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Agencies Release Report on Wisconsin Farm Fatalities
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 07/29/2020

A new study has shed some light on the various causes and frequency of deaths that occur on Wisconsin farms in recent years. The National Farm Medicine Center and Marshfield Clinic Research Institute have teamed up with the University of Wisconsin-Extension and UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences in releasing the 2017-2018 Wisconsin Farm Related Fatalities report.

According to the groups' findings, 41 people died on state agricultural operations in 2017, while 34 were killed the following year. Researchers included incidents on public roadways involving agricultural equipment when compiling those figures.

"This report presents a glimpse into fatal Wisconsin farm injuries in hopes to inform the public and various agriculture and public health teams that work hard to prevent these events from ever happening," said Bryan Weichelt, Ph.D., an associate research scientist with the NFMC and project leader for AgInjuryNews.org. "In each year, those (roadway) deaths accounted for 29 percent of all farm fatalities.

Faculty members of the university and others working on farm safety research had compiled similar reports from 1943 through 2006, based mostly on newspaper clippings and other sources. But those efforts were discontinued for nearly a decade beginning in 2007.

The report includes demographic information, including age, gender and primary occupation. In each year, people ages 65 and older had the highest number of farm fatalities. The study did not include suicide events.

"As we looked at available data, we learned of a large number of suicide cases," Weichelt said. "However, it is a complicated topic, he said, that requires deeper investigation, often requiring discovery of more sensitive information which was beyond the scope of this project."

The Wisconsin Farm Related Fatalities report was funded in part by grant various grant dollars.

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