The University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Forage Systems Research Center hosted more than 90 fifth grade students from three local schools on Wednesday, May 3 for a farm safety day.
The focus of the safety day was to teach students the importance of safety, especially as those students head into summer break. This was the first year that FSRC has hosted the event, which featured several local entities, including the Linn County Ambulance District and Linneus Volunteer Fire District.
“In today’s fast-paced world, kids are relied on to help out around the farm and home,” said FSRC superintendent Dave Davis. “Often, busy parents do not have the time to teach their children about all of the hazards around the farm and home. Almost every summer we hear about a local kid getting hurt, and we wanted to do our part to help educate our local kids on safety. Our hope is to make this an annual event and expand our audience to other schools in the area.”
Students from Linn County R-1, Meadville and Marceline participated in the farm safety day. There were numerous stations for the students to stop at and engage with speakers.
Kevin Judas, Sydenstricker Farm and Lawn, and David Staskal, National ATV Safety Institute, presented on lawnmower and ATV safety. Judas talked about the importance of being aware of where the lawnmower is at all times, as the blades can cause a lot of harm. Staskal demonstrated the rules of operating an ATV safely.
Corporal Darren Mueller, with the Missouri Highway Patrol, was also on hand to discuss water and boat safety. Amber Tornow, Linn County Health Department, taught on CPR and first aid.
“We were happy to be able to share this knowledge with the students,” Tornow said. “These are rural kids that are out in the field often. Teaching them how to handle bleeding, broken bones, heat exhaustion and choking is extremely important. The students were also very engaged during the CPR training. It’s great to have that knowledge because you never know when you’ll have to use it.”
University of Missouri Extension specialists Valerie Tate and Anita Snell discussed grain bin safety and livestock safety, respectively. Tate focused on the importance of being alert, as the grain in a bin can pull a person under extremely quickly. Snell discussed how livestock need to be handled carefully because of their strength.
Dusty Walter, director of resource management for the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station and superintendent of the CAFNR Wurdack Research Center, did a chainsaw demonstration, showcasing how important it is to be alert when being around a chainsaw.
Students also heard presentations from the FSRC farm crew who talked about tractor power take off (PTO) safety.
“I was really glad to be a part of the farm safety day at the Forage Systems Research Center,” Tate said. “The students were very engaged throughout the entire event, and this was a great opportunity to extend knowledge about grain bin safety. A lot of accidents can be prevented when proper safety protocols are followed. If we can help prevent just one injury by providing the kids with this information, it’s completely worth the time and effort.”
Rich Crowe, Missouri Department of Conservation, presented on recognizing poisonous plants. Allen Berry, Ritnee Smiley and Lana Ledford, North Central Missouri Electric Co-op, explained the possible dangers of electricity.
The students received a T-shirt, hat and a free lunch during the event as well.
For a closer look at the farm safety day, visit: flickr.com/photos/cafnr/albums/72157680199921284.