Farm safety a growing concern for all

Farm Safety was part of the message behind the Ag for Life safety presentations at PES recently.

Grade 6 student Parker Rice attempts to pull out an object from a bucket filled with grain while Ken Scott

Grade 6 student Parker Rice attempts to pull out an object from a bucket filled with grain while Ken Scott

Farmer safety can be adapted for everyone.

That was part of the message behind the Ag for Life safety presentations at Ponoka Elementary School for all of the students on Thursday, April 14.

Eight different stations were set up throughout the school focusing on various aspects of agricultural life, identifying what hazards are and how to avoid getting caught up in them. Community volunteers along with company representatives spoke to students on hearing, chemical, electrical, all-terrain vehicle, farm equipment and natural gas safety among other topics.

Sarah Linde, program coordinator with Ag for Life, explained the day-long presentation is tailored for students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 to bring more awareness on safety at home and especially on the farm.

“With a large rural population, the thing is about focusing on getting the kids to think about safety when they are playing and working,” she said.

Ag for Life began five years ago after it was noticed there was a gap in providing and getting the information on safety to children.

“There wasn’t a lot out there for kids on farm safety and since that time, the demand for our program keeps going up,” Linde added.

“Especially in the last year, more serious incidents have occurred making people more aware through the media coverage those have gotten and that has people more concerned about how to keep kids safe.”

That increased concern is likely what prompted the school to approach Ag for Life to bring their presentation to Ponoka, she explained, as it’s fairly unusual for a school to come to them.

However, Linde stated, the presentations are doing their job since she has already seen some kids starting to remember and retain the information and witness the presentations as they grow older.

“There were several that retained the facts and said they knew all about what the presenter was going to say next,” Linde said, but the best thing was a little girl saying now that she knows all about grain safety, she couldn’t wait to get home and tell her dad.”