Minority Farm Operator Childhood Agricultural Injury Survey (M-CAIS) Results

Youth who live on, work on, or visit farms in the United States (U.S.) have been identified as a special population at high risk for non-fatal and fatal injuries. Since 1996, NIOSH has conducted the Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Initiative to promote the reduction of injuries and fatalities to youth on farms in the U.S. A major component of this initiative is the development of an ongoing surveillance program to track the magnitude of non-fatal injuries occurring to all youth exposed to farm hazards.

An initial step in the development of the surveillance program was the completion of the Childhood Agricultural Injury Survey (CAIS) first conducted in 1999 for the calendar year 1998. NIOSH collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) to conduct this survey. The results of this survey were released in 2001, and contained both injury and demographic estimates for youth on farms in the U.S. Additional CAIS were conducted for 2001, 2004, 2006, and 2009. Results from these surveys are available on the CAIS page.

At the completion of the first CAIS, it was determined that the CAIS sample was not sufficient to provide reliable injury estimates for farms operated by racial or Hispanic minorities. This is because minority operations account for a small proportion (6% in 2009) of all farms in the U.S. To obtain statistically reliable estimates, NIOSH collaborated with USDA-NASS to conduct a separate survey of minority farm operators (M-CAIS) utilizing the USDA Census of Agriculture list. The initial M-CAIS collected data for the calendar year 2000. The results were released in two publications, and contained both injury and demographic estimates for youth in the U.S. on racial minority and Hispanic operated farms. Additional M-CAIS were conducted for 2003 and 2008.

The M-CAIS data tables providing results from the three surveys are divided into two broad categories, demographics and injury. The data are further broken out by racial minority and Hispanic operated farms. Because it is possible for an operator to report being of Hispanic origin and a racial minority on the Census of Agriculture, the Hispanic and racial minority estimates are not mutually exclusive and cannot be combined to produce an overall estimate for minority farm operations.

Interpretations of these data are provided in NIOSH documents and publications . Farm youth demographic and injury estimates in the tables were calculated by NIOSH and are presented with the approval of USDA-NASS. Public access to all M-CAIS data files, or additional estimates from the M-CAIS, are subject to the approval of USDA-NASS. For additional information contact Kitty Hendricks.