Diane Rohlman

Protecting the Health of Young Agricultural Workers Through Supervisor Training

Diane Rohlman, M.A., PhD, University of Iowa College of Public Health; Shelly Campo, PhD, University of Iowa College of Public Health


Dr. Rohlman received her doctoral degree in Experimental Psychology from Bowling Green State University. Her background is in cognitive psychology. Dr. Rohlman joined the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health in the University of Iowa College of Public Health in 2012. Prior to this, she was a faculty member at the Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Sciences (formerly known as the Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology, or CROET). She is Director of the graduate program in Agricultural Safety and Health and the Healthier Workforce Center of the Midwest at the University of Iowa.

Learning objectives:
1. Participants will be able to identify hazards to young agricultural workers.
2. Participants will be able to describe strategies people who hire, teach, or supervise young agricultural workers can use to protect those workers.


Young workers in agriculture (under 25 years old) are at increased risk for occupational injuries. In addition to traditional workplace hazards, fatigue, substance use, and distracted behaviors are risk factors for injury. While supervisors can play an active role in protecting young workers, there are currently no interventions targeting this group. An online training for supervisors was developed using a Total Worker Healthâ„¢ framework. The training was evaluated among those who hire, teach, or supervise young agricultural workers. Potential participants were invited to participate in the online training and research study via email, conference handout, or word of mouth. Participants were asked to complete a 1-hr training and surveys at baseline, directly following the training, and 3 months after the training. Demographics, workplace factors, and knowledge of training topics were assessed at all three time points. One-hundred-eighty-five participants completed the training and 3-month follow up. Over half were agricultural educators; the remainder were farmers/producers, agricultural supervisors, and health and safety professionals. Two-thirds (63%) had supervised young workers for 5 or more years. Knowledge scores were high and at the conclusion of the study, over half (58%) of participants indicated they would definitely recommend the training to others. All training materials are available for use in online and classroom-based formats in English and Spanish.



Diane Rohlman’s presentation begins at timestamp 8:31.

Resources for Protecting Young Ag Workers

Ag Youth Work Guidelines Formerly North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT)