Cultivating the Seeds of Safety

Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

Each September, rural America observes the National Farm Safety and Health Week. This commemorative week has been practiced for 74 years, recognizing the hard work, diligence, and sacrifices made by our nation’s farmers and ranchers to provide a quality source of food, fuel and fiber. Ohio will celebrate this week on September 16 – 22, 2018.

The 2018 theme is “Cultivating the Seeds of Safety,” which suggests agricultural producers should take time for safety, similar to the efforts they take to manage a bountiful crop. Farmers are faced with a high workload. They often work long hours to accomplish the job, putting their own personal needs and well-being aside. They are known to operate noisy equipment, work in hazardous conditions, skip meals, and forego healthy meals. Unfortunately many agricultural workers also accept injuries as part of the job, and part of the farming culture. This is a tradition that does not need to continue.  

Over the past 10 years, 128 Ohio farmers lost their lives doing what they love to do – farm. While the number of farm fatalities is decreasing from what they were 20 years ago, an average of 13 deaths per year, is still too many.    

The OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Program offers programs and resources for farmers and ranchers on a variety of topics. Our website ( and Facebook page (@ OSU Ag Safety and Health) can lead you to these specific topics. The Ag S.T.A.T. monthly newsletter is also a resource for short safety messages that can be used throughout the year.

When safety is a part of our lifestyle and our workplace routine, it becomes a way of life. Having a commemorative week is just a reminder of this, no matter the week or the season.

For more information, contact Dee Jepsen directly at or 614-292-6008.