What sick day? Farmers take just three a year

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Sick day Feeling sick? If you work in agriculture, there’s a good chance that feeling under the weather won’t be enough to call in sick.

Sick days may cost the U.S. economy an estimated $84 billion annually, but a new study has found that farmers are among a group of professions that miss substantially less time due to illness than others, according to 24/7 Wall St.

A joint study by Gallup and Healthways listed farmers, foresters and fishers as No. 2 on the list. Only physicians ranked higher. On average, workers in the agriculture, fishing and forestry industries missed just one day of work every four months.

In the study, 93 percent of farm workers reported that they felt treated with respect. About one-quarter reported feeling stressed the day before.

So why are farmers not calling in sick? The study suggests that it is “potentially in part due to the constant attention they must give to their crops and livestock.”

Topping the list of professions taking the most sick days were service workers, office workers, nurses and business owners.  Read more here.

The study results likely are no surprise to hardworking farmers who are used to working while sick. However, Kansas State University animal scientist Chris Reinhardt urges producers to care for their bodies as well as they care for their equipment.

“Like mechanical devices, people need fuel, people need rest and people sometimes wear out. In order to ensure that people are rested and refueled for the upcoming season, it is critical that managers monitor the well-being of the people in their charge, and perhaps even insist that people take time off,” Reinhardt suggests.

Read, “Preventive Maintenance Needed for Ag Employees As Well as Equipment.”

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MK Kakela    
Langdon ND  |  May, 17, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Most farmers in our state are men and they have wives that have their babies and take their kids to the Dr, Dentist, and orthodontist appointments - plus stay home with them when they are sick - which accounts for alot of sick time recorded on your timesheet.


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