Agricultural and food production systems are constantly evolving in response to societal and environmental factors. These sectors are also laden with occupational hazards, creating an opportunity for emerging and re-emerging issues such as emerging markets and changing worker demographics. The Upper Midwest is a region of intensive agricultural production, with many states leading the United States in livestock and crop production. As a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) is tasked with protecting the health and safety of the region's agricultural workers. UMASH implements an Emerging Issues program to effectively respond to emerging and re-emerging issues impacting agricultural health and safety in the Upper Midwest. To direct such work, UMASH developed a novel Selection, Planning and Action Process Model. This model guides all stages of the UMASH Emerging Issues response and emphasizes the ongoing need for monitoring, evaluation, and feedback from agricultural communities. In conjunction with the UMASH Process Model, the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Spectrum of Public Participation frames the work of the Emerging Issues Program in meaningfully engaging the community of stakeholders across all stages.
Keywords: Agriculture; emerging issues; framework; health; safety.