Area students get farm safety education

It’s that time of year again. The snow melts, the grass gets greener and farmers get out to the fields. It’s also that time of year when kids from Mott/Regent and New England congregate to learn about safety in the field.

Stetson Urlacher examines a fire truck located at the New England Emergency Services Center. Farm Safety Day was held in New England on May 7 and the event started at the newly built services center, then moved to the Memorial Hall. [PHOTO BY COLE BENZ | The Herald]
Stetson Urlacher examines a fire truck located at the New England Emergency Services Center. Farm Safety Day was held in New England on May 7 and the event started at the newly built services center, then moved to the Memorial Hall.
[PHOTO BY COLE BENZ | The Herald]
By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

It’s that time of year again. The snow melts, the grass gets greener and farmers get out to the fields. It’s also that time of year when kids from Mott/Regent and New England congregate to learn about safety in the field.

Hosted by the Hettinger County Extension in Mott, Farm Safety Day was held in New England on Friday, May 8, and students in grades fifth and sixth from both Mott/Regent and New England gathered to learn about different aspects of safety while working outside.

The event started at the new emergency services center on the north side of New England.

Three different speakers talked about aspects of working around farm machinery. The presenters discussed the proper clothing attire for working around heavy equipment. One point they made sure to emphasize was that clothing should fit right up against your body, so that you can avoid getting it caught in a piece of machinery. They took a towel and held it near an auger so they could demonstrate what happens when an article of clothing gets caught in working equipment.

Another point they made was to avoid playing on or around the bucket of a tractor. The speaker even showed that you can engage the bucket, even when the tractor is turned off.

The fire chief Joe Kathrein was on hand to show the kids the different types of rescue equipment used by the fire department. The kids were shown around a fire truck and different tools were mentioned. But the two biggest and toughest performing tools were the Jaws of Life, and an airbag apparatus used for lifting large amounts of weight. To show the power of each device, a piece of steel was cut in two by the Jaws of Life, and a towel was purposely held out for the machine to grab.

Kathrein then took the kids around the fire hall, showing them each of the trucks in the fleet and talking about what each vehicle’s purpose is.

The students were then lead to the Memorial Hall on Main Street where they were broken up into smaller learning sessions.

There were three separate groups, and the students were able to hear about some other outdoor safety topics, not just heavy machinery.

One of the topics was “Livestock Safety,” which was lead by Hettinger County Extension Agent Duaine Marxin. During his presentation, he covered different safety measures when it comes to taking care of and being around livestock.

The students were also educated on poisons during the “Poison Awareness” session taught by Keith Hughes. This topic can help educate young children of farmers, especially when using chemicals through farming procedures. But the students didn’t learn just about chemicals on a farm. They were also taught about different harmful substances that can be found in a house.

The third and final session was something that can benefit every young person, not just those that live on farms.

What’s an activity that most all property owners must do to keep their property looking nice?

Mow the lawn.

Though not every student in attendance lives on a farm, they all needed to know the safety of mowing lawns. During the presentation the students were taught the proper clothing to wear, the proper mowing procedures. What can be touched on the mower and what needs to wait until the mower is off or when the engine temperature has cooled.

Ben Auch was the presenter of “Lawn Mower Safety.”

The topics are rotated each year, and roughly every three years the topics start over again.

“It definitely brings awareness to the students,” Charlotte Meier said. Meier is the Administrative Assistant with the Hettinger County Extension office in Mott.

“There are things that a person should be aware of when they’re either visiting a farm, or working on a farm, or kids are invited to a farm,” Meier said. “There are things to look for or be aware of when they are playing.”

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