Ag Day

MONTICELLO – Not every child grows up on a farm, but still, every child needs to know about safety in and around the farm.

The Carle Center for Rural Health and Farm Safety and local school districts hosted a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day on May 17 at the Piatt County 4-H Memorial Camp at Allerton Park near Monticello.

“Spring planting activities are in gear throughout rural areas and this is an opportune time to offer practical and timely reminders about the importance of staying healthy and safe outside of school and at home,” said Amy Rademaker, Carle Rural Health and Farm Safety Coordinator.

During the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, 224 fourth-grade students from Atwood-Hammond, Bement, Blue Ridge Intermediate Junior High, DeLand-Weldon, and White Heath, participated in activities that reinforced the importance of taking responsibility for their own safety. That included reminders of respecting parents’ safety rules and sharing safety tips with their family and friends. Demonstrations focused on nutrition and hazards associated with electrical, grain, roadways, internet use and more.

“We have session on tractor safety,” Rademaker said. “Not every kid will drive a tractor, but these lessons transfer to more common elements, such as a riding lawnmower.”

In addition to tractor safety, there were sessions on water safety, grain safety, electrical safety, chemical safety, ATV safety, sun safety, firearms safety and healthy lifestyles.

In the grain safety session, Tony Dawson from ADM, explained the dangers of grain bins.

“If someone you know gets trapped in a grain bin, don’t try to pull them out on your own,” he said. “Go get help and call 911 immediately.”

Illinois State Troopers Jayme Bufford and Josh Robinson demonstrated vehicle safety. An experiment showed what happened to passengers in a vehicle that were not buckled into their seats when the vehicle rolled over. Unbuckled dummies placed in the vehicle were thrown out. When buckled, the dummies stayed in the vehicle.

“It is very important that you always buckle up,” Bufford said.

Nancy Rosenbery, principal at White Heath Elementary School, said the trip was fun and educational. The highlight was the arrival of the Airlife Eurocopter.

“It was a great field trip,” she said. “I heard one student say that they couldn’t wait to get home to tell their Mom about the Airlife helicopter and I also heard one of the presenters say he couldn’t wait to get home to tell his wife about it. So, it was amazing that one thing had such an impact on two different generations.”

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