University of Nebraska Medical Center
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We develop and conduct research related to the prevention of occupational disease and injury of agricultural workers and their families.


Our Projects

View an interactive map of our current and past pilot projects. 

Improving Safety Climate and Safety Culture in the Cattle Feedyard Industry

The long-term goal of this project is to reduce the burden of injuries and illnesses among feedyard workers. The objective of this project is to improve safety climate and safety culture on cattle feedyards through the adoption of a comprehensive feedyard safety and health training and commendation program. The specific aims of this project are to: identify the motivators and barriers to conducting safety trainings on cattle feedyards; develop and implement a new safety climate and safety culture survey tool for cattle feedyards; and develop, disseminate, and evaluate an open source Feedyard 15 online commendation program.

About project PI Aaron Yoder, PhD. 

Learn more about the Feedyard Worker Safety project. 

Multiple Methods Approach to Study the Impact of Stress among Latino Immigrant Cattle Feedyard Workers in the Central States Region

The purpose of this study is to explore the relations between distinct life stressors, risk and protective factors, perceived current stress, and their relations with occupational injuries, physical and psychosocial health, and social well-being among Latino immigrant cattle feedyard workers in the Central States region using our Ecological Stress-Based Model of Immigrant Worker Health and Safety. This study will identify severe types of stress and their associations with occupational injuries, physical and psychosocial health, and social well-being outcomes across time and industry-specific seasons. Our findings will provide valuable information for developing interventions and generating health promotion and safety education resources using a Total Worker Health approach for Latino immigrant agricultural workers. 

About project PI Athena Ramos, PhD, MBA, MS, CPM.

Learn more about the Immigrant Workforce project. 

The Exposome and Organic Dust-Induced Lung Injury

Building on our previous research, the purpose of this project is to determine whether exposome-altered innate lung defense caused by organic dust inhalation negatively impacts susceptibility and pathogenesis of bacterial pneumonia, placing individuals with COVID-19 exposure, alcohol use disorders (AUD), or zinc deficiency particularly in harm’s way. Defining the mechanisms of risk will empower clinicians to make informed preventive care decisions in the real-world context of the exposome.

About project PI Todd Wyatt, PhD.

Establishing a Community-Based Training Network to Enhance the Safety of Bison Herd Workers on Tribal Lands

This project aims to work with the InterTribal Buffalo Council to conduct much needed research regarding best practices for bison herd management practices, provide applied worker safety training, and facilitate herd management training and peer mentorship for managers. Trainings and mentorship will be conducted from within the indigenous community to ensure that the proposed interventions are culturally appropriate, and reflect the Tribes' goals for bison production and management programs. Through adapting the lens of the research and intervention strategies to an indigenous-led research, training, and assessment program; we aim to not only increase our knowledge of best practices within this growing industry, but also to increase the likelihood of that interventions will be adopted.

About project PI Mystera Samuelson, PhD. 

Learn more about the Bison Worker Safety project and the annual round table of bison herd workers and managers, hosted in collaboaration with the InterTribal Buffalo Council.

Evaluating the Safety of Agricultural Vehicle Ingress/Egress for Aging Producers

Falls from agricultural vehicles for aging producers may result in serious, potentially career-ending, injuries. This research leverages novel observational techniques and an assessment of strength, balance, and ingress/egress performance to design user-centered interventions for the reduction of producer fall and injury.

About project PI Bethany Lowndes, PhD, MPH.

Surveillance of Agricultural Injuries

The CS-CASH Surveillance program aims to gain a comprehensive understanding of the burden of occupational injury and illness; working population characteristics; injury and illness frequencies and rates; related exposures, risk factors and costs; and preventive strategies that could reduce the burden of injury and illness in the Center’s region, and nationally. 

About project PI Risto Rautiainen, PhD.

Pilot Program Research Impact

See the impact we've made.


Pilot Projects Funded Since 2011


Additional funding generated using data generated from CS-CASH pilot projects.


Return on investment from subsequent ag safety and health funding.

More information

Read about the center's previous pilot program grant awards and its emerging issues awardees.