Marilyn Adams and Dr. L. W. (Pete) Knapp for being the first two individuals chosen to receive the Agricultural Safety and Health Hall of Fame Award, which gives recognition to individuals or organizations who have made a significant contribution to agricultural safety and health. There is no one more deserving, so it is with great pleasure that we recognize the work of these two individuals.
The judges were unanimous in their selection based on substantial and long-term contribution and dedication to the agricultural safety and health community. Through their efforts these individuals have brought about changes in the agricultural industry and to the mind-set of rural America. They have focused national and international attention on the issue of agricultural safety and made these injuries and deaths unacceptable. A ceremony was held on September 7, 2002 at the Clay County Fair to honor Marilyn and Pete. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack presented the awards and signed a proclamation declaring the week of September 15-21, 2002 as Farm Safety and Health Week.
Marilyn Adams founded Farm Safety 4 Just Kids in 1987, a year after her 11-year-old son suffocated in a gravity flow wagon of shelled corn. This internationally recognized organization with a mission to prevent health hazards, injuries, and fatalities to children and youth in farm environments has grown from a one-woman campaign to more than 100 chapters and over 3,000 members.
Marilyn has testified before Congress regarding children’s farm safety issues and advised the media and numerous organizations, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health(NIOSH) Deep South Center in Florida, the National Safety Council, Iowa Farm Safety Council, National Farm-City Council, and the Sharing Help Awareness Network (SHAUN).
Along with her recognition in the I-CASH Hall of Fame, Marilyn has received many other honors for her work in children’s farm safety and health, among them The Register’s Iowa Farm Leader of the Year (from the Des Moines Register),
Marilyn has written a book about her experience, Rhythm of the Seasons: A Journey Beyond Loss, and gives readings and lectures around the country. “I passionately accept the challenge to promote a safe farm environment for children and youth,” she says, “and I look forward to protecting the future of farming by speaking on their behalf.”
Dr. L.W. (Pete) Knapp, Professor Emeritus, The University of Iowa, has dedicated his life to the field of agricultural safety, both nationally and internationally. In 1959, he joined the Institute for Agricultural Medicine, then a relatively new organization at the UI. He served as principal investigator of the Kellogg Foundation grant to develop the institute, which is now known as the Institute for Rural and Environmental Health.
Throughout his career, Knapp focused on the identification and prevention of injuries and illnesses related to agriculture, and worked on the design and redesign of farm machinery to prevent accidents. His accomplishment include identifying a mechanical defect in a corn picker, resulting in the recall and correction of the machine by the manufacturer, and redesigning the power take-off shaft, which now is used by most manufacturers to prevent hundreds of serious injuries and deaths. Knapp also has developed theories and applications of the man–machine–environment approach to in-depth injury investigations.