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August 27, 2010   Email to Friend 

FARMERS ASKED TO REVIEW ACES' FARM SAFETY PROGRAM
Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
August 27, 2010

AUBURN, Ala. --  As the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) seeks to assess its needs and programs as part of a five-year plan of "organizational renewal," Alabama farmers also are being asked for their input on ACES' current farm safety program.

"Safety training is most effective if it is done on a regular basis with small, but effective, doses," said Extenion Specialist Jesse LaPrade. "I have personal knowledge of what farm fatalities and life changing injuries can do to a farm family. The loss can be devastating to the entire family, not to mention the grief from losing a loved one, but financially it can wreck the entire family and send thm all into bankruptcy, losing the family farm that they all worked so hard to establish."

Last month, Extension educators throughout the state began conducting meetings with stakeholders to guide a "comprehensive re-envisioning" of Extension's role in the future.

As part of that effort, ACES is conducting an online survey until Aug. 31 at www.aces.edu/survey. The "Future Talks" survey is organized into 14 topics:

-- Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan

-- Water Quality and Quantity

-- Entrepreneurship Development

-- Workforce Development

-- Sustainable Agricultural and Forestry Systems

-- Animal Stewardship and Welfare

-- Viable Small-Farm Businesses

-- Natural Resource Conservation and Environmental Stewardship

-- Tourism and Recreational Enterprises

-- Leadership Development and Civic Engagement

-- Safe and Secure Food Supply

-- Financial Literacy Across the Lifespan

-- Technology Usage and Adoption

-- Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation.

Visitors are asked to rate how beneficial each goal would be in helping make their community a better place to live and work.

LaPrade urges farmers to review entire web-based farm safety program at www.aces.edu/farmsafety and share that input in the comments section as ACES assesses programs in the coming months and years. "Your input is critical to bringing improvements that are critical to Alabama farmers' safety training now and for the future," he said.


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