Thinking the Future of Agricultural Worker Health on a Warming Planet and an Automating Farm

Matt Comi, Florence Becot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Over the last 20 years, earth’s increasing surface temperature has dramatically altered local climates and risks associated with agricultural work. In parallel, increasing automation has continued to be a hallmark of innovation in agriculture, promising to lower the economic and health externalities of labor in food production by reducing worker demand and hazardous exposure. However, many of these automations neither eliminate labor nor ameliorate climate change pressures on farms. As a result of the confluence between automation and environmental change, empirical studies into the social determinants of agricultural health and safety in rapidly automating industries impacted by local effects of climate change are essential for a responsive agricultural health and safety science. In this commentary, I suggest that looking outside of our disciplinary boundaries to the lessons learned from rural studies (RS), environmental social science (ESS), and science and technology studies (STS) can lend useful theoretical framing for the development of new research trajectories in the areas of automation and climate change as they impact agricultural health and safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-96
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agromedicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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