Search for Excellence in Farm and Ranch Business Management

Xiurui Iris Cui
Extension Area Specialist


Cui, X.*1, , Ronald Barron2, , Jeff Smith3, , Amy Rochkes4,
1 Extension Area Specialist, University of Tennessee, Clarksville, TN, 37040
2 Extension Agent III, University of Tennessee, ASHLAND CITY, TN, 37015
3 Extension Agent III, University of Tennessee, Springfield, TN, 37172
4 Training & Resource Coordinator, GAP Connections, Springfield, TN, 37172

Tobacco is one of the top commodities grown in Tennessee, with a value of close to 100 million dollars. Each year, due to the exposure to nicotine from handling tobacco, and the extensive heat, there have been numerous cases of farm emergencies reported that are caused by nicotine poisoning or dehydration. GAP Connections Certification Program standards recommend tobacco growers have a staff member (or grower) certified in First Aid/CPR training. However, there are limited resources available for the producers and their workers.

The team members of this pilot project identified the need for making the First Aid/CPR training available both in English and Spanish, to help tobacco growers manage human risk to meet the farm safety standards of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).  This project will provide the opportunity for the producers and their farm labor to learn the skills needed to give immediate care to a suddenly-injured co-worker.

Throughout six months, the program was planned, revised, conducted, and evaluated. A total of 41 tobacco farms, 74 farm operators including 34 Hispanic workers (46%) from five counties in Middle and West Tennessee participated, with 43 (58%) certified in CPR/First Aid. 40 non-contact electronic thermometers were awarded to assist producers with monitoring farm workers’ temperatures during the pandemic.