The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) selected the Blount County Young Farmers’ “Farm Safety Day and Row Crop Tour” event as a County Activity of Excellence (CAE) for 2014. This prestigious, national recognition is given to only 24 of the top county Farm Bureau programs.
“It’s an honor to represent our county and our state by receiving the CAE award,” Blount County Young Farmers Chairman Chris Holaway said. “It shows all the hard work and effort that went into this event, especially the work behind the scenes that people may not know about. Our Farm Safety Event is so important, and anything we can do to promote safety on the farm is worth doing.”
Nearly 200 first responders from five counties attended the training, which educated emergency personnel on farm equipment and extrication methods. The event is held every two years in the county, and attendees receive continuing education credit.
Committee members worked with area farmers, other county Federation committees, Extension agents, and seed and chemical company representatives to offer a wide variety of information at the event. Through sponsorships, the program was free to attend.
Blount County Young Farmers Committee member Stephanie Miller helped host the event. She said she considers it a farmer’s duty to help train volunteer emergency personnel on responding to farm accidents, and she understands the importance of the training from personal experience.
“During harvest this year, one of our cotton pickers caught fire and burned to the ground,” Miller said. “My husband, Lance, barely made it out. I shudder to think what could have happened, but I hope the training we give at the Farm Safety Day would have provided the firefighters with the knowledge of how to rescue him, had that been necessary.”
Members of the Blount County Young Farmers will display the winning activity at the AFBF Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show Jan. 9-11 in San Diego, California.