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Agricultural Safety and Health Group Turns 50

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 5, 2012 – The International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health will be “Bridging the Past and Future 50 Years” at its annual conference June 24-28, in Burlington, Vt.

Able to trace its roots to a small but viable farm safety awakening in the United States during the late 1930s, ISASH incorporated in 1962 as National Institute for Farm Safety. Members voted last year to change the name to International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health to better reflect the needs of agriculture and the work of its membership.

“The ISASH name acknowledges the growing number of members involved in health and agromedicine as well as safety,” said ISASH President Marsha Purcell, who is also director of membership and program development at the American Farm Bureau Federation. “There also was a desire to recognize growth in international membership.”

This year’s conference will feature a welcome from Chuck Ross, Vermont secretary of agriculture, nearly 50 concurrent sessions and a professional improvement session that will examine social marketing in agricultural fatality and injury prevention. Tours highlighting the diversity of Vermont agriculture and its particular safety and health issues also will be offered.

Believing that multiple perspectives can help identify both solutions and problems, ISASH members include engineers, educators, insurers, physicians, nurses, veterinarians, statisticians, communicators, business leaders and others who contribute to a safer and healthier agricultural work place.

The ISASH conference has a history of serving as a clearinghouse for research and intervention ideas. Many safety initiatives in U.S. agriculture have involved members of ISASH or its predecessors, including the slow-moving vehicle emblem, emergency farm rescue, rollover protective structures, assistive technologies for disabled farmers and hand signals.

“It’s exciting to have that kind of support from people who started this organization,” Purcell said, “and at the same time seeing college students and other newcomers following in their footsteps.” For more information about ISASH, go to www.isash.org.

The Farm Bureau Safety and Health Network is made up of professionals affiliated with state Farm Bureaus who share an interest in decreasing safety and health risks associated with agricultural and rural life. Learn more at http://www.agsafetynow.com/home.asp.


ISASH (formerly NIFS) is an organization dedicated to the professional development of agricultural safety and health professionals, providing national and international leadership in preventing agricultural injuries and illnesses to the agricultural community. ISASH provides opportunities for sharing information about research and intervention programs, improving professional skills and knowledge, networking and other supportive activities.

Contacts: Tracy Taylor Grondine
(202) 406-3642
Cyndie Sirekis
(202) 406-3649