting health and safety. If UMASH knows about these concerns, we can work to address them. Do you have a concern to share? Share it with us in this short survey.