Installation of Cost-Effective ROPS (CROPS) Construction and Installations into Ag Mechanics Courses

An innovative model of prevention through design (PtD), this pilot study is testing the feasibility of integrating CROPS construction and installation projects into required Agricultural Mechanics classes in four rural county high school agricultural education programs (Montgomery, Laurel, Whitley and McCreary Counties).

This study builds upon the success of the Economics of Prevention projects (EOP I and II) in developing highly engaging, interactive agricultural safety and health content that meets state core curriculum requirements for economics, social studies, and vocational agriculture instruction. In keeping with their strong record of developing high quality, field tested educational and training materials, the research team will conduct pre- and post- evaluations of knowledge and awareness of CROPS and CROPS installation, using surveys of approximately 1000 agricultural education students, interviews with teachers, and analysis of project logs. Findings will be disseminated among fellow educators nationally and at the state level (NAAE, FFA, et al.).

This year, students in McCreary and Whitley counties will be installing CROPS on two Massey Ferguson models and two Ford models; similar project planning is under way in Laurel and Montgomery Counties. All participants will use installation plans from the NIOSH CROPS website.

This study is being led by Dr. Stacy Vincent, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education at the University of Kentucky and Dr. Joan Mazur, Professor of Instructional Systems Design and Technology in the UK College of Education. We are proud to note that Dr. Vincent won 1st place in the 2012 Kentucky Farm Bureau Discussion Meet and finished among the top four competitors in the National Finals at the 94th Annual Meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Nashville, TN, in January 2013. Dr. Vincent was among those honored for critical thinking and creativity in addressing the question: “How should Farm Bureau help prepare its members, both young and old, for transferring operations to the next generation of farmers and ranchers?

Principal Investigator: Stacy Vincent, PhD, Assistant Professor, Agricultural Education, 500 WP Garrigus Building, College of Agriculture, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0215; Co-investigator: Joan Mazur, PhD, Professor, UK College of Education.