Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Farm Safety for the Next Generation

By Melissa Woeppel, Communications Intern

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.”


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Renewing Our Infrastructure

By Nichole Gouldie, Communications Specialist

Recognizing the need for new locations and making upgrades to current facilities allows MKC to keep pace with the growing needs of the producer. As MKC has continued to focus on renewing infrastructure this past year, the cooperative has invested more than $16 million dollars across its trade territory.

Jon Brown, director of facility management for MKC, has overseen each of the projects. “Meeting our customers’ needs and improving the customer experience has been the driver behind these projects,” Brown says. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Participants Sought for New Leader Forum

By Kerry Watson, Director of Communications

MKC is entering its tenth year of sponsoring participants to attend the New Leader Forum, held in conjunction with the CHS Annual Meeting. This year’s event will be held December 3-5 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Over the course of the forum, participants examine in-depth issues and challenges facing cooperatives, agricultural and rural America, as well as learn ways to build their leadership skills to benefit their cooperatives and communities. Sessions feature top-notch professional speakers and agribusiness experts. The conference is geared towards individuals and/or couples, ages 25 to 45 years.

Since 2004, MKC has sponsored 89 participants. Ben and Tina Schrag of Canton attended the event in 2013. "For me it was a great educational experience," said Ben. "I learned how MKC fits in with larger cooperatives’ grain distribution, not only in the United States, but internationally as well." Schrag also commented on the value of networking with other MKC customers who attended the event. "I didn’t know them before attending the Forum and still keep in touch with them today."

If you are interested in being considered for participation in the 2014 New Leader Forum, please contact a field marketer or Nichole Gouldie at 620-345-4119.

2009 Participants
(Left to right): Matt & Daisy Friesen, Josh & Emily Regier and
Mike and Angie Maloney.

2011 Participants
Back row: Kent Nichols, Devin Sheriling, Jon Brown
Front row: Amber Brown, Katie and Derek Sawyer, Doug Graber and Aaron Vogts.