Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health

Tractor spraying soybean


The Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health represent a major NIOSH effort to protect the health and safety of agricultural workers and their families. The NIOSH Agricultural Centers were established as part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / NIOSH Agricultural Health and Safety Initiative in 1990. The Centers were established by cooperative agreement to conduct research, education, and prevention projects to address the nation’s pressing agricultural health and safety problems.  Geographically, the Centers are distributed throughout the nation to be responsive to the agricultural health and safety issues unique to the different regions.


  • Develop and conduct research related to the prevention of occupational disease and injury of agricultural workers and their families.
  • Develop and implement model educational outreach, and intervention programs promoting agricultural health and safety for agricultural workers and their families.
  • Develop and evaluate control technologies to prevent illness and injuries among agricultural workers and their families.
  • Develop and implement model programs for the prevention of illness and injury among agricultural workers and their families.
  • Evaluate agricultural injury and disease prevention and educational materials and programs implemented by the Center.
  • Provide consultation and/or training to researchers, health and safety professionals, graduate/professional students, and agricultural extension agents and others in a position to improve the health and safety of agricultural workers.
  • Develop linkages and communication with other governmental and non-governmental bodies involved in agricultural health and safety with special emphasis on communications with other CDC/NIOSH sponsored agricultural health and safety programs.
USA Map of Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health

Center Descriptions

The Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safetyexternal icon (NEC) is a NIOSH funded extramural Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AFF) Research Center, located in Cooperstown, NY. While the NEC is affiliated with the Bassett Healthcare Network, it works extensively with researchers, extension specialists, industry groups and workers throughout the Northeast region to fulfill its mission to prioritize and ameliorate AFF worker health and safety issues in the Northeast. The Center conducts research and provides occupational health and safety (OSH) services to AFF workers in a twelve-state region that extends from Maine to West Virginia.

The High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safetyexternal icon at Colorado State University uses an innovative transdisciplinary approach that leverages expertise and resources among partners to promote a healthy agricultural and forestry/logging population in PHS Region VIII and beyond. The Center brings together an internationally recognized leadership team, outstanding new investigators, and a well-developed regional partnership to address the new and unique needs of this region. Building on the Regional Needs Assessment, the Center continues to advance health and safety in dairy production, but also more broadly addresses the emerging needs (e.g., forestry safety, all-terrain vehicle safety on ranches, vulnerable workers) of this region with cross-cutting, innovative research, intervention, and outreach translation. The Center’s mission is to be a dynamic catalyst for transdisciplinary research, training, and outreach that reduces the burden of human morbidity and mortality in agriculture and forestry in the high plains intermountain region and beyond. Their overall goal integrates new and existing knowledge and utilizes multiple routes of dissemination to move from research to improved agricultural health and safety practice.

NCCRAHSexternal icon strives to enhance the health and safety of all children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments. The major focus is to translate research findings into practice and to move childhood agricultural safety knowledge into practice through sustained partnerships. The Center conducts research, education, intervention, prevention, translation and outreach activities to enhance the health and safety of children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments. The Center provides a wide range of services related to children and adolescents living in rural areas and working in agricultural environments. NCCRAHS has a track record of synergistic efforts addressing national priorities while involving a range of stake-holders. Since 1997, NCCRAHS has been a leader in: (a) building new partnerships, (b) conducting research with practical implications, (c) generating consensus on complex issues, and (d) producing resources deemed useful to multiple audiences.

The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safetyexternal icon is located at the University of California, Davis. Western agriculture is the most intensive and productive in the world, but differs in many ways from the rest of the country. The overall goal of the Center is to improve the health and safety of farmers, farm family members, and hired farm workers and their families in western agriculture. The multidisciplinary expertise of the Center faculty enables varied, largely field-oriented research projects, outreach and interventions. A major effort of this renewal is the expanded Outreach program, which will enable the Center to provide leadership in innovative efforts to improve health of immigrant farmworkers. The Center will also continue to disseminate research findings and news about its activities through traditional and new forms of media.

The new Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safetyexternal icon will address unique occupational safety and health challenges for persons working in agriculture, fishing, and forestry in the southern and coastal states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and North and South Carolina. The Center plans to accomplish this through an interdisciplinary network of projects carried out by five major universities in the Southeastern United States: University of Florida, University of South Florida, Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Emory University. The Center’s proposed research projects include activities ranging from basic or etiologic work to intervention and translation activities as well as surveillance. Focus areas or themes for the Center include heat stress, pesticide exposure, coastal fishery worker safety and health and developing innovative approaches to foster research to practice activities.

The Great Plains Center for Agricultural Healthexternal icon is a nationally recognized public health resource that develops and implements programs of research, intervention, translation, education, and outreach with the long-term goal of preventing occupational injury and illness among agricultural workers and their families. The Center serves a nine-state region: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. These states constitute America’s most agriculturally intensive region and have a significant burden of severe agricultural injuries and illnesses compared to other regions and industries. The Center’s research projects are aimed at reducing the burden of injury and illness throughout the region, and identifies outreach activities to build the expertise in health and safety throughout the community, for professionals, community advocates, intermediaries, and directly to farmers.

The Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Preventionexternal icon founded in 1992 is located at the University of Kentucky (UK), a land-grant campus that houses the Colleges of Agriculture, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Arts and Sciences among others all on one campus. This unique situation allows the Center to  focus on multidisciplinary collaboration from agriculture, public health, epidemiology, biology, engineering, education, forestry, communications, nursing, medicine, and Cooperative Extension within UK as well as across universities in the Southeast including Auburn, East Carolina University, North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T, West Virginia University. The Center’s theme, “Multidisciplinary partnerships to improve agricultural safety and health in the Southeast,” places emphasis on serving vulnerable farm populations while addressing persistent and emerging agricultural safety concerns unique to the 10 southeastern states of AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA and WV. The Center expects to have a substantial impact on the prevention of injuries from tractor overturns, reduction of logging injuries and fatalities, the development of widespread multidisciplinary training to increase the number of professionals skilled in addressing health and safety issues faced by agricultural workers and their families and to extend its outreach and programs to address the health and safety needs of the varied fishing industry across its regions’ coastline.

The Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Centerexternal icon at the University of Minnesota is a multidisciplinary Center formed as a collaboration of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, National Farm Medicine Center of the Marshfield Clinic, Migrant Clinicians Network, and the Minnesota Department of Health. The Center has used its unique multidisciplinary expertise to primarily focus on worker health and safety issues related to animal agriculture production. The central theme is to promote a One Health philosophy that emphasizes the connections between human health, animal, and plant health and the health of the environment for addressing the changing health and safety conditions for the people who are feeding the nation and the world. The long-term objective of the Center is to improve the health and safety of agricultural workers and their families. The objectives of the proposed center activities are to apply multidisciplinary solutions to create and translate new knowledge for addressing agricultural health and safety concerns relevant to the Upper Midwest, the country and the world.

The Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Healthexternal icon at the University of Nebraska Medical Center aims to conduct high quality research and translate scientific discoveries into practical applications to reduce the burden of injury and illness among farmers, ranchers, their families, and workers. The Center has high scientific and technical competency, is forward looking, and has a strong network of collaborators providing regional leadership in research and outreach. During the prior project period, the Center built a cohesive approach that links planning, evaluation, research, and outreach to reduce agricultural occupational injury and illness. The proposed Outreach Core has a special emphasis on vulnerable populations: women, veteran farmers, immigrant workers, and Native Americans. Several Center projects address health and safety in feed yard and livestock production work; a major gap in previous efforts of the Ag Centers. The Center also has collaborative agreements with several other Ag centers to work on issues of mutual importance.

The Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Educationexternal icon at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler serves U.S. Public Health Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas). Its mission is to improve the safety and health of agricultural, forestry and commercial fishing workers. This mission is accomplished through an integrated program of research, intervention, translation, surveillance and outreach activities that engage and leverage a network of strategic partners who represent the interests of a diverse worker population and a wide range of agricultural production in the region. The Center’s scope of work is organized around the theme “Building Strategic Partnerships to Improve the Health and Safety of Diverse Agricultural, Forestry and Fishing Populations.” The Center brings together an experienced leadership team of staff, Internal and External Advisors in an organizational structure that facilitates a cohesive, coordinated and synergistic operation.

The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Centerexternal icon at the University of Washington was established in 1996 and is part of a vital national infrastructure dedicated to the prevention of illness and injury among agricultural producers, workers, and their families. The center works to achieve this goal through partnerships with key stakeholders in the Northwest region (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) and it works collaboratively with other regional centers to formulate national programs and policies in agricultural health and safety. Since the Center’s inception, it has worked to engage the three major agricultural sectors in the Northwest: farming, forestry, and fishing. The Center reflects a cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional, and geographically diverse set of initiatives whose efforts focus primarily on populations not well represented in current research, including hired laborers, migrant/seasonal workers, women, and children.

Program Performance One-Pagers (PPOP)

Fiscal Year (FY) Extramural Research Program Highlights

Program achievements featured in the Extramural Research and Training Program Annual Reports

Funding Opportunity Announcements

All cooperative agreement funding opportunity announcements can be found at:

Additional Resources

Page last reviewed: January 15, 2014