C A N A D I A N A G R I C U L T U R A L S A F E T Y W E E K
4 ways to connect with local farmers
Safety inspecons: a key tool to prevent farm accidents
Naonal AG Day, which takes place on March 23, presents an annual opportu- nity to recognize and celebrate the essen- al role that agriculture plays in the daily lives of all Americans. If you want to learn more about the contribuons local far- mers make to your community, here are four ways you can connect with them. 1.Visit a farmers market. If you want to get to know the producers in your area and buy fresh, locally grown products directly from the source, this is a great opon. Use the USDA’s naonal far- mers market directory to find one near you. 2.Parcipate in agritourism. Many small farms offer on-site services to increase
their revenue and provide local enter- tainment. These can include horseback riding, u-pick operaons, harvest fes- vals, bed and breakfast accommoda- ons, cooking classes, peng zoos, educaonal tours and more. 3. Join a CSA. As a member of a commu- nity supported agriculture group, you’ll receive a weekly share of seasonal crops from one or more parcipang farms in your region. Many CSAs also offer private tours, social events and other perks for members. You can use the USDA’s online CSA directory to find a group near you. 4.Shop at a farm store. Similar to a far- mers market, vising a farm store al- lows you to chat with local producers, ask quesons about how the farm ope- rates and purchase fresh produce on- site. Some also sell honey, fresh juice, eggs, homemade pastries and other goods. For more informaon about Naonal AG Day and how you can support American farmers, visit agday.org.
Farms have mulple hazards that can lead to serious accidents and significant health problems. As an agri- cultural producer, you have a responsibility to protect the safety and well-being of your employees. In fact, the Occupaonal Health and Safety Act requires that you idenfy, control and eliminate various hazards.
Inspecons should therefore be an integral part of your prevenon plan. Indeed, by regularly conducng various checks, you’ll be able to idenfy risks and take the necessary measures to eliminate hazards before an injury or accident occurs. WHAT TO LOOK FOR A safety inspecon involves an extensive checklist, and you’ll need to examine all buildings, fields and equipment used on your property. Road safety, methods of working and management pracces should likewise be reviewed. Emergency preparedness and fire prevenon are also key. During any safety inspecon, it’s best to avoid dispersing your efforts. Instead, you should concentrate on one stage of producon, one type of equipment or one locaon at a me. To learn more about farm safety, refer to the resources provided by the Canadian Agricultural Safety Associaon at casa-acsa.ca.
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