UNMC, UNL partner to bring safety training to Rwanda

September 10, 2019

Image with caption: New RICA faculty and staff members took part in the safety training.

New RICA faculty and staff members took part in the safety training.

A team from the UNMC Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH) collaborated with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) and the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA) to offer agricultural safety training to 28 new RICA faculty and staff.

RICA is a new English-language institution dedicated to educating and inspiring a new generation of innovators in agriculture in Rwanda. Curriculum development and technical advising for the institute has taken place under the leadership of the IANR at UNL.

RICA will integrate conservation agriculture, One Health, communication, and entrepreneurship in an experiential education setting. Students will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Conservation Agriculture, in a three-year program.

CS-CASH Director Risto Rautiainen, Ph.D., and outreach specialist Ellen Duysen traveled to the RICA campus in early August. Dr. Rautiainen and Duysen presented training on topics including tractor and equipment safety, proper use of personal protective equipment, risk management, confined spaces, pesticide hazards and handling procedures, heat stress, and environmental hazards.

Much of the weeklong training was hands-on. Participants had an opportunity to view equipment and environmental hazards, try on personal protective equipment, and discuss mitigation methods for each safety concern.

"The CS-CASH training team looks forward to returning to Rwanda to provide safety training to RICA students and additional training to the faculty and staff," Duysen said. "With a strong commitment to the safety and health of their students, faculty and staff, the RICA is well on the path to becoming a leader in agricultural safety."

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