Farmers’ health, safety take center stage for KDA at this year’s National Farm Machinery Show

Safety demonstrations, immunizations offered for farmers’ physical, mental health

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2024) – The physical and mental health of farmers will take center stage for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) at this year’s National Farm Machinery Show. Each year, the National Farm Machinery Show brings the newest selection of cutting-edge agricultural products, equipment, and services. This year, KDA will also give those in attendance the chance to get the latest advancements for their physical and mental health.

 In addition to farm safety exhibits, KDA and partners are offering several health services to help farmers and agricultural producers remain at their physical best, Commissioner of Agriculture Jonathan Shell announced.

The show is set for Feb. 14-17 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

“A healthy agriculture community means healthy farmers, both physically and mentally,” Commissioner Shell said. “KDA is proud to offer world-class safety demonstrations, health screenings, and immunizations during the National Farm Machinery Show this year. Farming has risks, and it takes all of us to ensure our agricultural community remains healthy and strong for years to come.”

This year’s show will feature KDA employees demonstrating safety around farm equipment including tractors, four-wheelers, and lawnmowers.

“It’s the biggest farm safety and health demonstrations we’ve ever had,” said Dale Dobson, KDA’s Farm and Home Safety Program coordinator. “We have double the space we’ve ever had at this show for our safety programs.”

Available health screenings will include those for glucose, blood pressure, carotid artery scans, and hearing. The health screenings will be available 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day, except for the carotid artery screening, which will be available just Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

In addition to the health screenings, attendees can receive flu, Hepatitis A, tetanus and COVID vaccines. Vaccines will be offered 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Feb. 14 and Feb. 16.

Partnering with KDA to offer these screenings and vaccines are nursing students and staff from Kentucky State University, University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, UK Pharmacist Care Team, UK Southeast Center for Ag Health and Injury Prevention, and the University of Louisville Vascular Department. Also assisting will be FFA student volunteers, the University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and Kentucky State extension members.

The health screenings, immunizations, and health education are components of the Raising Hope initiative, which was created to promote the physical and mental health and safety of Kentucky’s farmers and farm families. Raising Hope is a partnership between KDA, state universities, and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Department for Behavioral Health. The campaign is supported by appropriations from the Kentucky General Assembly and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The National Farm Machinery Show, now in its 58th year, is the country’s largest indoor farm show with more than 900 vendors. It brings thousands out to see the most complete selection of cutting-edge agricultural products, equipment, and services available in the farming industry. Professionals from around the world gain knowledge and hands-on access to various technological advancements needed for the upcoming farming season during the four-day show.