Western Farm Show’s Health and Safety Roundup offers visitors free skin cancer screenings

Spending long days in the sun is a big part of working in agriculture. That’s why the 2018 Western Farm Show’s Health and Safety Roundup will offer a free one-day skin cancer screening on Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The screenings are offered in partnership with the Midwest Cancer Alliance, the outreach network of the University of Kansas Cancer Center. Dermatologists will offer full-body screenings, check exposed portions of a person’s skin or do spot checks. Screenings will take approximately five minutes, followed by a brief consultation. Private dressing rooms will be available to attendees who wish to have full-body screenings. A skin cancer educational exhibit will be located near the screenings, which will include a sample of sunscreen.

It’s an offer that producers and their families can’t pass up, according to Missouri Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Director Diane Olson.

“Our farm families are working hard outside all of the time and they find it difficult to get to the doctor for these helpful screenings,” Olson said. “An annual screening, like this, can go a long way toward keeping tabs on your health and catching skin cancer earlier.”

Skin cancer screenings are just one of many free health checks available at this year’s Health and Safety Roundup. The area, located in the southeast corner of the top level of the American Royal Complex will again offer free blood pressure checks and tetanus shots courtesy of the Ray County Health Department, hearing screenings from the Lions Club Hearing Van and vision screenings (glaucoma testing) by KidSight. The Ray County Health Department will offer cholesterol and glucose screenings for a small fee.

In addition to the much-needed health screenings, the Health and Safety Roundup offers producers and their families access to interactive exhibits to improve their health, well-being and safety. This is the Missouri Farm Bureau’s 30th year of hosting the Health and Safety Roundup.

“Our involvement in the Western Farm Show each year is important because it speaks to farmers and families we work with day in and day out,” Olson said. “The agricultural community takes care of one another and Missouri Farm Bureau is a central part of the community.”

According to Olson, the agricultural workplace is complex and keeping the people and environment safe is essential, whether it is a livestock or crop farm. Olson insists the agriculture community “knows a lot more about farm safety than we practice,” therefore, it is important to be reminded of safe work habits. Unfortunately, many farmers do not regularly visit a physician. Having the health screenings available on site allows for a quick screening that may lead to a recommendation to see a doctor. Without exception, at least one person, if not more return to the exhibit the following year, sharing stories with Olson about how the screenings alerted them to something more.

The Health and Safety Roundup’s list of vendors also includes the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Pharmacy, Cass Regional Medical Center’s Stop the Bleed exhibit, Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation, the Missouri AgrAbility Project, the University of Missouri Extension, FAA Security and Hazardous Materials, the Johnson County-Kansas Sheriff’s TRACE (Theft Reports of Agricultural and Construction Equipment) program and the Kansas Highway Patrol.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Rural Crimes Investigation Unit will be on site, putting a focus on drug use and rural theft, including agricultural chemicals and supplies used to make methamphetamine and other illegal substances. 4-H Shooting Sports will be on hand with a refresher course on gun safety for teens, including an education-based shooting gallery to enable young adults to take aim at staying safe when hunting. Finally, Protect the Harvest will share an exhibit on the importance of agriculture in our communities.