Pilot Projects

The Pilot & Feasibility Studies Program

  1. Provides initial funding to develop innovative methods of investigation and prevention/intervention in agricultural occupational safety and health;
  2. Stimulates investigators in diverse disciplines to apply their expertise to agricultural safety and health issues;
  3. Enhances external partnerships and cross-center collaboration; (4) provides support for activities designed to move the results of research into practice; and
  4. Provides pilot data to support successful R-01 type funding.

The Southeast Center’s Pilot and Feasibility Program was a combination of research support and outreach to our stakeholders (workers and their families involved in the farming, forestry and fishing industries). The program served a dual purpose; in addition to providing funds for short-term projects addressing agriculture health and safety problems in the region, the program also acted as a means to expand the Center’s influence and visibility throughout a region spanning 800,000 square miles—much of the area rural. The PILOT program worked in tandem with the Center’s Outreach Core to maintain close connections with a diverse stakeholder community as well as the Evaluation core to guide the selection of relevant projects that meet stakeholders’ needs. 

Since 1998, the PILOT program has focused on regional priorities with special consideration given to projects that:

  • Were likely to have a sustained, measurable impact on safety and health in production agriculture, forestry, and fishing in the Southeast region;
  • Improve occupational disease and injury surveillance;
  • Address the needs of vulnerable populations such as ethnic minorities, persons with low literacy and limited English proficiency skills, and workers with low socioeconomic status;
  • Hold the potential for creating innovative solutions to persistent and/or emerging problems such as ag- and forestry-machinery injuries, noise-induced hearing loss, lower back injury and other musculoskeletal disorders, hazardous dust and chemical exposures, respiratory diseases, heat-related diseases, and protection from emerging infectious diseases;
  • Facilitate the adoption, and sustained use of primary prevention tools such as equipment and machinery modifications.