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AMES – The Iowa Farm Safety and Health Week will be held Sept. 15-21 in conjunction with the National Farm Safety and Health Week. This year’s national theme is “Shift Farm Safety Into High Gear.”

This is the 76th observance of the National Farm Safety and Health Week. This special week of safety and health observance is still relevant today because agriculture ranks as the most dangerous industry in the United States.

Farm Safety Week is used by farm safety professionals and organizations to remind those working within agriculture to be cautious. The fall harvest time is typically the busiest season of the year and the time when agriculture reports the largest number of injuries.

It is essential that Iowans use safe farming practices during harvest season. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation to commemorate the week, calling for all Iowans to “work together to eliminate or mitigate these farm injury risks.”

The governor’s proclamation stresses that making farms safer is crucial to Iowa, which has more than 85 percent of its land used in agriculture. Last year, more than $13 billion worth of corn and soybeans were harvested here.

The Iowa Farm Safety Council and Iowa State University encourage Iowans to put farm safety into practice by doing each of the following:

• Using only tractors that have rollover protective structures (ROPS)

• Saying no to extra riders on tractors

• Retrofitting operating tractors with ROPS

• Understanding that people near tractors may be obscured from the operator’s sight

Join the Iowa Farm Safety Council, Iowa State University, the National Safety Council, and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety in promoting safety Sept. 15-21.

During this time of harvest, remember to encourage others to put farm safety into high gear to prevent tragic injuries.