We conducted an intervention to increase adoption of three dairy farming practices shown to reduce certain traumatic and musculoskeletal injury hazards.
The intervention disseminated information to 4,300 Wisconsin dairy farm managers about three safer, more profitable production practices (barn lights, bag silos, and calf feed mixing sites) using information channels upon which these managers were known to rely. We evaluated rolling, independent, community-based samples at baseline and after each of two intervention years. We also evaluated a single sample after the intervention's second year from 1,200 Maryland dairy farm managers who were exposed only to the intervention's nationally distributed print publications, as a “partially exposed” comparison group.
In before/after comparisons, Wisconsin managers reported getting more information from print media, public events, and resource people for barn lights and bag silos. Also, Wisconsin managers, in comparison with Maryland managers after the intervention's second year, reported getting more barn lights and bag silo information from public events and resource people, but not from print media. Analyses that adjusted for farm manager, farm operation, and herd variables associated the intervention with increased Wisconsin manager adoption of all three practices after the second intervention year: barn lights (odds ratio [OR] = 2.268, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.476, 3.485), bag silos (OR=3.561, 95% CI 2.684, 4.728), and calf feeding sites (OR=2.433, 95% CI 1.059, 5.591). There were also increases in awareness of barn lights and calf feeding sites.
Disseminating information to managers through well-known information channels was associated with increased reports of information gathering, adoption, and awareness of safer, profit-enhancing work practices in a high-hazard industry.