Wayne County’s Conservation District went all out to teach sixth graders safety tips during the 13th Annual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day. In fact, there were over 50 volunteers anxious to share information with students at the ten outdoor stations.
“It was amazing to see so many community partners and relationships develop for a common cause and passion of farm safety,” said Safety Day Lead Coordinator Autumn Jones. “We live in a rural community and Agriculture Farm Safety Days are vital to our communities. I continue to receive support from new businesses and volunteers. We include our FFA students, which provides them with valuable experience and a chance to be positive role models for our youth.”
She added, “The mission of the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day is simple – to provide education, training and resources to make farm life safer and healthier for children and their communities.”
One of the highlights of the day is when the entire body of students saw a live line demonstration through SKRECC. Presenters Jack Willis and Tracy Hopper captivated the students’ attention. “Our students learned how dangerous power lines can be. They showed what happens to a transformer if a bird or animal gets around the equipment. They also showed what could happen to human flesh (using a hotdog as an example) if you were to fly a kite into a line. Another scenario showed what happens when a ladder touches a power line. The dramatic demonstration really nailed the electric prevention lesson,” said Wayne County Middle School Counselor Lori Anderson.
Students rotated from station to station with many wearing their new farm safety t-shirts they received in goodie bags. The animal safety booth courtesy of the Pulaski Humane Society attracts a lot of student interest with presenters educating them on proper care of their dogs and how to be a responsible pet care owner.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided valuable water safety information, which was extremely applicable for Monticello residents bordering Lake Cumberland. Ranger Cody Pyles demonstrated how to properly fit a life jacket on student volunteers. He said there have been over 330 drownings reported during the man-made lake’s history with only one incident where the individual was wearing a life jacket. He also discouraged drinking on the lake and let students run relays wearing goggles simulating the motion on a boat.
The lawn mower safety booth is also informative to sixth graders who may be starting to use mowing equipment. Presenters Larry Lewis, Danny Hughes, and Dakota Boils not only explained how to operate different types of mowing equipment, but even shared the history of mowing machinery. Tractor safety and ATV safety were equally interesting.
There were two new stations featured this year – wildlife safety and grain bin safety. With the emerging bear population, Private Land Wildlife Biologist Matt Catron had interesting visuals about bears, snakes and coyotes – just to name a few. Students got to pat a stuffed black bear head and see the pads from their feet. They learned that as their population expands into Wayne County, residents will see more of them and learn to take preventative action from attracting them by leaving pet food or open trash bins accessible. He explained that bear proof trashcans are on the market, or it is best to keep trash indoors. He said the bears have a great sense of smell, but very poor eyesight. He said the male population are active all year long because the local winter temperatures are not low enough for them to go into hibernation. He said if you spot a bear and it stands up on two legs, that is not a sign of aggression, but they are just trying to get a better look at what is in their path. He said it is not unusual for them to be hit by trains because of their poor eyesight.
Other stations that were also appreciated included: fire safety, firearm safety, and first aid. “Even though it was cool outside, the volunteers provided really helpful information to our students and we appreciated it. It is always an exciting day for our sixth graders” said Counselor Anderson. .
“Our community is starting to really wrap their arms around our Safety Day,” noted Coordinator Jones. “We had several local businesses and agencies donate their time, money and promotional items which is amazing. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to change children’s lives for the better.”
Army Corps of Engineers provided important tips on water safety
Jayden Young with Ranger Cody Pyles
Marshal Stephens and Jackson Emmerson working with one of the water safety rangers
The EMT Emergency Medicine station showing practices
Director of Business Services and Industry Relations-AgSafe Natalie Denney Gupton talking about ATV safety
Extension Office Agriculture Specialist Terry Bertram talking to the students about grain bin safety
Private Wildlife Biologist Matt Catron showing students on a map where the black bear population in Kentucky resides
Lucas Daniels enjoyed Matt Catron's demonstration and props
FFA Alumni Larry Lewis talking to the students about lawn mower safety
FFA volunteers and FFA Alumni Danny Hughes talking about riding lawn mower safety
Substitute teacher Stacey Barrier puts out a fire
Firefighter Gordon Stephens with student Aaron Abner
WCHS Agriculture student Andrew Frogge talking about firearm safety