Cultivating the Seeds of Safety

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

nfshw-2018-logo-largeWe have now entered that busy time of year filled with long hours and numerous tasks around the farm, known as harvest. Next to spring planting season, fall harvest can be one of the most dangerous times of the year due to the rush to accomplish many tasks in a short amount of time and the risk of cutting corners. In an effort to shed the light on the importance of safety on farms and ranches, National Farm Safety and Health Week, promotes a 75-year tradition of educating and celebrating safety’s relevance in the agricultural industry.

Cultivating the Seeds of Safety is the theme of this year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week, taking place September 16-22, 2018. Emerging issues and important topics will be highlighted daily such as Rural Roadway Safety (Monday), Health/Suicide/Opioids (Tuesday), Children & Youth Health and Safety (Wednesday), Confined Spaces in Agriculture (Thursday) and Tractor Safety (Friday). Each Wednesday during National Farm Safety and Health Week has been devoted annually to safety and health topics affecting children, a cause very near and dear to the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. During this week alone, close to 30 Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® will be taking place. Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® are designed to be one-day, age-appropriate, hands-on, fun and safe events for children in rural communities. Since our program’s inception in 1995, more than 1.7 million children and adults have learned life-saving safety lessons helping us become recognized as the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America.

16-1067_HandToolSafety_576During these more hectic times of year, it is important to remember the curiosity of children. The sad reality is that every three days a child dies and every day 33 children are injured due to agricultural-related incidents in the United States according to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS). Growing up on or around the farm can be an amazing, one-of-a-kind experience; however, it is important to foster a child’s love and passion for agriculture in a safe manner. Remember, eyes are always watching; therefore, be sure to role model safe behavior during day-to-day practices while handling chemicals or working around large equipment and animals. Ensure that all tasks and chores assigned to youth are age-appropriate and align with the child’s development skill level. Remind children that the farm is a livelihood and not a play area; therefore, it should be treated with the same respect and care of any other workplace.

During National Farm Safety and Health Week, join us in reflecting, revisiting and rethinking ways to keep loved ones safe on the farm, ranch or at home. For more information or to locate a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® near you, visit www.progressiveag.org or call us toll-free at 888-257-3529. Want to make a safe investment National Farm Safety and Health Week? Help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® with a modest donation of only $13. Donate by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 41444 or visit progressiveag.org/Donate.

Photo 1: 2018 National Farm Safety & Health Week Logo

Photo 2: Cultivating the Seeds of Safety starts with having the right tools in place and the most important tool is education. So let’s plant the seed early on!  These Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® participants from Ontario learn how to stay safe in an educational, hands-on and fun way.

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