Document Type

Student Paper

Publication Date

Spring 4-2016


While the concept and practice of organic farming has been around since the mid-1800s, there is little data currently being collected on injury, illness, or fatality within the organic farming population, leaving the health risks unknown. This paper intends to look at the surveillance systems currently in place to collect injury and illness data as it relates to organic farmers, and in particular, the New Mexico organic farmer. Evaluations of the current surveillance systems were conducted, and organic farmer demographics were analyzed using rate ratio comparisons of United States(U.S.), Texas, and New Mexico. The results show that the current surveillance systems do not generally include organic farming in their results, and what is collected is limited to demographic and economic counts. The analysis of the demographic data show that New Mexico organic farmers have a roughly similar demographic make-up as that of both U.S. and Texas organic farmers, but are younger and have been farming their current organic farms less time than New Mexico farmers on the whole. New Mexico farmers also has a significantly larger Hispanic population than is seen in either the U.S. or Texas. Understanding the demographic makeup of New Mexico organic farmers is important in the future to identify injury and illness risk factors within the population. However, without further data collection in the areas of injury and illness among organic farmers, there will be no way to measure the true health risks of this profession, or evaluate any potential interventions.


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