The rural life is not a particularly easy one. Neighbors may be few and far between; emergency rooms, grocery stores, and schools, a long drive. And if you make your living off the land, you are extraordinarily susceptible to the weather, not to mention the markets.
Yet about 18 percent of the state’s people live outside metropolitan areas, drawn to the country for its promise of self-reliance, a slower pace of life, and the opportunity to farm or ranch. Agriculture makes up 20 percent of Minnesota’s economy and producing food for our state and beyond can be a family tradition or a new and growing passion for young people eager to work the land.
Researchers at the School of Public Health tackle the practical, yet critical concerns of farmers: How do they know that the food they produce is safe for their customers? Are their animals protected from disease? What injuries and illnesses are they, themselves, most susceptible to? If they do get injured, can they get quality health care? And what will happen to them as they age?
From Advances, a quarterly publication of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.