Farmers encouraged to earn Safe Farm certification

Published 4:35 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2016

From Hyde County Cooperative Extension

Farming is a very dangerous occupation. Agriculture has the highest death rate of any other industry—eight times the average. It has been shown that farmers have more lung health problems, higher rates of some cancers, high blood pressure and obesity.

How does one become a Certified Safe Farm?

  • Schedule an on-farm safety review with extension: voluntary and non-regulatory; one-on-one visit; and conducted by Extension agents with safety training.

We follow a safety checklist that scores each area of the farm. As we walk around the farm, we look at equipment, storage structures, livestock structures (following biosecurity), machine and repair shops and greenhouses.


  • Complete a comprehensive health screening

This health screening is conducted by an AgriSafe nurse who looks at the health issues that are most common among farmers and considers the types of on-the-job exposures one may have. The health screening is low cost, only $10 per person, and a fraction of the actual cost of about $200. Depending on the assessment, the nurse may recommend a follow-up with one’s doctor. The nurse can also help with respirator fit testing.


  • Make safety and health improvements: Apply for cost-share funds

A simple, one-page cost-share application is available to help one make the recommended safety or health improvements that are most important. The maximum cost-share from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund grant is $500.


  • Proudly display the sign

After completing the program with a safety score of 85 percent or higher, a heavy-duty outdoor sign with the farm name on it will be provided.


For more information, contact Andrea Gibbs, Hyde County Ag agent, at 252-926-4488 or