Fishing and farming are a way of life for many in eastern North Carolina, providing food and products for millions.
And in promoting safe and healthy agricultural production, the N.C. Agromedicine Institute joined with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and N.C. Cooperative Extension to facilitate a proclamation from Gov. Pat McCrory naming Sept. 15-21 Farm Safety and Health Week in North Carolina.
The proclamation highlights several facts:
- Agriculture and agribusiness is the top industry in North Carolina providing more than $77 billion in revenue of which $14.9 billion comes directly from farm production;
- North Carolina leads the nation in the production of sweet potatoes and tobacco and is second in the nation in the production of pork, trout, poultry, eggs and Christmas trees;
- Individuals working in production agriculture face significant risks in the course of everyday life and labors to provide food, fiber, biofuels and other necessities;
- Farm work often involves hazardous exposure to machinery, chemicals, livestock and workplace environments;
- Some at higher risk include youth, older workers and individuals with limited literacy and language proficiency.
The N.C. Agromedicine Institute conducts and promotes research, intervention, outreach and education to improve the health and safety of the agricultural community including farmers, farm workers, foresters, fishers and their families. Member universities are East Carolina University, North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University. Robin Tutor-Marcom is director of the N.C. Agromedicine Institute, project manager of the AgriSafe Network of North Carolina and adjunct professor of public health in the Brody School of Medicine.