By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net
Everyone in agriculture knows someone whose life has been affected by a farm-related injury or death.
The statistics are sobering. Even more tragic is that many of these incidents could have been prevented if simple safety precautions had been followed. That’s why the Progressive Agriculture Foundation is on a crusade for farm safety and health.
At the heart of this effort is the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program. The mission is simply to make farm life safer and healthier for all children through education and training.
The venture made for a perfect partnership with Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, an organization that is celebrating 25 years of service. One such ag safety day was held in Mid-June at The Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville.
“Without events like this, it is hard to educate today’s youth about the safety features
of being outside and being on the farm,” said Alyssa Swinehart, an Ohio representative for Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, who took on the topic of ATV safety at the event. “This is one of the newest subjects that we offer when it comes to farm safety. The focus is on how to dress when riding an ATV, some of the safety precautions that should be used no matter what the weather and other safety measures for riding on the trails and around the family operation.”
The message of Farm Safety 4 Just Kids is targeted to any youth ranging from 4 to 12 years of age. Anyone with kids around that age knows that it can be challenging to get them to pay attention to a message. The way that they need to be taught requires a “hands on” experience with real-life examples to keep them interested. The message for parents should be loud and clear.
“One out of every 10 farm accidents that occur in Ohio is fatal,” Swinehart said. “That is something I keep in the front of my mind whenever I do a presentation for young kids.”
In addition to Swinehart’s ATV safety presentation, kids also took part in a grain safety session as well as learned about animal safety, gun safety and home dangers.
Ohio Farm Safety 4 Just Kids chapters include: Ames Jolly Farmers 4-H Club in Amesville; Buckeye Insurance Group FS4JK Chapter in Piqua; Darke County FS4JK Chapter in Bradford; Mac-A-Chee Valley in West Liberty; Mad River Chapter in Bellefontaine; River Valley Ohio in Portsmouth; and Tuscarawas County Farm Safety in Stone Creek.