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Seeking Extension Educators/Agents who work or have worked with farm families touched by Alzheimer's/dementia


Over 6 million individuals currently live with dementia – a brain disorder characterized by progressive decline in memory, language, problem-solving and other cognitive domains. Recent work has shown that relative to other occupations, older adults with longest-held jobs in agriculture experience greater odds of developing dementia. Given the hazardous nature of agriculture, the impact of dementia and cognitive impairment on older agricultural workers and their families is an area of public health concern.

There is a lot that researchers do not know about dementia in agriculture. For instance, what are the unique safety concerns associated with dementia and cognitive impairment in agricultural settings? How do farm families, in particular caregivers, currently manage these concerns? What resources on dementia and cognitive impairment are targeted towards farm families? What gaps remain?

In order to learn more about dementia in agriculture, researchers from the University of Iowa and University of Illinois invite Agricultural Safety and Health Specialists in the extension network to participate in a study. As farm safety experts, you work closely with agricultural producers and their families. We rely on your expertise and insight in helping us identify the most urgent safety issues and caregiver concerns associated with dementia and cognitive impairment among farm workers and residents.

If you agree, you will be asked to participate in a focus group in which you and (at most 4) other agricultural safety and health extension specialists will discuss dementia and cognitive impairment in agricultural settings. The focus group will last about 90 minutes.  The information you provide will not be shared with anyone outside of the project team. We have two focus groups scheduled on the following days and times:

  • Focus Group 1 - Wednesday, July 21, 12:30- 2:00 p.m. CST
  • Focus Group 2 - Thursday, August 3, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. CST

Please contact the Principal Investigator at the University of Iowa, Dr. Kanika Arora at (319) 384-3817 or email her at if you:

  • are interested in participating and plan to attend one of the two planned focus groups
  • are interested in participating in one of the focus groups but are unable at both dates/times
  • would like to know more about the research study before you decide to participate

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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