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 HICAHS Newsletter


 Stats on the HICAHS Region

Did you know that the USDA conducts a census of agricultural operations every 5 years? According to the 2012 Census within the HICAHS Region there are:

  • 156,901 farms and ranches employing over 144,000 workers.
  • 215 million acres of farmland, with the average agricultural operation having 1,373 acres. This is 24% of the nation’s farmland!
  • 13% of the nation’s cattle feedlots.
  • One-third of U.S. wheat is produced in the HICAHS region.

The HICAHS Region includes the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Source: Compiled from the 2012 USDA Census

Established in 1991, HICAHS is one of ten national Agricultural Centers funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to conduct research, education, and prevention/intervention programs to improve the health and safety of those working in agriculture, forestry, and fishing in the United States. We focus our efforts on the High Plains and Rocky Mountain region in the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Research Areas

Worker health and safety is essential to sustaining a productive work environment. The agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries have the highest rate of on-the-job fatalities in the United States. Our multidisciplinary team is helping to solve this public health problem through sound research and interventions on topics such as tractor roll-overs, respiratory disease, traumatic injuries, mechanical hazards, and musculoskeletal stress. The dairy industry is a special emphasis area of HICAHS.

HICAHS plans new occupational health and safety research projects every five years. The staff of HICAHS has recognized these areas as a top priority for occupational health and safety research for the new set of projects beginning in September 2016:

  • Occupational Health and Safety Management
  • Zoonoses and especially Anti-Microbial Resistance
  • Developments in Technology and Equipment – ATVs, ROPS, Robotics, Drones, GPS
  • Worker and animal welfare
  • Health care provision and prevention – Total Worker Health
  • 3rd Party Service Providers to the agricultural industry (contractors, pharmaceutical representatives, equipment manufacturers and suppliers)
  • Smaller Local Sustainable Food Operations
  • Occupational health and safety factors related to food security/food safety, especially with regard to antimicrobial resistance
  • Susceptible Populations – Hispanic/Latino, Older, Youth, Native American

Additionally, all future HICAHS projects are encouraged to have a "One Health" approach. The "One Health" concept recognizes that the health of humans is connected to the health of animals and the environment. The research methods and findings from all HICAHS studies should demonstrate how worker health and safety affects the environment and animals. Projects should also incorporate partnerships, focus on vulnerable populations, or education and training to help move occupational health and safety in agriculture further towards effective practice. There should be a potentially strong, measurable impact on injuries and illnesses in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries from all HICAHS projects. Projects that contribute to the HICAHS Dairy Initiatives are encouraged, but not required.

HICAHS Vision, Mission, and Aims

VISION: A Healthy and Productive Workforce for U.S. Agriculture and Forestry.

MISSION: To lead and coordinate regional and national efforts to improve the well-being
and productivity of U.S. Agriculture and Forestry workers through increased health and
safety awareness and evidence-based practices.


  1. Conduct interdisciplinary research related to prevention or reduction of agricultural causes of acute and chronic illness and disease.
  2. Provide oversight to ensure the conduct of scientifically sound research.
  3. Implement and evaluate intervention/prevention programs to promote health and reduce hazards in
    agricultural production.
  4. Expand the use of effective interventions by engaging partners among appropriate agricultural groups.
  5. Listen and respond to input from advisory boards, agricultural groups, and collaborators.
  6. Use input from advisory boards, agricultural groups and collaborators to formulate and enhance outreach efforts.
  7. Utilize a comprehensive evaluation model to assess the achievements of the Center.
  8. Continue to build agricultural partnerships to enhance diffusion of innovations.
  9. Building on our substantial work with the dairy industry, establish and provide leadership for a regional HICAHS Dairy Health and Safety Network, HICAHS Dairy Advisory Board, and International Dairy Research Consortium to comprehensively address the industry’s needs effectively and comprehensively.
  10. Develop new partnerships and build capacity to address health and safety in the beef and forestry industries.

HICAHS is an officially recognized Center at Colorado State University and the staff of HICAHS are part of various colleges and departments. A large portion of the staff (including the administration) is part of the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences. Some staff are located at other universities.

Contact Us:
1681 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1681

​(970) 491-6152

​(970) 491-2940