Planting the Seed
Fall is a beautiful time of year in Washington, D.C. as the leaves change from their green color to shades of yellow, orange, and reds which surrounding the many monuments and memorials throughout the city. However, with the change to fall temperatures, shorter days, and the recent rains and wind as remnants from Hurricane Ida, many of those leaves are starting to fall. While I haven’t spent much time in DC this fall, I consider myself lucky to have witnessed fall in many parts of the country this year. From my earlier fall travels to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Grand Rapids, Michigan, northeast Kansas, Tennessee, and central Illinois, I’ve experienced fall in all but one of the lower 48 contiguous time zones.
The scenery in my concrete jungle is quite varied from where I will be this week at the Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Forum, “Planting the Seed,” in Des Moines, Iowa. A Midwest native, I am looking forward to seeing fall harvest progress. Having been in Illinois two weeks ago, many of the fall crops were still standing in water given torrential rain amounts and lack of sunshine and warmer temperatures this past summer and early fall.
Aside from assessing the harvest progress in Iowa, I’m hoping to assess progress on a couple of community programs that NIFA currently funds related to enhancing the effectiveness of Farm Safety 4 Just Kids local chapters and National Educational Center for Agricultural Safety. And that’s just the tip of what’s being offered in breakout sessions.
As multiple agricultural safety and health specialists, providers, agency representatives, and producers gather at this event next week, it is my hope that these efforts will be collaborative to educate as many professionals as possible to start planting the seeds of agricultural safety and health education and awareness to the next generation.