Stories or statistics? Farmers' attitudes toward messages in an agricultural safety campaign

Susan E. Morgan, Henry P. Cole, Tim Struttmann, Larry Piercy

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

38 Scopus citations


Farming is the second most hazardous occupation in the U.S. The high mortality rate is due in large part to farm equipment hazards, particularly tractor overturns. Injuries and deaths associated with tractor overturns could be prevented with the use of a rollover protective structure (ROPS). In spite of the known dangers associated with overturn incidents, farmers are reluctant to retrofit ROPS on older tractors. Few agricultural safety campaigns target the issue of ROPS retrofits, and none have been evaluated systematically. This article reports a study that examines a set of messages that were central to the Community Partners for Healthy Farming project. This study indicates that narrative-based messages and messages incorporating fear appeals are more favorably evaluated by farmers than messages that simply inform farmers or messages that rely on statistics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages15
Specialist publicationJournal of Agricultural Safety and Health
StatePublished - May 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Fear appeals
  • Narratives
  • Rollover protective structures
  • ROPS
  • Safety campaigns
  • Statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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