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Two men and a child silhouetted in the sunset on a family farm

The problem of children being injured while living, working, or visiting agricultural work environments (primarily farms), has been recognized for several decades. Although many individuals and groups have crusaded for the prevention of childhood agricultural injuries over the years, there was not a national, coordinated effort.

This changed in 1991, when the Surgeon General’s Conference on Agricultural Safety and Health was held in Des Moines, Iowa. During this conference, a session titled Intervention: Safe Behaviors Among Adults and Children highlighted the risks faced by individuals involved with production agriculture.

In 1992 a Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention symposium was held in Marshfield, Wisconsin as a follow-up to the Surgeon General’s conference. The symposium was sponsored by the National Farm Medicine Center, a component of the Marshfield Medical Research and Education Foundation, which sought to develop consensus on relevant research, education, policy, and other interventions aimed at the reduction of agricultural injuries among children.

The symposium resulted in the formation of the National Committee for Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention (NCCAIP). Over a 16-month period, members of the committee finalized a National Action Plan that was released in 1996 for addressing the childhood agricultural injury problem. The National Action Plan recommends leadership, surveillance, research, education, and public policy. The plan specifically recommends that NIOSH serve as the lead federal agency in preventing childhood agricultural injury.