Expect No Farm Safety Legislation This Year In Iowa

Support from Iowa lawmakers for stricter farm safety regulation does not exist in the new legislative session. This is despite agriculture being Iowa’s deadliest occupation and limited Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforcement and coverage. No one is pushing for state remedies, or calling for a federal government they distrust to improve farm safety to step in. Moreover, Gov. Terry Branstad says he would not support a new or more aggressive program for agricultural safety. “I think that would be a detriment to agriculture,” Branstad told IowaWatch in an interview at the opening of the session.

Video Interview: Central Iowa Farmer Says Need For Work Safety Has To Meet Farmers’ Needs

Chris Petersen, of Clear Lake, Iowa, has farmed and raised hogs for years. As a board member of the Iowa Farmers’ Union and Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, I-CASH, he has worked to raise awareness of farm safety issues. He also helps bring a farmer’s perspective to developers of agricultural safety equipment. “You know the simple of it is, I guess, farmers at a certain time of the year have one-track minds. And it’s getting that crop in and getting that crop out.