Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH) named Charles Schwab, Ph.D., of Ames, Iowa, the 2004 recipient of its Agricultural Safety and Health Hall of Fame Award. Schwab is an associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and an extension safety specialist at Iowa State University. Schwab received the award November 19 during the Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health Forum in Coralville, a two-day conference hosted by I-CASH and the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health. The award was presented by Carolyn Sheridan, clinical director of the AgriSafe Network and recipient of the award in 2003.
Schwab has been a driving force behind farm safety and health education throughout Iowa for many years. At ISU, he teaches agricultural safety classes to future agricultural leaders in Iowa and beyond. He has mentored numerous students through engineering projects geared at teaching farm safety. For example, Schwab designed a “Tug of War” grain demonstration and educational package that allows kids and adults an opportunity to see firsthand the strength needed to pull someone buried in grain.
He also produces weekly radio spots that are sent to all radio stations in Iowa, and it is not uncommon to hear or see Schwab on local and regional television talking about issues pertinent to farm safety in Iowa.
Schwab has worked with the national organization Farm Safety 4 Just Kids (FS4JK) to create a companion video discussion piece based on FS4JK founder Marilyn Adams’ book and video, “Rhythm of the Seasons…A Journey Beyond Loss.” This companion piece will be distributed to county extension offices in all 99 counties in Iowa.
Schwab is a nationally recognized authority on child and youth safety issues in agriculture. His “Mystery Club” initiative is an innovative method of reaching youth with extension safety programming. This effort, along with his book, “What Would You Do: Helping Children Understand Farm Hazards,” have put ISU Extension at the leading edge of providing childhood farm safety programming. Additionally, as the executive editor of Progressive Farmer’s Farm Safety Day Camp manuals, Schwab has helped produce educational materials that directly impact more children nationally than any other farm safety effort.
Schwab serves as the treasurer for Iowa Farm Safety Council and is currently president of the National Institute for Farm Safety. For more than a decade, Schwab has provided leadership in farm safety efforts across Iowa and the nation.
I-CASH created the Hall of Fame Award in 2002 as a lifetime achievement award for individuals or organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to agricultural safety and health in Iowa.