Programming, Uncategorized, Youth

Progressive Agriculture Safety Day

Statistics from those impacted by aSafety_Day 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.

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 1.3 million children and adults.

2017 T-shirt DesignCurrent 1st through 6th graders are invited to attend Progressive Agriculture Safety Day on Thursday, May 25, 2017 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 bike riding, agricultural settings, electrical safety and others.  This year, youth will walk away with an emergency disaster kit to use in the case of storms and other emergencies. Registration and consent form is REQUIRED by all youth who participate. This can be found at or by stopping by the Extension Office in Geneva or Clay Center.

April 21st is early bird registration at only $5 per child that includes a t-shirt, lunch, snack and goodie bag. After April 21st 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

Programming, Uncategorized, 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 held across the United States & Canada reaching over 70,000 participants.IMG_5433

On May 26, 2016, Nebraska Extension in Fillmore County coordinated Progressive Agriculture Safety Day for 108 area youth in collaboration with the local WIFE (Women Involved in Farm Economics) 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 bike safety to healthy lifestyles to agriculture literacy. This program is possible through the assistance of numerous volunteers from varying agencies or businesses.

Each youth took home a kit with supplies to get them started should an emergency situation arise. 


This year youth learned what should go into an emergency kit and assemble their own kit to take home. Goody bags with lots of resources and other activities were also sent home with the record-breaking number of participants. IMG_5429


Harvest Safety

It is hard to believe that harvest will soon be in full swing! With harvest comes more traffic on the county roads and other stresses for farmers. It never fails, that equipment can break, there can be delays at the elevator and those extra-long hours can all add extra stress to farmers. That being said, it is important to carefully slow down and realize the many hazards you are being exposed to during harvest.Harvestweb

An Iowa State Extension publication, Harvest Safety Yields Big Dividends points out that injuries can occur by taking shortcuts to perform routine tasks, not getting enough sleep or regular breaks, or failing to follow safety practices. Some injuries occur when operators are pulled into the intake area of harvesting machines, such as balers, combines, or corn pickers, and many injuries occur from slips or falls around these machines. Exposure to powerful machinery is highest during the harvest season. The equipment must be powerful to effectively handle large amounts of agricultural commodities. When equipment plugs, NEVER try to unplug it with live equipment, instead always disengage power and turn off the engine before trying to manually clear a plugged machine. Regular maintenance of these machines can also make harvest go smoother. Also, lots of accidents actually happen by the operator slipping and falling off equipment.

In the same publication listed above, there are several tips for reducing fall hazards:

  • Always keep all platforms free of tools or other objects.
  • Frequently clean the steps and other areas where workers stand to service, mount and dismount, or operate the machine.
  • Wear well-fitting, comfortable shoes with non-slip soles.
  • Use grab bars when mounting or dismounting machinery.
  • Be sure your position is stable before you work on a machine.
  • Recognize that fatigue, stress, drugs or alcohol, and age may affect stability.

Other helpful tips during harvest are to keep kids away from machinery. Tell them the dangers that can occur and not to play near the equipment, even when it is shut off; you never know when they will be playing in hidden areas of the equipment. Operators should double check where kids are before moving the equipment. Too many accidents can occur when youth are in the path of equipment out of the operator’s view. Operators of all equipment should check in regularly and let someone know where you are. Keep all guards on equipment; it is there for a reason!

It is also important for the public to understand the increased traffic on public roads and be patient. The greatest threat raised between farm equipment and passenger vehicles is the difference in speed. Farm equipment runs at an average speed of 20 miles per hour while passenger vehicles average 60 miles per hour. If the motor vehicle overtakes a tractor, the impact is comparable to a passenger vehicle hitting a brick wall at 40 miles per hour. If the tractor and a car, mini-van or pickup collides head on, the impact is the same as hitting a brick wall at 60 miles per hour.

Farmers can reduce the chances of an accident by using warning lights, reflectors and reflective tape on their machinery to keep passenger vehicle operators aware of their presence on roads. Some farmers may choose to install supplemental lights to increase visibility. It also is a good idea for producers to keep off heavily traveled roads as much as possible and avoid moving equipment during the busiest part of the day.

Some farm equipment, such as combines, can take up more than half of the road. Even so, it is up to both drivers to be aware of their own limitations and adjust accordingly. Farmers should not take up more space than is needed, but other drivers should try to provide as much room as possible. It is a good idea for passenger vehicles to turn off onto side or field roads until larger machinery has passed. Whenever possible, farmers should use an escort vehicle such as a pickup to precede or follow large machinery and equipment on public roads. More than one escort may be necessary. Ideally, the escort vehicle would have extra warning lights and a sign indicating oversized or slow equipment ahead or following.

Have a safe harvest!

Programming, Youth

Keeping Youth Safe in Rural Communities

Each year Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers come close to an accident – in the field, in livestock pens, in grain piles. Youth in rural areas are not excluded from this. To help teach youth safe on farms and rural communities, a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day was held in Geneva on May 29th, 2014 for area 2-6th grade youth. The program was coordinated by the local WIFE (Women Involved in Farm Economics ), Fillmore Central and Shickley FFA Chapters, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in Fillmore County, with several other local businesses and organizations provided funding.

Eight-two youth participated in this year's program.
Eight-two youth participated in this year’s program.

Nearly three hundred volunteer hours were spent preparing for this event! Topics taught included animal safety, weather safety, citizen safety, food safety, electrical safety, ATV safety, mower safety, roll over demonstration, water safety and tractor safety. Nearly 50 older youth and adults volunteered their time to make the event happen. Presenters were from the NE State Patrol, UNL Extension, Fillmore Central FFA, Shickley FFA, Plains Power, Nick’s Farm Store, National Weather Service, Fillmore Co. Emergency Management, Geneva Activity & Education Dept., Farm Safety For Just Kids and Extension’s Master Naturalist program. A special thanks goes to the Fillmore County Ag Society for use of excellent facilities.

One session taught youth that their reaction time isn’t quick enough to save them if they had to make a split decision in addition to other tractor safety tips.
One session taught youth that their reaction time isn’t quick enough to save them if they had to make a split decision in addition to other tractor safety tips.

In addition to these hands-on sessions, youth received a headgear flashlight to take home and a “goodie bag” with educational safety materials reminding them and their parents what was learned. Progressive Agriculture Safety Day was conducted through the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, so each participant and volunteer received a t-shirt from Progressive Agriculture sponsors. Special thanks to sponsors for making this event happen at low cost to the youth!

At the conclusion of the day, youth expressed that they had a great time and learned safety tips that may someday save their or someone else’s life.

Programming, Youth

Progressive Agriculture Safety Day

Each year, many children are killed or injured on America’s farms and ranches. This summer, safety days such as the one being conducted on May 30, 2012 in Geneva, are being held in many locations across the United States and Canada.  These events teach rural children how to prevent injuries and reduce the risk of farm incidents. During safety days, children participate in interactive activities that reinforce the importance of taking responsibility for their own safety, respecting parents’ safety rules and sharing safety tips with their friends and family. 

Any youth who will be completing 3rd through 6th grade is invited to attend Progressive Agriculture Safety Day on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds. This event is hosted by UNL Extension in Fillmore County, Shickley and Fillmore Central FFA chapters, 4-H and W.I.F.E.

Specifically at this year’s event, youth will participate in a variety of events designed to help them be aware of safety in potentially hazardous situations such as being on a farm or living in rural communities, severe weather, bike riding, etc. Youth will also enjoy sessions such as pedestrian bingo, seatbelt safety, assemble first aid kits to take home, learn more about where their food comes from and even receive a FREE bicycle helmet!  This year’s premier event will feature a mock accident conducted by local emergency responders.

Local agribusiness professionals, merchants, and community members donate their time and resources to ensure this event is a day of fun as well as a valuable learning experience. April 23rd is the deadline for early bird registration which is only $3.00 and includes lunch, snacks, a t-shirt and “goodie bag” with lots of fun materials. Youth are still able to register after April 23rd for a $5 registration fee. Registration forms can be found on the Fillmore County Extension website   For more information or to register, call 402-759-3712 or email