Georgia Southern Institute Obtains Two OSHA Grants to Mitigate COVID-19 and Educate Georgia’s Farming Community

The U.S. Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has awarded Georgia Southern University’s Institute for Health Logistics & Analytics (IHLA) two grants totaling more than $310,000 to provide training and education to help agribusiness owners and agricultural workers in Georgia. .

OSHA’s Susan Harwood Training Grant Program funds grants to nonprofit organizations each year from congressional appropriations with the goal of improving worker health. At Georgia Southern, these grants will fund agribusiness training and education and help prepare owners and workers for future zoonotic disease outbreaks using a “One Health” approach.

“Infectious diseases can have a significant impact on the agricultural sector, ranging from market disruptions to employee absenteeism,” said Jessica Schwind, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology and director of IHLA. “Agribusiness owners and agricultural workers, especially those in livestock and poultry containment agriculture, should be educated on various topics related to infectious diseases and appropriate precautionary measures to reduce the potential for transmission. .”

The One Health approach recognizes that the health of humans, animals and our common environment are interconnected. Through increased cooperation, communication and collaboration between the human, animal and environmental sectors, IHLA sees the One Health approach as a crucial component to improving planetary health, Schwind said.

In furtherance of this mission, IHLA recently partnered with Georgia Grown, a marketing and economic development program of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, to raise awareness of One Health at this year’s Georgia State Fair. in Perry, Georgia, and Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie. , Georgia. An educational exhibit educated visitors on the importance of the human-animal bond and the many ways our health depends on healthy animals and healthy environments. Community outreach collaborations such as these are what make OSHA grants more impactful when awarded.

“We are thrilled to partner with the agricultural community across the state of Georgia to bring evidence-based One Health approaches to farms and fields, not only to keep those working in agriculture safe. -industry, but also for the health of animals and our communities,” says Jill Johns. , project manager at IHLA. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with OSHA to make this happen.”

For more information about IHLA, visit or email [email protected]

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