Although farming continues to be one of the most dangerous
occupations, Illinois recorded nearly a 50 percent reduction of
farm-related deaths last year compared with the previous year. The
20 farm fatalities occurring between July 1, 2011, and June 30,
2012, were the fewest in the state of Illinois in more than 30
years. This year's National Farm Safety and Health Week marks the
69th consecutive signing of a farm safety proclamation by a U.S.
president; the first was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt in
As a part of the upcoming Farm Safety Week, more than 100
Illinois farm families will be served complimentary "Meals in the
Field" by Farm Credit Services of Illinois. More than hot lunches
will be delivered to farmers during their busy harvest season; Farm
Credit will also deliver a farm safety message to the host family,
with special emphasis on safety reminders for farm children.
Farm Credit established the "Meals in the Field" program in 2000
to promote farm safety during the harvest season. All Farm Credit
regional offices select at least one farm family to receive lunch on
each weekday of Farm Safety Week. The Farm Credit staff serves the
food wherever the farmers are working.
Each "Meals in the Field" family will also be provided a Farm
First Aid Kit, produced by the National Education Center for
Agricultural Safety, compliments of Farm Credit. The durable and
weather-resistant kit is specifically designed for farm injuries and
is equipped with items such as an isothermal blanket, ice packs, a
finger splint and eye wash containers.
"Farm Credit salutes the hardworking farm families in Illinois,"
says Dave Owens, president and CEO of Farm Credit Services of
Illinois. We want our meals to give farmers a compelling reason to
climb off the combine or out of their grain truck to take a quick
and refreshing break during the harvest work days. It pays in the
long run to slow down enough to take breaks and drink plenty of
water to help stay alert while operating farm machinery."
This year's Illinois harvest will not be as bountiful as recent
years due to this summer's historic drought and record heat.
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"Farm Credit is mindful of both the economic and emotional
struggle farm families face with the harvest at hand," says Owens.
"But even if the yields are disappointing, safety must still be a
top priority for the entire family during harvest."
To ease the economic impact of the drought, Farm Credit recently
announced relief assistance initiatives for stockholders, including
provisions for an interest-free operating loan for up to $100,000
during the traditional harvest months of September, October and
November. Additionally, Farm Credit is offering to restructure
existing loans to defer current loan payments for farmers facing
unexpected cash-flow shortages because of the drought.
All Illinois farm families who reside in the southern 60 counties
are eligible for "Meals in the Field" by registering with a Farm
Credit Services of Illinois office or online at
Winners are encouraged to invite family, neighbors and friends to
participate in the meal.
Farm Credit Services of Illinois is a farmer-owned and directed
agricultural lending cooperative that serves 8,500 farm families,
agribusinesses and rural landowners in the southern 60 counties of
Illinois with competitive and flexible financing and crop insurance
expertise. The association manages a $3 billion loan portfolio and
sells 1.8 million acres of crop insurance coverage. The mission of
the U.S. Farm Credit System is to be a reliable provider of
financial capital and financial services to agriculture and rural
news release from Farm
Credit Services of Illinois]