OCO News

Platte Farm joins OCO Cancer Prevention in Action Program in Promoting Sun Safety

People whose job requires them to work outside are exposed to hours of sunshine every day. Over-exposure to the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays can cause not only sunburn, but lasting skin damage that could lead to skin cancer. According to the NYS Department of Health, every year, about 4,000 New Yorkers are diagnosed with melanoma, with nearly 500 cases resulting in death. In Oswego County, an average of 28 people are diagnosed with melanoma each year.

Rudy Walthert, owner of Platte Farm in Mexico,  knows the importance of protection from the sun’s dangerous UV rays. “Rudy and his wife Charlene work outside every day,” said OCO Coordinator of Community Health Leanna Cleveland. “Working on a farm, there is no way to avoid the sun. When I spoke with them about the damage the sun’s ultraviolet rays can do to your skin and the possibility of developing skin cancer, they were eager to adopt a sun safety policy.”

Cleveland worked with the Waltherts to create a sun safety policy at the Platte Farm that promotes sun safety behaviors for everyone who works on their farm. The Waltherts are pictured here with Cleveland in the back row, and in front are Elliott and Cordella Walthert.


“We’re committed to the health and safety of our family and everyone that helps us on our farm,” said Rudy Walthert. “Our sun safety policy focuses on promoting sun safety behaviors. By encouraging sun safety behaviors, and providing items that will help, we are creating a healthy and safe workplace for everyone at our farm.”

The Platte Farm sun safety policy encourages those at the farm to:

  • Wear full brimmed hats that create a shadow that completely covers the head, face, nose, ears, and neck.
  • Wear lightweight long sleeve shirts and long pants.
  • Apply full-spectrum (UVA & UVB) sunscreen to exposed skin.
  • Wear sunglasses that protect against 100% of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays
  • Carry and use lip balm sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15

Additionally, the Waltherts will provide those working at Platte Farm with personal sun protective equipment that includes sun protective long sleeve shirts and full brimmed hats, courtesy of OCO’s Cancer Prevention in Action program, shaded outdoor break areas, and annual sun safety training.

“I’m pleased that we were able to help Rudy and Charlene implement a sun safety policy at Platte Farm,” said Cleveland. “Sun safety is paramount in preventing skin cancer and melanoma. I encourage any business that employs outside workers to consider joining Platte Farm in implementing its own sun safety policy.”

OCO’s Cancer Prevention in Action program works to increase cancer prevention and educating the community on the importance of sun safety. The program focuses on policies that serve as catalysts for environmental changes and educating community members on what they can do to prevent cancer.

For information on the importance of sun safety or establishing sun safety policy, contact Leanna Cleveland at 315-592-0827.

Oswego County Opportunities is a subcontractor of the St. Lawrence Health Initiative to deliver the Cancer Prevention in Action grant locally in Oswego County. To learn more about the Cancer Prevention in Action Program, which is supported with funds from the state of New York, please visit takeactionagainstcancer.com.

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