Published by The Advocacy Committee of the
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A Harvest of Hurt

Star Tribune (Sacremento, CA) , August 5, 2004


Farm work is the most dangerous summer job for American young people. In 2001, 22,648 youngsters were injured on US farms. Among older teens it brings the highest risk of death -- higher than working alone and late at night in retail or construction jobs.

Some of the newest Americans -- Hmong young people -- are working as farmhands. And a novel safety program out of the University of Minnesota is using centuries-old Hmong storytelling to deliver safety lessons on some very modern farming hazards -- rototillers, sharp tools, and even difficult customers at urbaarmers' markets.

"The Hmong have a culture and history of agriculture, and we want them to maintain all those values," said John Shutske, a University of Minnesota agriculture professor and one of the program developers. "We just want to help them better protect their children from the hazards, and ultimately the injuries, that can occur."

Subjects Covered: education

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