Developing and Testing Interactive Agricultural Health and Safety Curricula for 4-H Youth

To address the problem of childhood agricultural injuries, from 2003 through 2006 researchers at Colorado State University and its High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety successfully developed and formatively evaluated a prototype agricultural safety and health CD for 4-H youth in Colorado, Montana, and South Dakota. The interactive CD (4-H CD1) targets youth in grades 3-6. The CD contains five teaching modules addressing tractor safety, chemical handling, animal handling, ATVs and grain handling. Each module includes 2 or 3 video clips, safety facts, and an embedded quiz with immediate reinforcement or feedback regarding correct or incorrect answers.

Beginning in 2007 researchers evaluated the effectiveness of 4-H CD1 in three additional regions of the United States: the Southeast (Kentucky), Southwest (Texas, Arkansas) and Northeast (New York). Using a quasi experimental randomized control design, the study tested for both knowledge and behavioral change among sample populations in each of these diverse agricultural production regions. Advisory panels consisting of parents, children and 4-H leaders assisted the researchers in assessing the appropriateness of 4-H CD1 for their region and in identifying topics for additional teaching modules (4-H CD2). 

This 4-year, multi-site project was supported by CDC/NIOSH Cooperative Agreement 2 U50 OH 008085-04A1 (Colorado State University) and sub-award G-46241-1 to the University of Kentucky, Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention. Essential collaboration was provided by state 4-H leaders.