Current SW Ag Center Projects

Projects are awarded funding from NIOSH on a competitive basis.

MAY 2023

Addressing Health Disparities among Commercial Fishermen by Implementing a Community-based Intervention

PI: Shannon Guillot-Wright, PhD

The research team will conduct a mixed-methods ethnography, including semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and photovoice; work with shrimp fishermen to develop and pilot-test a culturally appropriate intervention to prevent slips, trips, and falls; evaluate the effectiveness of the adapted intervention among a new cohort of Gulf Coast shrimp fishermen, as measured by baseline and 6-month post-baseline survey self-report, as well as accident/fatality statistics; and work alongside shrimp fishermen in translating data for policymakers and practitioners to advance equitable and evidence-based workplace safety measures for Gulf Coast shrimp fishermen.


Characterization and Comparison of Worker Health Status on Western US Large Herd Dairy Farms

PI: David Douphrate, PhD, MPT, MBA, CPE, CSP

Utilizing a Total Worker Health®, approach the research team will characterize the health status of workers on large-herd dairy farms in the western U.S., which will include: the identification of job factors associated with health status of dairy farm workers; an estimation of COVID-19 prevalence and experiences among dairy farm workers; and a determination of on- and off-farm healthcare service delivery priorities, access barriers, feasibility, and utilization among dairy farm workers. The project will also estimate prevalence of cardiovascular, renal, and musculoskeletal risk factors among dairy farm workers by utilizing point-of-care biometric testing during on-farm health risk screening events. The team will assess healthcare utilization among participants referred to local health care providers due to identified health risks during on-farm health risk screenings. Lastly, this project will evaluate on- farm health risk screening satisfaction and benefits among dairy workers.


Integrating Motor Vehicle Crash and Injury Data in AgFF Surveillance and Research

PI: Eva Shipp, PhD

This project seeks to fulfill two aims: (1) Expand the SW Ag Center regional crash surveillance system to capture fatal and nonfatal injuries involving motor vehicles on public roadways and other locations and (2) Develop and evaluate a pilot set of AgFF MV OHIs for monitoring fatal and nonfatal injury due to motor vehicles in young and adult AgFF workers. The objective of this project is to accelerate the growth of surveillance systems that address the needs of AgFF workers and simultaneously fill gaps in the understanding of transportation-related injuries and their prevention. Findings will have a positive impact by fundamentally advancing surveillance methods through a cross-disciplinary, AgFF and transportation safety, approach.


Role of Bacterial Extracellular Vesicles from Organic Dust in Lung Inflammation

PI: Vijayakumar Boggaram, PhD

Based on the team’s recently published findings, they hypothesize that microbe associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) from dust EVs acting via toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 pathway and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) activation increase oxidative stress and NF-KB and Stat3 activation to induce lung inflammation. This project will address two specific aims. In Specific Aim 1, the importance of MAMPs and the involvement of TLR-2 in the induction of lung inflammatory responses will be studied. In Specific Aim 2, the role of AhR and the crosstalk between TLR2 and AhR in the induction of inflammatory responses will be studied. Human Beas2B airway epithelial cell line, primary normal human airway epithelial cells and TLR2- and AhRdeficient mice will be employed to carry out the proposed studies. Our studies will fill gaps in our understanding of organic dust induced lung inflammation by unraveling mechanisms by which TLR2 and AhR pathways mediate induction of lung inflammation and development of lung injury by bacterial EVs, a key constituent of organic dust.


Feasibility Studies

Assessing the Health and Climate Change Risk Perceptions of Small Farmers through Application of the Health Belief Model

Rachel Hale, MA

Purpose: By using a cross-sectional survey research design and the theoretical framework of the Health Belief Model, this study seeks to explore the overall health status of small farmers in Arkansas, their climate change and health beliefs, and risk perceptions. Understanding the current health status alongside beliefs and risk perceptions of climate change and health will inform future interventions to address adverse physical and emotional health outcomes and seeks to build their adaptive capacity. In addition, the survey will inquire what current agricultural practices the small farmer has implemented that may help their farm operation to adapt to climate change.

Funding Timeframe: 2022-2023


An Agricultural Navigator Program for Crisis Response in Southeast Louisiana

Devin Wright, BA

Purpose: The project aims to: 1) better understand the post-hurricane experiences and needs of agricultural producers in Southeast Louisiana, a frontline region and 2) assess the adequacy and sustainability of current disaster response programs for agricultural producers. Broadly, the objective of this research is to improve agricultural producer resiliency as climate impacts continue to worsen.

Funding Timeframe: 2022-2023