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Farm Safety First

Kids learn how important safety is on the farm

Farm safety is important! By educating our youth about it we can prevent accidents from occurring. If children are educated and know the appropriate safety precautions, the hope is that they can use this knowledge to prevent accidents and stay safe on the farm.

The agriculture sector is the most dangerous line of work in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not only is it the most dangerous due to high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries, but also family members who work or live on the farm can also be at risk.

This year, DeKalb County Farm Bureau held a Farm Safety Camp for rural children ages 8-12 at Jonamac Orchard in Malta. The bi-annual camp was first started in 1994. The goal is to teach children how to be safe on the farm by educating them on the hazards and emphasizing precautions to take. The kids learned about about farm machinery, chemicals, animals, lawn mowers, grain bins, semi-trucks, fire safety, first aid, electricity, hearing, and bicycle safety.

Semi-truck safety was discussed by Vicki Faivre with J.P. Faivre Farms. She gave the kids an opportunity to get in the tractor cab and familiarize themselves with the semi-truck.
Learning about chemicals, Katrina Gast with Conserv FS talks to kids about hazardous farm chemicals and even touched on household chemicals to avoid.
Farm Machinery safety talks were led by Brett Dienst and Karl Faivre with Farm Bureau Young Leaders. They demonstrated the danger of getting too close to a moving PTO shaft and safety precautions to take with farm machinery.
A variety of animals were present at Farm Safety Camp, including a steer. Katie Arndt and Eli Schweitzer with Malta Mustangs 4-H talked about how to be safe around farm animals.
At the station on ATVs, Jake Hill with R-Equipment talked with kids about how to be safe when riding ATVs.
Campers rode lawn mowers with Tom Newquist from DeKalb Lawn & Equipment. He brought two mowers to safety camp, both a zero turn and a push mower. Kids learned how to drive the lawn mowers safely with supervision.
To learn about grain safety, kids used a toy gravity wagon to understand grain entrapment. Bayer employees helped the children realize the hazards of flowing grain.