FLY CREEK, N.Y. — Hailing from El Paso, Texas, illustrator Salvador Sáenz has received this year’s NYS Agricultural Society’s Farm Safety Award. While his home may be 2,000 miles away, thousands of his colorful illustrations can be found in farm offices, break rooms and on barn walls across the Northeast.
Sáenz’s ability to use storytelling to convey important farm safety messages makes his work distinct. As a public health educator, he regularly uses the fotonovela (comic book) format, commonly used in Mexico and other Latin American countries, to teach about health topics.
Sáenz has created a variety of illustrated materials on safety-related topics in agriculture, which ranks among the nation’s most hazardous industries. Much of his work is available in both English and in Spanish. He has developed two fotonovelas (comic books) and over 20 safety posters for the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH). He also has frequently collaborated with the Migrant Clinicians Network to create educational materials for farmworkers.
“Salvador has done an amazing job creating print materials in multiple formats and has developed an outstanding reputation in public health and safety,” said Anna Meyerhoff, a bilingual educator for NYCAMH. “His recognition by the NYS Ag Society is well deserved.”
NYCAMH has distributed thousands of copies of Saenz’s posters to farms. His most recent publication for NYCAMH is a colorful 12-page fotonovela entitled “Happy Cows, Safe Workers.” The booklet is available in Spanish and English to farms at no cost.
“It has been very gratifying to have the opportunity to work on what I always dreamed of as a child, and if you add to this, the experience of meeting such fantastic people and institutions whose orientation to community service makes them unique, I feel lucky being part of this joint effort,” said Saenz.
The farm safety award recognizes farm operators, mentors and collaborators that work to protect employees and valuable resources within the food system. Cargill, Inc. sponsors the award.
For more information or to request free copies of the “Happy Cows, Safe Workers” booklet (in Spanish or English) and other bilingual illustrated safety posters, contact NYCAMH at 800-343-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The posters are printed on heavy, water-resistant paper for durability in barns and other work settings. You can also visit migrantclinician.org to see many of Sáenz’s fotonovelas on other health and safety topics.
A program of Bassett Healthcare Network, NYCAMH’s mission is to enhance agricultural and rural health by preventing and treating occupational injury. The New York State Agricultural Society was organized in 1832 to foster, promote and improve the New York State food & agriculture industry through education, leadership development & recognition programs.
New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health
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