The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is seeking public input on the development of a Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification competitive grant program. Through this program, instructional materials will be developed that may lead to a certification program for youth in the area of farm safety. USDA invites you, and we encouraged you, to participate in the listening session on December 12, 2012 from 12:00-3:00 pm EST. Visuals will be delivered via webinar; audio will be delivered via a toll-free telephone line. Details for joining the listening session are included in the following notice from USDA. If you want to testify during the listening session or if you want to submit written comments on this program, please do so as per the instructions herein. To be included in the official public record, written comments must be submitted by December 26.
Following is the official notice regarding the listening session from USDA NIFA, found on the USDA NIFA website:
A public listening session will be held on December 12, 2012, to collect stakeholder input on the Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification (YFSEC) competitive grants program. The listening session is scheduled to assist NIFA leadership in addressing stakeholder needs and assuring that the Farm Safety programs address the highest priorities authorized under this program. The December 12, 2012 meeting will use a webinar format and will be accessible by conference call (audio) and internet (visual only).
Time/Date: December 12, 2012, 12:00pm – 3:00pm EST
Audio: 1-888-858-2144 (Participant Code: 7343873)
Persons wishing to present oral comments at the December 12, 2012 meeting are requested to pre-register by contacting Camielle Compton at (202) 401–6825 or by e-mail at FarmSafety@nifa.usda.gov. Participants may reserve one five-minute comment period. More time may be available, depending on the number of individuals wishing to make a presentation. Reservations for oral comments will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Written comments are also being requested. Please refer to the Federal Register Notice (copy attached) for details on where to send information and comments.
NIFA plans to consider stakeholder input received from this meeting as well as other written comments and stakeholder input in developing the FY 2013 program guidelines, dependent on Congressional appropriation. All comments not presented or submitted for the record at the meeting must be submitted by close of business on December 26, 2012 to be considered. All comments and the official transcript of the meeting, when they become available, will be available on the NIFA web page for six months.
PLEASE NOTE that comments submitted related to this notice must not be the same as the comments we submitted about a year ago in response to the U. S. Department of Labor’s notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the child labor laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act. That proposed rulemaking is dead. The comments being sought now must be constructive comments on what is needed in a Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification program. As quoted directly from the Federal Register Notice:
The intent of the listening session and written comments is to gather stakeholder input on program focus and priorities for agricultural safety and health education. USDA–NIFA suggests the following questions be addressed in drafting comments on the program:
1. What are the current educational gaps in agricultural safety and health education that could be addressed through this program?
2. What are the critical components of a coordinated approach to Agricultural Safety and Health Education?
3. Is there a need for a one-stop-shop for education and program materials in agricultural safety and health?
4. What educational standards should be considered in development of the curriculum?
5. What can be done to improve educational outreach to vulnerable populations, such as non-English speaking and immigrant youth, in agricultural jobs?
6. What partners would be beneficial to engage in developing a more comprehensive and effective agricultural health and safety curriculum for youth?
7. What educational approaches, such as use of social media, could be used to get the message out, both more effectively and to a larger number of young workers?
The December 12, 2012 listening session is scheduled to assist NIFA leadership in more fully addressing stakeholder needs and assuring that the Farm Safety programs address the highest priorities authorized under this program.