Monday, March 11, 2013

Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®: Keeping Children Safe Through Hands-On Learning

Submitted by Susan Reynolds Porter, Progressive Agriculture Foundation

Ag Day wouldn’t be complete without recognizing the next generation and the important role young people play in the landscape of agriculture today and in the future. And keeping young people safe is what the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program is all about. 

“At the heart of the Safety Day program is training and providing resources so local communities can conduct one-day, age-appropriate, hands-on, fun and safe learning programs,” said Susan Reynolds Porter, Executive Director – Programs. “Since 1995, nearly 5,000 Progressive Agriculture Safety Days have reached more than 1.1 million children and adults.”

Reynolds explained that the Progressive Agriculture Foundation (PAF) offers training modules for more than 28 safety and health related topics, but the most popular covered at a Safety Day have been ATV, fire, first aid, electricity, farm equipment, tractor and chemical.

“We’re constantly expanding our curriculum to provide relevant training for children in rural communities. Thanks to our generous sponsors, we are able to grow this effort as new topics surface,” said Reynolds.

Most rewarding are the comments from participants and their parents:

“One of my favorite classes was the farm equipment station. I learned that if you wear "baggy" clothes, you can get caught in equipment and it can pull you in and kill you. I look forward to Safety Day every year. “ – NC participant

“My husband farms, and for his birthday our children gave him goggles, dust masks and chemical-resistant gloves. [These were] all the things they learned about at the Safety Day, and they also explained to him why he needed to use them.” – Texas parent

“A 15-year-old credits what he learned at a Safety Day with saving his life. He was operating a tractor with a four-row ridger in a cornfield near his home when the ridger struck a power pole, causing power lines to fall on the tractor. This young man did what he learned at Safety Day – he called for help on his cell phone and stayed inside the tractor cab until the power company arrived and turned off the power to the lines.” – Nebraska volunteer

To find a Safety Day in your area or to get involved as a volunteer, go to