New England hosts annual Farm Safety Day at Memorial Hall

New England hosted the annual Farm Safety Day at the Memorial Hall on Tuesday, May 10. Fifth and sixth grade students from New England and Mott-Regent gathered for the day-long event put on by the NDSU Hettinger County Extension in Mott.

Farm Safety Day 1 (RGB)
Rick Schmidt (L) speaks to the crowd of students and teachers about ATV safety. Schmidt was one of four speakers to give the kids a lesson in safety. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)

By COLE BENZ
Herald Editor

New England hosted the annual Farm Safety Day at the Memorial Hall on Tuesday, May 10. Fifth and sixth grade students from New England and Mott-Regent gathered for the day-long event put on by the NDSU Hettinger County Extension in Mott.

So why is this event so important?

“Just look at the number of accidents that have happened,” Hettinger County Extension Agent Duaine Marxen said. “It’s been tremendous.”

Food Safety (RGB)Several counties in North Dakota host similar Farm Safety Days, with each one modified for their area.

The program opened with the entire group getting an hour-long lesson on ATV safety. Rick Schmidt, NDSU Extension Agent with Oliver County, led the presentation. Schmidt covered a wide range of topics regarding ATVs, including weight limits, passenger limits, age limits and speed limits.

He also touched on proper turning techniques and instructed the students on how to use hand signals when the vehicle is not equipped with light signals.

Following Schmidt’s lesson, the group broke for lunch. Each student was given a sandwich, chips and a treat to fill them up before breaking into three smaller groups.

The smaller lessons covered food safety, bicycle safety and safe lifting techniques.

Marxen said these topics were chosen because it covers such a wide variety of students’ experience, because not every single one of the fifth and sixth graders come from a farm environment.

“I tailor the program to fit a cross section,” Marxen said. “In the fact that we’re not only an agriculture [county], but there are many kids in town that really do not have any scope whatsoever with dealing with agriculture.”

The three subjects covered were not strictly agricultural issues.

The lessons were very hands-on. During the food safety portion, three tables of food were lined up in the basement of the Memorial Hall. With worksheets and clipboards, the kids had to go from item to item and determine if the food was safe, outdated, or damaged in some way.

During the safe lifting technique lesson, given by the New England Ambulance, students were given the chance to learn the right way to lift a backboard with a patient on it.

The bicycle safety portion the kids were given the rules of the road when it comes to their two-wheeled vehicle. They were also shown some of the proper safety equipment.

The speakers included Schimdt (ATV Safety), Owen Blickensderfer (Bicycle Safety), Teresa Nielsen (Safe Lifting Techniques), and Marxen with LaWanna Wilhelm (Food Safety).

Sponsors of the event included Brad Greff of Farmers Union Insurance, Commercial Bank Of Mott, Wilbur Ellis (Mott), Farm Service Agency (Mott), NDSU Extension Service (Hettinger County), Farm Credit Service (Mott), and Slope Electric Cooperative (New England).

“I just really appreciate the sponsors coming through, to go ahead and help out,” Marxen said. “I just appreciate the presenters that come in, they’re all volunteers.”

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