Vital Farming Safety Programs Threatened By Funding Cuts - June 20, 2012


Farming has the highest occupational fatality rate of any industry in the U.S., making farmers eight times more likely to die on the job than the average U.S. worker. The President's budget completely cuts funding for the only federal occupational health and safety program for farmers, foresters and fishermen. The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) is one of seven regional agricultural centers in the U.S. and provides research, education and solutions to decrease farm fatalities and injuries.

  • NYCAMH successes: tractor rollbar retrofitting program has prevented deaths; research has led to re-designed ag implements that decrease injuries and increase productivity; on-farm training programs have reduce injury rates, resulting in reduced medical and workers compensation costs.
  • As a comparison, mining safety research has not been reduced in the proposed budget, but the agricultural fatality rate is twice that of mining and the at-risk agriculture population is 10 times as large. Currently, federal expenditures on mining safety research are 10 times larger than that of agriculture. All workers in high-risk industries should receive adequate occupational safety and health.
  • Serious and fatal injuries increase costs, reduce productivity and result in loss of farms. For example, low occupational injury coverage among farmers has led to $1.66 billion in direct costs and $2.93 billion in indirect costs (16% of hospitalizations are either unreimbursed or covered by Medicaid).

ACTION: Call your representative today to urge them to restore funding for the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Program (AFF) within the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the final federal budget.

To find your local representative, please visit to find their local contact information! Contact information is typically found at the bottom of the representative's personal website.

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