Every year there are farm related incidents where children and adults are injured or killed on farms and rural communities. The statistics are sobering and tragic since most of the incidents could have been avoided if simple safety standards had been followed. That is why the Progressive Agriculture Foundation is on a crusade for farm safety and health.
At the heart of this is the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day. Founded by the Progressive Farmer magazine in 1995, the program trains and provides the resources that local communities need to conduct one-day safety programs that are age –appropriate, hands-on, fun and safe for children.
One of these local safety days is held every spring in Crookston. This year on April 26 approximately 180 sixth graders from Highland, Cathedral and Our Savior’s schools in Crookston, and Fertile/Beltrami and Win-E-Mac schools will learn valuable lessons on how to identify and deal with some of the major safety hazards they face every day.
Mark Fisketjon, safety coordinator for the event, along with many other members of the community, feel confident that by doing these sessions each year they are saving lives. “We are so pleased that each year this community steps up to support such an important safety awareness program for children in our rural communities, “says Fisketjon.“Our hope is that these kids go home and share with their parents some of the simple life saving tips they learn from this safety day, “he adds.
About 50 volunteers from the community contribute their knowledge and time to this learning experience each year. Students will experience safety demonstrations from the following local businesses. Electrical Safety by Wild Rice Electric, Fire Safety by the Crookston Fire Department, First Aid by Crookston Area Ambulance, Sun Safety by Altru Health Systems, Fire Arm Safety by the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, Grain Handling and ATV Safety by AgCountry Farm Credit Services and Small Engine/Lawn Mower Safety by Crookston Implement.
The students will also experience larger demonstrations throughout the day. A PTO (power take off) demonstration sponsored by Titan Machinery will show (using a life-size dummy) what happens when someone gets caught in a PTO shaft. A simulated roll-over unit operated by the Crookston Area Ambulance will demonstrate what happens when a vehicle rolls over and the occupants are not wearing seatbelts. A Click-It or Ticket presentation will also be given by the Crookston Police Department. Along with these volunteer efforts many local businesses contribute financially to help defray costs of the program.
Star Sponsors of these events that take place nationwide include: Agrium, Bunge North America, Crop Production Services, Farm Credit, John Deere, Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, CHS and CHS Foundation, The Mosaic Company Foundation and Toyota.
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For additional information on the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in Crookston contact Fisketjon at 289-2827.