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MDA encourages safety and awareness during harvest season

As farmers across Minnesota gear up for fall harvest, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is reminding everyone of possible hazards of the season.

In observance of National Farm Safety and Health Week, Sept. 20-26, MDA is offering daily tips and advice to ensure all Minnesotans are safe, whether they are harvesting fields or encountering farm equipment on roadways.

The theme for the 2009 Farm Safety and Health Week is "Rural Road Safety: Alert, Aware & Alive." According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, there were 147 farm vehicles involved in crashes on Minnesota roads in 2008. Those accidents resulted in 62 injuries and two deaths.

MDA Commissioner Gene Hugoson says it is important to review safety practices and then remember to implement them.

In addition to road safety, MDA is highlighting other farm safety topics this season. Those topics include child safety on the farm, mental health resources, proper livestock and grain handling, and guidelines for reducing physical stresses.

Daily safety topics will be available on MDA's website at, Facebook fan page at and Twitter feed at