Every Farmer Counts! Continuing to protect present and future generations of farmers and rural families through virtual messages

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

A farm is a wonderful place to grow up. However, as a busy workplace with active, moving machinery and equipment, it can be a dangerous place for young children. During fall harvest and other hectic times of the year, it is important to keep a safety focus and consider the curiosity of a child.

Sadly, 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). Of the leading sources of fatalities among these youth, 47% involved transportation (including tractors, ATVs, and UTVs), 20% involved contact with machinery, and 13% involved incidents with animals and other humans. As for ag-related injuries, 60% occurred to children that were not working on the farm.

During a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in Nebraska, participants identify various hidden hazards around the farm. They also discuss appropriate ways to safely correct the hazards to prevent an incident from occurring.

For adults, role modeling safe behavior is essential. As your child’s first role model and teacher, parents have the responsibility to lead by example and instill the importance of practicing safety all the time. Here are five safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Never allow kids to climb and play on or near farm equipment even when it is not in use.
  • Always lock-up equipment and machinery when you finish using them. Remove the keys and keep them out of reach of children. Also, for equipment that may fall, such as buckets, make sure they are placed in the down position.
  • Do not allow children to be passengers on tractors, lawn mowers, or other farm equipment.
  • Designate and create a “safe play area” with protected boundaries, like a fence, that is far away from where machinery is operated or stored.

Progressive Agriculture Safety Day proudly supports 2020 National Farm Safety & Health Week, taking place September 20 through 26. Join in, as we promote safe and healthy practices on our farms and ranches during this upcoming harvest season. The theme “Every Farmer Counts,” is one that reminds us that it is in everyone’s best interest to prioritize the health and safety of those who work so hard to provide our abundant supply of food, fiber and fuel. Throughout the week, a different safety-related topic will be highlighted each day:

  • Monday, September 21, 2020 will focus on Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety
  • Tuesday, September 22, 2020 will cover Overall Farmer Health
  • Wednesday, September 23, 2020 focuses on Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture*
  • Thursday, September 24, 2020 covers Emergency Preparedness in Agriculture
  • Friday, September 25, 2020 examines Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture

*On Wednesday, September 23rd, you can register to attend a Virtual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day held via Zoom at 9:00 CDT/10:00 a.m. EDT or noon CDT/1:00 p.m. CDT.  Due to COVID-19, the Progressive Agriculture Foundation chose to suspend many in-person events. However, many resources have been developed on-line including a Virtual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, which carries on the program’s mission of keeping children living on farms, ranches and in rural communities safe and healthy. Additionally, most evenings during the week, we will have a special story hour for younger children at 7:00 p.m. CDT/8:00 p.m. EDT.

For more information on the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program or to register for the virtual Safety Day or story hour, visit www.progressiveag.org or call us toll-free at 888-257-3529. Want to make a safe investment during National Farm Safety and Health Week? Donate to send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® in 2021 by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 44321.

Additional National Farm Safety and Health Week can be found through the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) at www.necasag.org

Making Strides to Prevent Drugs from Taking Young Lives

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

The Progressive Agriculture Foundation has and will always be striving to find new, innovative ways to educate youth on various safety and health topics aiming to stop preventable incidents from occurring. Substance abuse is no different. Progressive Agriculture Safety Days has tackled methamphetamine, tobacco, and alcohol awareness. This year, we partnered with the Truth Initiative to shed light on the dangers surrounding vaping.

Sadly, thousands of people die each year from a drug overdose. These individuals come from all walks of life. According to the Mayo Clinic, people of any age, race, gender, or economic status can become addicted to a drug. Certain factors can affect the likelihood and speed of developing an addiction: family history of addiction, mental health disorder, peer pressure, early use, lack of family involvement, and taking highly addictive drugs, like stimulants. When initially hearing of substance abuse, some often think primarily of illegal drugs; however, alcohol and prescription drugs are just as addicting and dangerous.

International Overdose Awareness Day, which takes places each year on August 31, and spreads the message that overdose death is preventable. This global event aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury due to a drug overdose.

Would you be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of overdose? These may include problems at work or school, physical health issues (lack of energy and motivation, weight loss or gain, or red eyes), neglected appearance, money-related issues, continuously being caught in lies or fabrications, and changes in behavior or relationships.

16-164_AlcoholDrug_591Staying off drugs is a much easier solution than having to try and get off them. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, preventing substance abuse starts with parents. Do not assume your child will learn from someone else. Instead, hope that programs offered by school, sports, and other groups can support the groundwork you have started. Talk to your children early and often about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and be sure to listen. Children may try communicating in different ways. Make them feel comfortable and recognize you as safe and welcoming. Parents should also role model a drug-free life. Provide guidance and clear rules about not using drugs, share how to make healthy choices and develop positive friendships. Since giving into peer pressure can be a major reason why adolescents try drugs, teach your child different, creative ways to say “No!”

Since 1995, Progressive Agriculture Safety Days has made it their mission to provide the education, training and resources to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. Learn more by visiting www.progressiveag.org or call 888-257-3529. Looking to make a safe investment? Help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 44321 or visit progressiveag.org/Donate.

Photo 1:  At a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in North Dakota, a presenter shares how substance abuse can be detrimental to your health, including damage to your teeth.

 

 

Ensure your skin is not overdone with too much exposure to the sun through Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide!

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

Did you18-346_SunSafety_11411 know the skin is the body’s largest organ? Our skin protects us from heat, sunlight, injury, and infection; however, we often neglect making it a priority to protect our skin on a daily basis. Thankfully, July serves as UV (Ultraviolet) Safety Month and is a great reminder of why damage to our skin today can have serious long-term effects.

Safeguarding your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation from the sun is easy when you remember to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide by following these 5 tips:

  1. SLIP on a t-shirt: Wear clothing that will protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays. Do not be fooled by cloudy days and winter months, Lily Sunscreenas harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays are still present.
  2. SLOP on sunscreen: Generously apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen over exposed skin. Daily use of an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15 or higher sunscreen can reduce the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40% and the risk of developing melanoma by 50%. Don’t SKIP re-applying sunscreen every two hours, especially after sweating or swimming. Avoid sunburns, as they significantly increase one’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer.
  3. SLAP on a hat: Be sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  4. SEEK shade: Locating shade is especially important during 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are their strongest. Also, use extra caution near reflective surfaces, like water, snow, and sand that can reflect damaging rays. Also, use extra caution when at higher altitudes due to less atmosphere to absorb UV radiation.
  5. SLIDE on a pair of sunglasses: Protect your eyes. According to the CDC, some of the more common sun-related vision problems include cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium (non-cancerous growth of the conjunctiva that can obstruct vision) are caused by exposure to the sun. Use wrap-around style sunglasses with 99 or higher UV block.

These sun safety messages are an example of what we share with our Progressive Agriculture Safety Day participants. In 2019, Sun Safety reached more than 28,000 youth living on farms, on ranches, or in rural communities. Apply by July 15th to host a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in your community for 2021 by visiting www.progressiveag.org or call 888-257-3529. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Safety Day events planned for the spring and summer have postponed or may happen virtually.

Looking to make a safe investment? Help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 44321 or visit progressiveag.org/Donate.

Photo 1:  During a sun safety station at a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, participants take part in hands-on activities involving ultraviolet detecting beads to learn the dangers of excessive sun exposure.

Photo 2: Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® participant learns the importance of applying and re-applying sunscreen.

 

Application Period Opens for 2021 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® Program

Communities interested in hosting a Safety Day are encouraged to apply by July 15, 2020.

The Progressive Agriculture Foundation® has opened the application period for the 2021 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program. Applications are available to individuals and organizations interested in conducting a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day for their community during the 2021 calendar year.

19-855_LawnEquipSafety_11795For the past 26 years, the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program has provided education, training and resources to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. With the support of dedicated volunteers and generous partners, the program has reached more than 1.8 million children and adults to date, helping Progressive Agriculture Safety Days become recognized as the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America.

“Over the past few months, we have successfully been navigating through limitations with allowing in-person events stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Brian Kuhl, president and chief executive officer of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. “We have provided a vast amount of resources online through our Daily Learning Drop series and virtual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day events. The excitement surrounding our 2021 Safety Day season has given us something to look forward to during these challenging times.”

Last year alone, more than 500 community leaders were trained to coordinate one-day, age-appropriate, hands-on events for children ages 4 to 13 on topics affecting the safety of rural communities. The 2021 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day season will offer an even broader selection of new and emerging safety topics, such as stress management and mental well-being and the dangers of vaping.

Applications for the 2021 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program are being accepted now through July 15, 2020. In an effort to keep the safety and health of volunteer coordinators a top priority due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Progressive Agriculture Foundation has moved all in-person trainings for coordinators online. Virtual trainings for the 2021 season will be offered starting this fall and will continue throughout the winter.

In addition to training and year-round staff support, the Progressive Agriculture Foundation provides t-shirts, take-home bags and insurance coverage for all participants and volunteers, along with peer-reviewed safety and health curriculum featuring hundreds of hands-on activities and demonstrations.

For safety resources or details about coordinating, volunteering or attending a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, call 888-257-3529 or visit progressiveag.org.

Looking to make a safe investment? Help send a child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day event by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 44321 or visiting progressiveag.org/donate.

Photo: At Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, community volunteers engage with local youth through age-appropriate, hands-on learning in a fun and safe manner.

Always Wear the Safety Gear: Learn the Golden Rules for ATVs and UTVs

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

Parents are always looking for outdoor, recreational, and fun opportunities for their children that are enjoyable, hands-on, and above all safe. With nice weather now upon us, your child may be anxious to ride their ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) or UTV (Utility Task Vehicle). In addition to being fun, an ATV can teach children responsibility while helping with farm or ranch chores. However, you may be wondering what gear they should wear when they hit the trail? Unsure if the ATV or UTV is both age and size appropriate? Does your child know how to operate the ATV and maneuver up and down hills correctly? Being able to answer these questions before they turn the key and start the engine is an important component in your child’s safety and well-being while riding.

According to the 2020 Fact Sheet from the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS), transportation incidents (including tractors, ATVs, and UTVs) are among the most fatal for youth in agriculture. What is the most heartbreaking of all, with these statistics, is the fact that many of these incidents could have been prevented. Many incidents are due to driver or operator error and likely caused from a change in the center of gravity. This can occur when you add additional weight to an ATV in the form of an extra rider, a sprayer tank, hay bales, or even a deer carcass during hunting season.

16-130_ATVSafety_688In 2019, ATV safety reached more than 46,000 youth participants and was one of the top lessons taught at Progressive Agriculture Safety Days. Now, thanks to a collaboration with our 4-star partners at Polaris, additional ATV and UTV resources will assist us in teaching this important topic to even more youth at our Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, various farm shows, and other events.

June 5-14, 2020 is ATV Safety Week. So, what are the most important tips to keep in mind when riding an ATV or UTV? Here are the ATV Safety Institute’s 8 Golden Rules:

  1. Always wear a Department of Transportation (DOT) compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves. Selection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) plays a crucial role in your safety from your head to your toes. The safer you will be when you select the appropriate PPE!
  2. Never ride on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law, as another vehicle could hit you. ATVs are designed to be operated off-highway.
  3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Also, never allow others who appear to be under the influence to operate an ATV or UTV.
  4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people. Most ATVs are designed for one rider at a time, so you can be rider active and move with the vehicle. When going down an incline (shift to the back), when going up an incline (shift to the front) or when turning (shift left or right).
  5. Ride an ATV that is right for your age and also size appropriate. Although all youth vehicles are designed for children to travel at slower speeds, every child differs in his or her physical and developmental abilities, which needs to be considered when handling an ATV.
  6. Supervise riders younger than 16. Always remind younger riders that ATVs are not toys.
  7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
  8. Become safety savvy by taking a hands-on ATV RiderCourse and the free online E-Course. Visit ATVsafety.org or call 800-887-2887 to learn more.

Since 1995, the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program has also been on a mission to provide the education, training, and resources to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. For more information on Progressive Agriculture Safety Days or to locate an event near you, visit www.progressiveag.org or call 888-257-3529 (please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many events planned for the spring and summer have postponed or cancelled for 2020). Looking to make a safe investment? Help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 44321 or visit progressiveag.org/Donate.

Photo 1: At a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day held in Ord, Nebraska, participants get a chance to get an up-close look at an all-terrain vehicle and learn the importance of ATV safety.

 

Daily Learning Drop Series

On March 18, the Progressive Agriculture Safety Days program launched Daily Learning Drops. Each day, a new video (or resource) on a different safety and health topic was delivered via Facebook at noon EDT/11:00 a.m. CDT. In case you missed it, here are the topics with links to all the individual drops and the playlists:

To access the Facebook Playlist: https://bit.ly/2VfGouq

To access the YouTube Playlist: https://bit.ly/2XsqIa4

STOP THE BLEED: When Seconds Count to Save a Life!

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

An incident can happen in the blink of an eye. In many rural and farming communities, often the person next to a bleeding victim is deemed the one most likely to save their life. Minutes count, as someone who is severely injured and bleeding, can ble19-1734_FirstAid_11874ed to death in as little as 5 minutes.

To help bring awareness to this important initiative, the month of May is recognized as National STOP THE BLEED® Month? This observance highlights the importance of STOP THE BLEED® training and offers the public training courses in bleeding control techniques. That is why bleeding control and keeping the blood inside the body is so crucial! If an incident occurs, would you know what to do? If not, here are necessary actions to stop bleeding:

  1. Apply pressure with hands and a clean cloth, tissue or piece of gauze.
  2. Apply dressing and press. If the wound is on the arm or leg, raise limb above the heart, if possible, to help slow bleeding.
  3. Apply a tourniquet for severe or life-threatening bleeding that does not stop with direct pressure.
  4. Remember to always wash your hands and use gloves before and after administering first aid.
  5. According to Healthline, seek immediate medical care if the wound is jagged, deep, or a puncture wound; is on the face; is the result of an animal bite; there is dirt that won’t come out after washing; or the bleeding will not stop after 15 to 20 minutes of first aid.
  6. Preparation is key! Try to always have access to a first aid kit. Have a kit stored in the home, car, tractor, ATV or UTV, and barn. Also continually check and restock supplies as needed.

In 2019 alone, First Aid Safety reached nearly 42,000 participants at Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, while an additional 22,000 participants took part in First on the Scene hands-on activities and demonstrations. These activities are aimed at cultivating vital life-saving skills and techniques.  Progressive Agriculture Safety Days is recognized as the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America by providing the education, training and resources to aid local communities in conducting a one-day event. Designed to be hands-on, fun and safe for children ages 4 to 13, more than 1.8 million children and adults living on farms, ranches and rural communities have been impacted since 1995.

For more information on Progressive Agriculture Safety Days or to locate an event near you, visit www.progressiveag.org or call 888-257-3529 (please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many events planned for the spring and summer have postponed or cancelled for 2020). You can also help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in 2020 with a modest donation of only $13. Donate by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 44321.

Photo: At events, like this Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in Nebraska, participants learn about first aid and how the use of a tourniquet can stop bleeding and save a life.

 

Volunteering: Good for the Mind, Body and Soul

It’s hard to imagine a world without volunteers. Whether helping a friend, partaking in a litter clean-up, or hosting an event to raise money for a special need or cause, volunteers truly make the world go-round. People who volunteer, do not necessarily always have the time, but they have the heart and make time to support causes near and dear to them.

Wisconsin Jenny Konen Pic 22020 National Volunteer Week, taking place April 19-25, is an opportunity to celebrate the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger communities and be a force that transforms the world. According to HealthGuide, volunteering connects you to others, is good for your mind and body, can advance your career, and brings fun and fulfillment to your life. Did you know that volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health?  Volunteering can:

  • Help counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety through the social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person.
  • Combat depression, as it keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system.
  • Make you happy. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.
  • Increase self-confidence. While doing good for others and the community, we feel a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. The better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
  • Provide a sense of purpose. Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and direction in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.
  • Helps you stay physically healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not. Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less likely to develop high blood pressure, and have better thinking skills. Volunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.

67394006_617129472114007_4905255459834822656_oIn 2019 alone, close to 500 adults were trained to serve as Progressive Agriculture Safety Day coordinators who are leading the crusade. Safety Day coordinators help bring this program to the local level building safer and healthier communities in the places they live, work and play. With the support of another 20,000 local volunteers serving in various roles including planning committee members, presenters, group leaders, and other on-site logistics, our program provided age-appropriate, hands-on safety education to nearly 80,000 youth participants, between the ages of 4 and 13.

Last year, more than 121,000 hours of volunteer time was logged. This was valued at more than $3 million in support, according to the Independent Sector’s estimated value of $25.32 per hour; however, to our program, a volunteer’s time is priceless! Additionally, many of our key sponsors are promoting partnership engagement opportunities among their employees and encouraging them to volunteer.

Children tend to watch everything we do. Therefore, in the same manner we remind adults about role modeling safe and healthy behaviors, volunteering shows children the importance of giving back to the community. They see first-hand how volunteering can make a difference, how good it feels to help other people and animals, and how they can bring about positive change. Volunteering is also a valuable way to get to know organizations in the community, as well as find resources and activities that can be beneficial to your children and family.

For more information on how get involved in hosting or volunteering at Progressive Agriculture Safety Days or to locate an event near you, visit www.progressiveag.org or call 888-257-3529. You can also help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in 2020 with a modest donation of only $13. Donate by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 44321.

Photo: The dedicated support of our volunteers helped Progressive Agriculture Safety Days remain recognized as the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America. Volunteers at Wisconsin and Ontario events last year helped celebrate the program’s 25-year milestone.

Children act fast, and sadly so do poisons!

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

12-1005_ChemLookALike_1325Sadly, every day in the United States, more than 300 children (ages 0 to 19) are treated in an emergency department, and two children die, as a result of being poisoned, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s not just chemicals in your home marked with clear warning labels that can be dangerous to children. Everyday items in your home, such as household cleaners and medicines, can be poisonous to children as well. Medication dosing mistakes and unsupervised ingestions are common ways that children are poisoned.

Active, curious 16-1623_ChemLookALike_6082children will often investigate and sometimes try to eat or drink anything that they can easily get into. National Poison Prevention Week, taking place March 15-21, 2020, reminds us that some of the deadliest and most dangerous items in our homes or on our farms are hiding in plain sight. Take a peek under your kitchen sink, laundry room or medicine cabinet. Household cleaning agents, prescription medications, pesticides, and other items can pose serious hazards to the health and well-being of our families and even our pets.

At Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®, chemical safety continues to be one of the most popular topics offered reaching more than 40,000 youth participants in 2019. One of the hands-on activities offered at Progressive Agriculture Safety Days is for participants to identify and distinguish look-a-like poisons from other safe items.

16-1596_ChemLookALike_1750For young children that cannot read labels, many products around the home can look like popular candy or drinks. Even products that can be good for you, like vitamins and medicines, can become harmful if you do not follow the label directions. Common poison look-a-likes you may find around your home may include gummy vitamins that look like fruit snacks or gummy bears; laxatives resembling chocolate; household cleaners, liquid medications or mouthwash that may look like sports drinks or juice; and bleach or rubbing alcohol that resembles water. In recent years, we witnessed the dangers of laundry or dishwasher pods that look like candy. Also, with the legalization of marijuana in many states for recreational or medical use, the danger of edibles in baked goods, candy and beverages are a new concern. Despite their ordinary appearance, a single pot cookie or candy bar can contain several times the recommended adult dose of THC. Anyone who eats one of these edibles, especially a child, can experience overdose effects such as intoxication, altered perception, anxiety, panic, paranoia, dizziness, weakness, slurred speech, poor coordination, apnea, and heart problems according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Living with chemicals is a reality, but the National Safety Council encourages making informed decisions about the type of products you bring into your home. Understanding risk and limiting exposure are paramount to keeping your family safe. Before you buy, read the label to make sure you know exactly what you’re purchasing and understand terms and definitions found on product labels. Caution indicates the lowest level of potential harm, Warning indicates a higher level of potential harm meaning you could become seriously ill or injured, and Danger indicates the highest level of potential harm: tissue damage to skin, blindness, death or damage to the mouth, throat or stomach if swallowed. As parents, grandparents and caring adults, it is our responsibility to keep our children safe. Let’s be proactive by following these five safety tips:

  1. Label harmful products and place them out of the reach of children.
  2. Periodically clean out storage cabinets and carefully following disposal instructions indicated on product labels.
  3. Avoid moving poisons or chemicals from their original container.
  4. Lead by example and use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when handling chemicals.
  5. Add the Poison Control Center telephone number (1-800-222-1222) to your telephone contact list in your cell phone, as well as a place easy to locate in case of an emergency.

For more information on Progressive Agriculture Safety Days or to locate an event near you, visit www.progressiveag.org or call 888-257-3529. Help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in 2020 with a modest donation of only $13. Donate by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 44321.

Photos: In 2019, Chemical Safety was ranked as one of the top five lessons offered at Progressive Agriculture Safety Days. One of the most popular hands-on activities offered is on look-a-like poisons, where participants try to distinguish the difference between safe and unsafe items like medication and candy or sports drinks and household cleaners.

 

Staying Safe Around Grain: Let’s Send the Right Message to Youth

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

In 2014 alone, more than 23.8 million youth visited farms across the United States. During these visits while fostering a child’s passion for agriculture and curiosity for farm practices, large equipment and animals, it is vital to keep safety at the forefront. Farms are busy workplaces. Therefore, children should be educated that the farm is not a play area and they should treat the farm with the same respect and care as any other workplace.

As with many practices on the farm, producing grain can be dangerous. According to Purdue University, there were 61 documented grain bin entrapments and incidents in other confined spaces on U.S. farms in 2018. Historically, nearly one in five of all agricultural incidents in confined spaces has involved children and young adults, under the age of 21, according to the report. To shed light on this important topic, Grain Bin Safety Week is commemorated each year during the third full week of February.

19-1935_GrainSafety_11919Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, recognized as the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America, wholeheartedly supports this endeavor and is taking it a step further to educate our future generation of farmers – our children. Educating youth of the potential dangers, characteristics and scenarios associated with grain bin management is an important step to reducing incidents and losses. In 2019, nearly 35,000 youth participants and adult volunteers were reached with grain safety lessons offered at one of our Progressive Agriculture Safety Days.

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 vacuum/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.

Corn Box Pic 2Agritourism continues to become extremely popular in the U.S. While Agritourism gives producers the opportunity to generate additional income and an avenue for direct marketing to consumers, it also provides educational learning opportunities for all ages. The opportunities are endless with Christmas tree and holiday festivals in the winter months, u-picks and farmer’s markets in the spring and summer, and pumpkin patches in the fall. While educating youth, we need to always ensure we are sending 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. In addition to sending the wrong message, other hazards around include chocking, allergies, crowding, and as a food source can attract animals and pests, which can cause illness due to germs from feces. The National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety have several resources on Integrating Safety into Agritourism, which can be located at https://safeagritourism.org/

Learn more about 2020 Grain Bin Safety Week, taking place February 16-22, by visiting https://www.nationwide.com/grain-bin-safety-week.jsp. For more information or to locate a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day near you, visit www.progressiveag.org or call 888-257-3529. We welcome individual support to help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in their local community with a modest donation of only $13. Donate by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 44321.

Photo 1: At a 2019 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® held in Brookings, South Dakota, participants learn important lessons on how to stay safe around grain through a variety of hands-on activities.

Photo 2: Although it may be fun and an easier to manage, replacing sand boxes with corn can send the wrong messages to our youth and mask the significant dangers in playing in grain. Role modeling safe behavior is key and responsibility of all of us.