Spring into SAFETY During Planting Season

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

18-549 Mr. Good EggMost farms are safe places; however, during busy times of year, like spring planting season, we tend to lose our safety focus. Sobering statistics reveal that every three days a child dies and every day 33 children are injured in agriculture-related incidents. The Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program provides the education, training and resources to make farm and ranch life safer and healthier for children and their communities. By not cutting corners and avoiding the urge to rush to accomplish many tasks in a short amount of time, we can maintain a safety focus.

Here a five safety tips to ensure safety is always at the forefront this spring:

  1. Wear Your PPE – Whether leisure activities like ATV and bicycle riding to daily farm tasks, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including helmets, gloves, sunscreen, wide brim hats and dust masks can save a life and keep you healthy for years to come.
  2. Hydration & Sleep – Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest to stay focused and alert during long, hot days.
  3. Equipment Safety 101 – Spring planting season is busy; however, it is important to take extra time to complete tasks safety.
  • Take extra time to do a walkabout around your equipment to make sure it is free from debris and other factors that could make it unsafe.
  • Ensure all tractors have Rollover Protective Systems (ROPS) and seat belts in place.
  • All tractors and machinery that cannot maintain 25 miles per hour should be equipped with a visible Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem.
  • Kids are curious and are attracted to large equipment, but can be hard to spot around large equipment. Equipment operators should always check for blind spots.
  1. Chores for Children – When assigning youth chores on the farm or ranch, be sure to take into account the child’s size, age and abilities.
  2. Role Model Safe Behavior – Remember, your children are always watching, so show them the correct and safe way to do something. We are counting on them as our next generation of farmers and agricultural leaders!

Nearly 475 applications to host a 2018 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® throughout North America were received last year. Will one be taking place in your community? Visit progressiveag.org to find out. Simply click on the Safety Day List located under the 2018 Safety Days tab. Looking for a safe investment? Help send another child to a Safety Day with a modest donation of only $13. Donate by texting the word “safetyday” to 41444 or visit progressiveag.org/Donate.

Photo: Learning to be a good egg! During an activity called, “Mr. Good Egg,” participants at a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® in Illinois learn how valuable Rollover Protective Systems (ROPS) and seatbelt are on tractors and other equipment.


Know What’s Underground, Before Any Digging Goes Down

2018 T-shirt Design (English)By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

As the snow melts revealing a ground ready for planting, many eager homeowners are gearing up to start those outdoor digging projects. However, before you reach for that shovel, remember to call 811, the national call-before-you-dig number, to ensure that your buried utility lines are marked.

Did you know failure to call 811 before digging results in damage to a buried utility once every nine minutes across the United States? For the tenth consecutive year, National Safe Digging Month is celebrated in April, as it symbolizes the start of many spring digging projects. Installing a new mailbox, building a deck, and planting a tree or garden may seem like a simple task, but still warrants a call to 811. The call before you dig process is both free and simple, consisting of 5 steps:

  1. Notify your local one call center by calling 811 (or making an online request) 2-3 days before work begins. This lead time may vary from state to state; therefore, visit call811.com to locate the rules for your state.
  2. Wait the required amount of time for affected utility operators to respond to your request.
  3. Confirm that all affected utility operators have responded to your request and marked underground utilities.
  4. Respect the marks or markers.
  5. Dig carefully around the marks with care.

Since children are curious and love to dig, it is never too early to teach them about the importance of safe digging. At Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®, activities and demonstrations are designed to reinforce underground utilities safety using verbal, visual and hands-on learning opportunities. Thanks to a unique partnership with our 5-star sponsor, TransCanada, a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure, this topic has been propelled to the forefront with an Underground Utilities Safety Module. The module focuses on two main objectives: The importance of calling 811 before you dig in the United States (and the importance of call or click before you dig in Canada) and pipeline leak recognition and response. The complete module, including curriculum, an interactive display and scratch & sniff cards are available for use at all Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® throughout North America. Additionally, other partners with the Common Ground Alliance and Pipeline Operators for Ag Safety helped spotlight our program and many of these vital safety tips at the Peterson Bros. Farm Tour held on 8-11-2017 in Assaria, Kansas.

Remember, for all digging projects large or small, be sure to start with an important call!

To date, more than 1.6 million children & adults have been reached by a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® in their local community. Learn more about the program by calling 888-257-3529 or visiting progressiveag.org. You can help send another child to a Safety Day with a modest donation of only $13. Donate by texting the word “safetyday” to 41444 or visit progressiveag.org/Donate.

Photo: All Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® participants receive a free t-shirt and this year’s t-shirt design theme, “Know What’s Underground – Before Any Digging Goes Down,” will highlight messaging around the importance of calling 811 or clicking before you dig. The messaging on the t-shirts will continue educating others long after the Safety Day concludes.

Let’s Be Proactive and Train to Stay Safe around Grain

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

Let’s begin with a Safety Limerick:

Children should never play in grain

May past farming incidents teach us and not be in vain                                 

Let’s educate our future generation

And give them the proper foundation 

To achieve greatness and none of the blame

As with many practices on the farm, producing grain can be dangerous. According to Purdue University, on U.S. farms there were 47 confirmed grain Gravity Box Wagon 17-356bin entrapments and incidents in other confined spaces in 2015. Our friends at Nationwide are helping to bring awareness to this important topic through their sponsorship and support of Grain Bin Safety Week held the third full week of February.

In an effort to help prevent further deaths and injuries, Nationwide collaborates each year with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) to offer safety trainings. In offering their fifth annual contest to provide rescue tubes to fire departments in rural areas, they are providing tools and resources needed if a grain bin incident occurs. The Progressive Agriculture Foundation whole-heartedly support this endeavor and are taking it a step further to educate our future generation of farmers – our children!

It’s downright scary the similarities grain has to quicksand. In a matter of seconds, one can become entrapped in grain and in less than a minute become fully submerged. Curiosity, size, strength and lack of experience are a major cause of injuries and fatalities for young children. Through hands-on activities and demonstrations, we strongly emphasize the following to youth participants at Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®:

  1. Always stay out of flowing grain.
  2. Never walk or play in or around stored grain.
  3. Never enter a grain bin, wagon, or truck.
  4. Stay away from a grain bin while the unloading auger or suction tube is operating.
  5. What to do in case of an emergency involving grain, including:
  • Turn off any equipment that is causing the grain to flow or move. This will stop the person from being pulled further underneath the grain.
  • Always assume the victim is alive and take the necessary measures to help the situation. This may include turning on aeriation fans and assuring dryer heat is turned off.
  • Call for help immediately. Never attempt to pull someone out of grain on your own.

While educating youth, always send the correct messages. Avoid confusing children by sending mixed messages when replacing sand boxes with corn at places like pumpkin patches, local parks and farm shows. A young child will have trouble understanding and identifying the difference between grain in a corn box and grain in a gravity flow wagon.

Learn more about 2018 Grain Bin Safety Week taking place February 18-24 and nominate your local fire department to be the recipient of essential grain safety resources by visiting https://www.nationwide.com/grain-bin-safety-week.jsp

Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® reach more than 100,000 individuals annually with fun, age-appropriate, hands-on safety education. To learn more, call 888-257-3529 or visit progressiveag.org. A modest donation of only $13, helps send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in North America. Donate by texting the word “safetyday” to 41444 or go to progressiveag.org/Donate to contribute on-line.

Photo: Our friends at Unverferth Manufacturing Co. Inc., support our efforts in teaching grain safety and have provided a new resource to strengthen our demonstrations at Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®. Unverferth graciously donated a gravity flow wagon to our program, which is being housed by our partners at NECAS in Peosta, Iowa.

It’s Colorless, It’s Odorless, and It Can Kill You! Let’s Talk about Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

As temperatures drop and home heating is on the rise, carbon monoxide poisoning can be a hidden hazard lurking in the place you feel the safest – YOUR HOME!  Carbon monoxide, also known simply as CO, is found in the fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges or furnaces. No one is immune to CO poisoning, as it puts at risk anyone who breathes it from infants to elderly, and even pets.

For many who experience carbon monoxide poisoning, it may feel like you are coming down with the flu. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. Unfortunately, individuals who are sleeping or pass out before they realize they have these symptoms are at greater risk of dying. According to the CDC, more than 400 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, more than 24,000 visit the emergency room or are hospitalized each year due to CO poisoning. January is one of the deadliest months when it comes to CO poisoning due with increased home heating measures. As you kick off a new year, make a safety resolution to protect you and you family from the dangers of carbon monoxide. Here are 6 safety tips to prevent CO poisoning in your home:

  1. Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home. Get in the habit of checking or replacing the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Place your detector where it will wake you up if it alarms, such as outside your bedroom. Consider buying a detector with a digital readout. This detector can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home in addition to alarming. Replace your CO detector every five years.
  2. If a CO detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911 from outside. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and you or others experience some of the common symptoms.
  3. Have your heating system inspected and serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  4. Do not use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside the home, basement or garage or outside the home near a window.
  5. Do not burn anything in an unvented stove or fireplace. Have your chimney checked or cleaned every year, as they can be blocked by debris which can cause CO to build up.
  6. Avoid letting vehicles stand idle inside a garage attached to a house, even if the garage door is left open.

DSC_0560For the past 24 years, Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® have reached more than 1.6 million individuals by providing the education, training and resources to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. If you want to start the New Year by making a safe investment, a modest donation of only $13 is all it takes to send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in North America. Donate by texting the word “safetyday” to 41444 or go to progressiveag.org/Donate to contribute on-line.

To learn more, call 888-257-3529 or visit progressiveag.org

Photo: In addition to gaining safety education delivered in a fun, age-appropriate and hands-on manner, Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® participants receive a t-shirt and a take-home bag filled with resources aimed at keeping the entire family safe.


Holiday Fire Prevention: The gift that keeps on giving & never goes out of style

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

17-1734 Fire SafetyChristmas trees, twinkling lights and baking cookies are just a few of the things that make the holiday season so special. Making memories with loved ones is what the holidays and this time of year is all about; however, a fire can easily turn a joyous occasion into a tragedy. On average, U.S. fire departments respond to more than 800 home structure fires caused by holiday decorations each winter according to the National Fire Prevention Association.

We want to assure your holiday season is merry and bright without having to deal with a fire to fight. Here are five fire prevention tips to keep in mind this holiday:

  1. Oh Christmas Tree – In the U.S., more than 200 structure fires are started because of Christmas trees annually. Remember to water your tree daily. Discard your tree when is becomes dry and needles begin dropping.
  2. Winter Warmth – For a little extra warmth during these cold winter months, space heaters are essential for many. To prevent a fire, never leave a space heater unattended or allow children and pets to get to close. Be sure to turn space heaters off when you leave the room or when sleeping.
  3. Hear the Beep Where You Sleep – Many lives have been saved thanks to both smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors. Be sure to place alarms on each level of the home, in each bedroom and near sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly and change the batteries each year.
  4. Caution in the Kitchen – Cooking equipment should never be left unattended and burners should be turned off if leaving the kitchen area. Kitchens should also be equipped with a fire extinguisher.
  5. Deck the Halls – While decorating, be sure to check for any frayed or pinched wires on warn decorations, keep flammable items at least 3 feet from open flames and heating sources, and avoid stringing together extension cords or running under rugs, carpets or furniture.

These fire prevention tips are examples of what participants learn while attending a Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® throughout North America. If you want to make a safe investment this holiday season, a modest donation of only $13 is all it takes to send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in North America. Donate TODAY by texting the word “safetyday” to 41444 or go to progressiveag.org/Donate to contribute on-line.

Since 1995, Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® have reached more than 1.6 million individuals by providing the education, training and resources to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. To learn more, call 888-257-3529 or visit progressiveag.org

Photo: Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® help teach children important life-saving lessons, including how to properly use a fire extinguisher as demonstrated by this participant at a Safety Day in Nebraska.

A $13 Investment in Safety Can Make a Lasting Impact

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

58113_PAF_Facebook_Cover_820x461_02_v1From ATVs to tractors, thousands of dollars are spent each year on farms to purchase new equipment. However, an investment in safety is often overlooked. Devastatingly, every three days a child dies due to agriculture-related incidents in the United States, according to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.

The Progressive Agriculture Foundation® is looking for help from those who live and work in rural communities to make a safe, modest investment this fall. The foundation is asking community members to consider donating $13 to send a child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®. This small investment is all it takes for a child to attend a Safety Day and take away life-saving lessons about staying safe on the farm and at home.

Keeping safety at the forefront is key to avoiding incidents on farms. Safety Days help young people differentiate between the farmstead and playground, as well as help parents identify age-appropriate tasks and farm chores. In addition to providing hands-on lessons for children in rural areas, Safety Days can be customized to meet the needs of local communities through selecting the most relevant topics facing area youth.

To date, more than 1.6 million children and adults have learned life-saving lessons, helping Progressive Agriculture Safety Days become recognized as the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America.

To donate and learn more about Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, call 888-257-3529 or visit progressiveag.org

Fall into Safety this Autumn Season

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

As the leaves on the trees, weather and hours of daylight each day begin to change this fall season, new safety concerns are emerging around cold & flu season to driving in the dark. The start of a new season can also be a good time to be reminded of important practices to keep families safe and healthy.

11-346_GlowGerm_3112The dreaded fever, headache, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, nausea can only mean one thing – you have the flu bug. People are contagious one day before symptoms appear and up to a week after. When you don’t feel well, it’s best to take care of yourself and co-workers by staying home. And don’t go back to work (or school) for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone. To help combat the spread of the illness, the CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine annually. Avoid being around sick people whenever possible, wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, always cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, preferably with the inside of your arm rather than your hand, and disinfect any surfaces that may be contaminated.

For many throughout the country, Daylight Savings Time takes place the first Sunday in November and serves as a great reminder to perform safety checks on batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. When the time comes for us to set our clocks back an hour, many dread the lack of daylight and darkness that comes with it. Fatigue, lack of light, compromised night vision, rush hour and impaired drivers all contribute to making driving at night more dangerous than during any other time of day according to the National Safety Council. Additionally, depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark, and the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can temporarily blind a driver. Pedestrians, such as those walking home from work or school to children trick or treating at Halloween time, can also be hard to see. Here are 10 safety tips to keep in mind for driving in darkness:

  1. Aim your headlights correctly, and make sure they’re clean.
  2. Dim your dashboard.
  3. Look away from oncoming lights.
  4. If you wear glasses, make sure they’re anti-reflective.
  5. Clean the windshield to eliminate streaks.
  6. Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time.
  7. Get seven to nine hours of sleep a night, so you are not drowsy.
  8. Don’t drive if you’ve been awake for 24 hours or more.
  9. If traveling a long distance, stop every two hours to rest.
  10. Travel during times you are normally awake.

These safety tips are examples of what children & families learn when they attend a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, which are held each year throughout North America. To date, more than 1.6 million children & adults have participated in a Safety Day within their local community. Learn more at progressiveag.org

Photo:  At numerous Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®, like this one in Iowa, participants learn the importance of proper handwashing to avoid the spread of germs.