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.
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.
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.
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.