Crops, Livestock, Youth

Remember Ag Safety

Last week I attended the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day coordinator training. This training provides excellent resources for the annual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day we have each May in Geneva. By participating in this program, national donors provides us the opportunity to provide youth t-shirts, access to vital curriculum materials and other support. At the training, two staggering statistics reinforced my reason for continually offering this program to area youth. In North America, every 3 days, a child dies due to an ag-related accident. Also, in North America, every day 33 youth are injured in an agricultural setting.img_6564

The vision of Progressive Agriculture Foundation is that “no child would become ill, injured or die from farm, ranch or rural activities.” As the mother of two school-aged children, I try to stress the importance of safety in and around crop and livestock areas, but it just takes one moment for an accident to happen so please remember to take it slow and easy this harvest season. The stress of farming and ranching is large and taking care of yourself is important not only for your health but to those around you.

Our local ag safety day planning committee will be meeting after the first of the year to plan our program. If you or your business would like to contribute financially to our local youth or be involved in our program, please contact me at (402) 759-3712 or brandy.vandewalle@unl.edu and I’d be glad to talk about ways to effectively teach our youth about ag safety.

Programming, Youth

Keeping Youth Safe

That, “no child would become ill, injured or die from farm, ranch and rural activities.” That is the vision for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. The Progressive Agriculture Foundation governs and secures funding solely to educate youth and families on ways to make farm, ranch and rural life safer for children and their families. The Progressive Agriculture Foundation is the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America, which Fillmore County is proud to provide one of those programs. In fact, over 400 safety days are planned across the United States & Canada reaching over 104,000 participants in 2018 alone. Since 1995, the Progressive Ag Safety Foundation and its sponsors has provided resources for over 6,972 safety days have occurred reaching nearly 1.3 million participants and over 347,000 volunteers.IMG_2378.jpg

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On May 24, 2018 Nebraska Extension in Fillmore & Clay Counties coordinated Progressive Agriculture Safety Day for 128 area youth in collaboration with the local WIFE (Women Involved in Farm Economics), Emergency Management and Fillmore Central and Shickley FFA Chapters. The event for youth who just completed 1st to 6th grades provided hands-on activities for youth on a variety of topics from knife safety to healthy lifestyles to lawnmower safety.

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This program is possible through the assistance of numerous volunteers from varying agencies or businesses including Plains Power, Nick’s Farm Store, Perennial Public Power, Fortify Group, Nebraska Extension, Shickley and Fillmore Central FFA Chapters. Sponsorship from W.I.F.E. (Women Involved in Farm Economics), Fortify, Fillmore County Emergency Management, Fortigen, Sutton Vision Center and Harre Seed. Lunch was served and provided by the Fillmore Central FFA Booster Club.

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New this year, youth learned about the severity of the opioid epidemic and were given information on its devastating effects on people. Goody bags with lots of resources and other activities were sent home with the record-breaking number of participants. Each family received a weather radio this year as well. Local coordinator, Brandy VanDeWalle attends the annual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day training and works to coordinate this collaborative event. For information on how to be involved locally in the future, contact Brandy at the Fillmore County Extension Office at 402-759-3712.

Programming, Youth

Progressive Ag Safety Day

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Statistics from those impacted by a farm-related injury or death are sobering. Many know someone who was impacted by a farm accident that in many cases could have been prevented. This is why I feel so passionately about conducting the Annual Progressive Safety Day each year. The Progressive Agriculture Foundation provides safety and health information to rural communities that need it, which is why I’ve teamed up with them. The mission of Progressive Agriculture Days is simple – to provide education, training, and resources to make farm and ranch life safer and healthier for children and their communities.Safety_Day

During the program’s first year, a total of 2,800 participants and volunteers were reached throughout the South and Midwest and now the program impacts close to 110,000 annually. To date, the program has impacted more than 1.6 million children and adults.

Current 1st through 6th graders are invited to attend Progressive Agriculture Safety Day on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds.  Youth will participate in a variety of events designed to help them be aware of safety in potentially hazardous situations such as electricity, emergencies, lawn mowers, tractors and pinchpoints, agricultural settings, and others.  Youth will also learn about protecting their eyes and the opioid epidemic and how this impacts families. This year, families will walk away with a weather radio to use in the case of storms. Registration and consent form is REQUIRED by all youth who participate. This can be found at fillmore.unl.edu or by stopping by the Extension Office in Geneva or Clay Center.

April 20th is early bird registration at only $5 per child that includes a t-shirt, lunch, snack and goodie bag. After April 20th,  registration increases to $10 per youth in order to participate.

This event is conducted by Nebraska Extension in Fillmore/Clay Counties, Shickley and Fillmore Central FFA chapters, 4-H and W.I.F.E. For more info or to register, call 402-759-3712 or email brandy.vandewalle@unl.edu.

Programming, Youth

Tractor Safety Courses Offered

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Tractor Safety/Hazardous Occupations Courses will be offered at seven locations in Nebraska during May and June.  Any 14 or 15-year-old teen who plans to work on a farm other than their parents’ should plan to attend.  Federal law prohibits youth under 16 years of age from working on a farm for anyone other than their parents.   Certification through the course grants an exemption to the law allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and to do field work with mechanized equipment.

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The most common cause of death in agriculture accidents in Nebraska is overturn from tractors and all-terrain-vehicles (ATVs), said Sharry Nielsen, UNL Extension Educator. Tractor and ATV overturn prevention are featured in the class work.  “Instilling an attitude of ‘safety first’ is a primary goal of the course,” Nielsen said. “Where youth have the chance to learn respect for agricultural jobs and the tools involved.”

Classes consist of two days of instruction plus homework assignments. Classes closest to us are from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day. Dates and locations include:

— May 23-24, Fairgrounds, Kearney
— June 10-11, Fairgrounds, Osceola
— June 17-18, College Park, Grand Island

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged at least one week before a location’s start date to the Extension Office at the course site. Cost is $60, which includes educational materials, testing, supplies, lunches and breaks. For more information, contact the Extension Office or Sharry Nielsen at (308) 832-0645, snielsen1@unl.edu.

The first day of class will consist of intensive classroom instruction with hands-on demonstrations, concluding with a written test that must be completed satisfactorily before students may continue driving tests the next day. Classroom instruction will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. Homework will be assigned to turn in the next day.

The second day will include testing, driving and operating machinery. Students must demonstrate competence in hitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course as well as hitching PTO and hydraulic systems.