Our Mission

“To enhance the health and safety of all children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments.”

In 2022, the National Children’s Center celebrates 25 years since its establishment with major funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The National Children’s Center is the only NIOSH agricultural center that is both national and focused solely on childhood agricultural safety and health. 

Join us to celebrate 25 years


1992:   National Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Symposium convened by National Farm Medicine Center in Marshfield, WI.

1992:   National Farm Medicine Center funded by Federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau as a Children’s Safety Network Rural Center.

1995: NFMC formed “the National Committee on Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention” to create the first national action plan on this topic. 

1995:  “National Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Conference”, (hosted by NFMC) was convened in Madison, WI with Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop as keynote speaker; the first committee meeting co-located with conference.  

1996:   National committee released “National Action Plan for Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention,” endorsed by 80 organizations and subsequently adopted and funded by the U.S. Congress with leadership from Rep. Dave Obey.  NIOSH launched their national initiative with intramural and extramural projects.

1997:   National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety formally established with five-year competitive grant from NIOSH.

1998:   Received NIOSH grant to study children’s agricultural work guidelines for relevance, applicability and effectiveness.

1999:   Released North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT) at national conference with radio celebrity, Orion Samuelson.

2000:   Awarded a NIOSH grant to assess potential injury prevention impact of NAGCAT using a case-series design.

2000:   Childhood Agricultural Safety Network (CASN) established by National Children’s Center.

2001:   Convened “2001 Summit on Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention,” which assessed progress on the 1996 National Action Plan and published recommendations for the future.

2001:   Led the National Adolescent Farmworker Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee, which in 2001 published, “Migrant and Seasonal Hired Adolescent Farmworkers: A Plan to Improve Working Conditions.”

2002:   Funded by NIOSH to study whether a modification of federal child labor laws could reduce injuries to children on family farms.

2003:   Published “Creating Safe Play Areas on Farms,” the first comprehensive guidelines for designing and building a play area in a farm setting

2004:   Released “Benchmarking Report: Hiring and Safety Practices for Adolescent Workers in Agriculture.”

2004:   National Farm Medicine Center assumed editorship of the Journal of Agromedicine, a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal indexed by the National Library of Medicine.

2006:   National public awareness campaign, “Keep Kids Away from Tractors” launched.

2007: Hosted the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/National Occupational Research Agenda Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Sector Council meeting in Marshfield, Wis.

2007:   Facilitated establishment of industry-driven Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA), to be administratively managed at NFMC for next ten years.

2007:   “Agritourism: Health and Safety Guidelines for Children” published.

2008:   “Safety Guidelines for Hired Adolescent Farm Workers (SaGHAF)” released.

2012: Published “Blueprint for Protecting Children in Agriculture: The 2012 National Action Plan.”

2012: Published interactive Web guide, “Integrating Safety into Agritourism,” based upon 2007 publication, “Agritourism Health and Safety Guidelines for Children.”

2013: “Parent First, Farmer Second” media campaign wins National Agri-Marketing Association awards for radio, print ads.

2013: Cultivate Safety website launched to provide adults with evidence-based strategies on how to keep children safe while they work and play on farms. The website includes videos and easy-to-use information about child development and best-practice work guidelines.

2015: “We’re All In!”, summarizing the mutual benefits of employers providing child care services for workers, published by National Children’s Center.

2015:   AgInjuryNews.org, an interactive online tool built with publicly-available child ag injury news reports, goes live.

2015: Safety in Agriculture for Youth (SAY) national clearinghouse ensures public access to evidence-based safety and health curriculums, with its evaluation funded via the National Children’s Center.

2017:   Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines debuted – updated guidelines based on the North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks.

2018:    First Child Agricultural Injury Prevention Workshop conducted.

2019:   “Roadmap for Delivering Child Care in Agricultural Communities,” published.

2020:   National Children’s Center funded by NIOSH for fifth consecutive cycle.

2021:   Co-hosted the Child Agricultural Safety and Health Workshop with 10 other agricultural centers funded by NIOSH.

2022:   National Children’s Center celebrates 25 years!