Farmer Safety Series

There are many risks when it comes to farming and it is important to have a general sense of potential hazards on the farm when working. These risks include equipment operation, safe animal handling, risks of injury associated with performing repetitive tasks, as well as zoonotic disease recognition and prevention.

Through a grant from North East Risk Management Education (NERME) Jim O’Connell, Sr. Ag. Educator (Grape and Berries) and Jason Detzel Sr. Ag. Educator (Livestock), will offer workshops to address the Human Risk Component of farming.

Repetitive Motion Injury

Repetitive motion injuries occur when the same action is done over and over again. These tasks create wear and can lead to strains or sprains, potentially resulting in a farmer or farmworker missing work for a prolonged period of time. These risks are all preventable.

On Farm Safety

Jason and Jim partnered with Ashley Pierce of Home at Last Farm, in Sharon Springs, NY to create an on farm safety video.

View the farm safety video here

View Farm Safety in Spanish Video Here

Farm Injury Prevention Yoga

CCEUC is partnering with Lana Heintjes, a certified Level 2 AcroYoga International teacher, known for her soothing voice, calm presence, and playful spirit. Lana will offer a workshop on April 13, 2021.

Farming is a demanding job. It requires long hours of work regardless of the weather. Farmers and farmworkers frequently repeat the same tasks throughout the season such as pruning, lifting heavy objects, planting, and harvesting. These jobs are often done in awkward, unnatural positions, or in extreme weather and can wear down the body, causing injury and/or discomfort.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s Agriculture Program partnered with Lana Heintjes, a certified yoga instructor and a Handstand Empowerment Coach, to offer an online yoga workshop. Heintjes has been teaching since 2009 with over 500 hours of training and 5,000 hours of teaching experience. She will be teaching participants simple exercises to perform before and after work to help reduce body strain from repetitive tasks.

A yoga mat and 2 yoga blocks are recommended but not required.

This workshop is part of a series funded by a grant from Northeast Risk Management and Education. Keep an eye out for upcoming workshops as part of a series aimed at supporting farmer health and safety. Programming is provided by Senior Resource Educators Jim O’Connell (Grape and Berry Specialist) and Jason Detzel (Livestock Specialist) from CCE Ulster’s Agriculture Program.

This workshop was recorded on April 13th, 2021.

View Farmworker Injury Prevention Yoga Workshop with Lana Heintjes

View Yoga for Farmers: Warm Up

View Yoga for Farmers: Cool Down

View Yoga for Farmers: Farm Worker Repetitive Motion Injury Workshop with Lana Heintjes in Spanish

View Yoga for Farmers: Warm Up in Spanish

View Yoga for Farmers: Cool Down in Spanish

Agricultural Ergonomic Injury Prevention Training

Farming is a demanding job. Farmers and farmworkers often find themselves working in awkward positions, adverse conditions, severe weather, and conducting repetitive tasks. Such tasks include pruning, planting, harvesting, and lifting heavy objects. This repetitive motion can strain the body, and even lead to discomfort or injury.

Recognizing a need to break this cycle of injury, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) has partnered with Injury & Health Management Solutions, Inc. (IHMS), a Vermont company that provides industrial health promotion, rehabilitation and consultation aimed at promoting the restoration of movement, function, productivity, and health. They believe that the body is “self-healing” and needs guidance to recover from an injury to achieve proper health. IHMS’s primary function is to educate their clientele on how to care for their bodies. Utilizing their knowledge, expertise, and innovative ergonomic concepts, IHMS will offer a 1-hour virtual “lunch and learn” workshop on February 7, 2022, from 12pm to 1pm. designed to reduce the risk of Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD) and other musculoskeletal injuries frequently associated with those employees who work in a farming or agricultural setting. This workshop will teach safe work behavior and body mechanics through hands-on practice of the techniques. It will also teach appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises that can be performed on the job. Emphasis will be placed on motivating participants to accept responsibility for safely performing work tasks and the caring for their bodies. Workers are encouraged to think of themselves as industrial athletes who must have a body that is fit for the job and that resists fatigue day after day, year after year. This workshop is a positive, dynamic, interactive, and educational experience for all participants.

View Agricultural Ergonomic Injury Prevention Training

View Agricultural Ergonomic Injury Prevention Training in Spanish

Equipment Safety

CCEUC is partnering with Shane LaBrake a bilingual (English/Spanish) Agricultural Consultant and trainer/teacher of agricultural skills. LaBrake operates a property and estate care enterprise that provides custom tractor work, tree removal, and an array of other grounds-keeping services. He will provide hands on instruction for tractor and chainsaw safety.

Tractor Training in Spanish was not held in person due to COIVD-19, please watch the videos created instead.

View seguridad tractores 1 de 3

View seguridad tractores 2 de 3

View seguridad tractores 3 de 3

Safe Animal Handling

Zoonotic Diseases Part One

This video goes over the major zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted between people and animals in the Northeast. If you would like to learn more about this program, zoonotic disease mitigation, and prevention, or anything livestock farming-related please contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County.

View Zoonotic Disease Part One Spanish 

View Zoonotic Diseases Part One English

Zoonotic Disease Part Two

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County partnered with Cornell University’s Renata Ivanek Miojevic Epidemiology Lab ( to offer a zoom workshop on the topic of Zoonotic Diseases and the Backyard Livestock Farmer. Sebastián Llanos-Soto, a PhD Student in the Ivanek Epi Lab will present. Sebastián is a current PhD student and Fulbright grantee in the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University. His research interests include the study of infectious disease dynamics in animal and human populations through epidemiological and mathematical modeling approaches.

View Zoonotic Disease Part Two

View Zoonotic Disease Part Two in Spanish

Last updated March 31, 2022