There are so many adventures to be had when you’re a kid on the farm. But those adventures can come with risks.
According to Farm Safety for Just Kids, “one child dies every three days on a farm. Every day 38 kids are injured in an agricultural related accident.” In 2012, over 7,700 kids were injured on a farm.
To help keep youth safe and reduce these statistics, the McPherson County Farm Bureau and K-State Research and Extension McPherson County joined forces more than 15 years ago to host a farm safety day camp. The annual program raises awareness of safety hazards for youth ages 8 to 11 to learn more about rural dangers, specifically on the farm. MKC has helped sponsor this event for the past seven years.
While many youth are taught safe farm practices at home, farm safety programming reinforces the importance of safety. “As producers, we know we work in a hazardous environment. Even though we try and teach our youth to be safe, hearing it again from another person in their community may be
what is needed for the message to sink in and help keep them safe,” said Jonie James, agriculture and natural resources agent for McPherson County.
Eighty-three youth attended the 2014 day camp on June 12 at the McPherson County Fairgrounds. The program began with an accident demonstration and mock helicopter rescue. Following the demonstration, participants were able to look at the helicopter up close, which was the highlight of the camp for many.
Campers do not have to be children who live on a farm to benefit from the educational sessions, said James.
The seven, hands-on safety sessions included lessons on harvest, pesticides, electrical, PTOs and hydraulics, ATV and utility vehicles, fire, emergency and lawn equipment.
“Promoting safe practices for all ages on the farm is important to us,” states Kerry Watson, director of communications for MKC. “The McPherson County Day Camp is just one example of the programs we support. Most recently we teamed up with Nationwide Agribusiness and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety to provide a grain bin safety program for producers, employees, and first responders.”