March 18, 2024


Scott Heiberger

Melissa Ploeckelman

Farmers share stories as ‘teachable moments’ in safety during Ag Literacy Week March 18-22

New social media toolkit can be used to educate, start conversations   

March 18-22 is Ag Literacy Week and the Telling the Story Project team members are helping you spread the word. A toolkit has been created to help share these stories and can be found here:

It contains social media posts linking to personal stories told by farmers, agricultural workers, family and community members who have been impacted by injuries, fatalities, or close calls.

Have you ever stood in a room filled with farmers and asked if they’ve had a close call or injury incident on the farm? Most hands will probably go up, and each hand represents a story.

Telling the Story Project ( is about sharing those stories.

Four agricultural safety centers, three of them regional centers funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), collaborate with storytellers to disseminate cautionary tales embedded with prevention messages and carrying the theme: “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”  

Using the kit, or the website, is a great way to share these stories, especially with the next generation of agriculture, such as middle school, high school and college students.

“Telling stories, reading stories, and hearing stories, all to promote learning --Telling the Story Project stories fit so well with that intent,” said Ellen Duysen, coordinator and outreach specialist for the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH), University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Our stories can be used year-round to teach injury prevention lessons and to initiate safety conversations with family and friends, as well as to normalize these discussions.”

Other collaborators in the project include the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (University of Minnesota), and the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety and the National Farm Medicine Center, both part of Marshfield Clinic Research Institute.

Agricultural media editors say that real stories make safety messages more relevant, according to UMASH-funded research.  Telling the Story Project content is meant to be shared. Farmers, media professionals, teachers, Extension, and safety professionals are especially encouraged to link to the stories and repurpose content. Please see terms of use for republishing and crediting.



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