The Safety in Agriculture for Youth (SAY) Project National Steering Committee developed a belief statements document regarding youth working in agriculture. The belief statements outline consensus-based beliefs and principles that promote safety and health for youth working in agriculture. Click HERE to view the formal PDF version of the belief statements.
To date, the belief statement has been endorsed by the following organizations:
- Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA)
- AgriSafe Network
- American Association for Agricultural Education
- American Farm Bureau Federation
- Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
- CareerSafe Online
- Carle Center for Rural Health and Farm Safety
- Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CSCASH)
- College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, Utah State University
- Farm Safety 4 Just Kids
- Grain Handling Safety Coalition
- Great Plains Center for Agricultural Safety and Health
- High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
- National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
- National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety
- National Council for Agricultural Education
- National Council of Agricultural Employers
- National FFA Organization
- National Grange
- New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH)
- North Carolina Agromedicine Institute
- Northeast Center for Occupational Safety and Health (NEC)
- Ohio State Agricultural Safety and Health
- Penn State Agricultural Safety and Health Program
- Progressive Agriculture Foundation
- Purdue University Agricultural Safety and Health Program
- Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education
- University of Illinois Extension Agricultural Safety Program
- University of Missouri Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Program
- Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH)
List updated June 11, 2018
If your state, multi-state, or national organization would like to endorse the belief statements, email Dr. Aida Balsano with copy to Dr. Aaron Yoder.
- Creating and promoting a culture of safety among youth working in agriculture is a primary goal for all stakeholders.
- All youth working in agriculture deserve protection from workplace hazards and risks that may be associated with agricultural worksites.
- Youth developmental principles are the basis for determining if and when a youth should participate in agricultural work.
- Supervision of youth performing jobs or tasks should be guided by professionally recognized best practices based on developmental stages of growth.
- Research and evaluation should guide development of safety and health best practice recommendations and guidelines.
- Evidenced-based, culturally appropriate models should be utilized to educate about agricultural safety and health.
- Hired youth working on farms subject to Occupational Safety and Health Act enforcement should be informed of applicable rights to a safe workplace, training, personal protective equipment, and to ask questions or raise concerns about their safety.
Guiding Principles for Practice
- Parents, employers, agricultural educators, healthcare providers, and safety and health professionals play critical roles in designing and implementing youth agricultural safety education and training that is comprehensive, developmentally appropriate, accessible, and effective.
- College and university agricultural science and education teacher preparation programs should include agricultural safety and health education that meets Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) Career Cluster Content Standards and/or appropriate state standards.
- Secondary school education and programs should include agricultural safety and health education that meets Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) Career Cluster Content Standards and/or appropriate state standards.
- Cooperative Extension education and programs should include agricultural safety and health education that is evidenced-based and meets appropriate state standards. Extension educators should consider developing safety and health educational curricula that align with AFNR Career Cluster Content Standards.
- Agricultural worksite hazard assessment programs should be in place, including regularly updated safety checklists, injury prevention programs, and regular review of health and safety best practices.
- Education and training for parents, employers, and other supervisors of youth workers should include instruction about:
- Existing age-based work laws/regulations
- Physical and cognitive abilities of youth
- Need for appropriate supervision and training
- Basic emergency response practices, both general and specific to the workplace
- Basic hazard and risk reduction techniques such as the safety hierarchy, Job Safety Analysis, injury and near-injury investigations, and lockout/tagout.
- Youth workers should receive basic training in proper body mechanics due to musculoskeletal changes from physiologic growth and development, and to protect against cumulative effects of exposure to hazards.
- Youth should be encouraged to request help and/or additional training when taking on a new, unfamiliar task or experiencing difficulty with any specific task.
- Parents should and employers must provide opportunities for youth to receive safety and health training specific to any job or task they are assigned to, including but not limited to Job Instruction Training (JIT) and Tailgate Training techniques.
- Parents with family farm youth workers should reference current safety and health regulations to better understand high risk activities and best safety practices.
- Parents, employers, and other supervising adults are encouraged to help youth obtain safety training through nationally recognized educational curricula and supporting resources such as those listed in the SAY National Clearinghouse.
- Parents, employers and other supervising adults should conduct a thorough assessment of weather, environmental, and equipment conditions prior to assigning work to youth.
- Parents should and employers must provide youth with appropriate personal protective equipment and training in its use and care as required by state and federal regulations.
- Hired youth work assignments must be in compliance with state and federal work safety regulations including but not limited to U.S. Department of Labor Hazardous Occupations Orders in Agriculture (Ag HOs); Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) General Industry 1910 and Agriculture 1928 Standards; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Worker Protection Standards (WPS) and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA).
SAY National Steering Committee
Jim Armbruster, Senior Relations Manager, National FFA Organization
R. Kirby Barrick, Professor, University of Florida, American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE)
Christy Bartley, Extension Assistant Director of Programs: 4-H Youth Development, Penn State University
Steve Brown, Educational Program Specialist, U.S. Department of Education
Linda Fetzer, SAY Communications Coordinator, Penn State University
William E. Field, Professor and Extension Safety Specialist, Purdue University
Frank Gasperini, President/CEO, Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America
Dee Jepsen, Associate Professor and Extension Safety Specialist, The Ohio State University
Jill Kilanowski, Associate Dean, Mount Carmel College of Nursing, Columbus, Ohio
Barbara Lee, Director, National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety
Dennis Murphy, Professor Emeritus, Penn State University
Michael Pate, Nationwide Associate Professor of Ag Safety and Health, Penn State University
Susan Reynolds-Porter, Chief Executive Officer, Progressive Agriculture Foundation
Tony Small, Managing Director, The National Council for Agricultural Education
Marty Tatman, Director, Program Development, American Farm Bureau Federation
Larry Teverbaugh, Founder & CEO, CareerSafe Online
Aaron Yoder, Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center, NIOSH Ag Centers
Dave Hill, Pennsylvania State University (Has since retired)
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University (Has since retired)