On Friday, May 29th, 2015, children from five different schools in the rural municipality of Shoal Lake, MB took part in Progressive Agriculture Safety Day at Shoal Lake Community Hall, thanks in part to sponsorship proudly provided by Nutrien, Crop Production Services and other organizations. The event was a huge success, with almost 100 fifth and sixth graders in attendance, each receiving a Safety Day t-shirt to commemorate their experience.
Progressive Agriculture Safety Day is a farm safety education program developed through the Progressive Farmer Foundation, a nonprofit charitable foundation in the USA, targeted towards children between the ages of 8 and 13. Its purpose is to provide education and training to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities, and has impacted the lives of more than 1.3 million children and adults since it began operating in the USA in 1995. The program was expanded to Canada in 2002 in partnership with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association and is the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America.
Activities on Safety Day are selected based on the community’s local rural safety needs. Many of the volunteer safety instructors, who are play an integral role in the success of Safety Days, are from businesses operating locally, and as experts in their field they make great candidates to speak about the safety issues particular to their agricultural industries. Shoal Lake’s Safety Day consisted of kids in groups of 8 to 10 rotating among many different safety stations, covering topics such as grain safety, sun safety, fire arm safety, bicycle safety and basic first aid, among many others. By using interactive devices like Lego® toys or real-life ATVs in their demonstrations, the safety instructors were able to not only help kids learn the important safety lessons, but also make it a fun exercise for everyone involved!
We may never know the number of injuries that have been prevented thanks to the invaluable information provided at Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, but after one coordinator received feedback from a Shoal Lake child saying that he was going to go home and tell his dad to fix the brakes on the ATV – there’s no doubt that the program is having a positive effect!
Thank you to all the students, volunteers, parents, teachers, and industry professionals who attended Progressive Agriculture Safety Day 2015 in Shoal Lake, MB! Together we’re making our rural communities a better, safer place to live.
For more information on Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, please visit www.progressiveag.org.