Safety can easily be overlooked during harvest season when farmers work long hours, often in less-than-ideal weather conditions and use large machines to harvest crops.
The Alabama Farmers Federation is working to reduce on-farm accidents and continue its mission of serving farmers by implementing a Farm Safety Program available to all county Federations.
Brad Cox of the Federation recently took the new safety program to Crenshaw County, where 220 sixth-graders attended an event sponsored by the county’s Young Farmers committee.
Stations around the Tom Harbin Ag Center near Luverne included safety topics from livestock handling to controlled burning.
Crenshaw County Young Farmers Chairman Jessica Jones said the program was a hit with students and teachers alike.
“The students really paid attention during the safety camp, especially to Brad because his demonstrations with the animals included hands-on lessons,” Jones said. “But we also had a (emergency medical service) helicopter that was fascinating to them. It was our first program like this, but it was a success.”
While the Crenshaw County program was aimed at a young audience, Cox said the new safety program includes material to help farmers and loggers, too.
“Having grown up in agriculture, I realize it’s easy to lose sight of how dangerous working on a farm can be,” said Cox, who is the Federation’s Area 2 organization director. “Whether it’s feeding cows, driving a tractor or simply being out in the sun, we want farmers and farm kids to exercise caution.”
Cox, who is directing the Farm Safety Program for interested county Federations, said skin cancer prevention, distracted driving and tractor safety demonstrations are primary pillars of the program. Future demonstrations could include chain saw, first-aid, pesticide and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety.
“County Federations, especially Young Farmers, can use this as a resource to help educate farmers and increase their profit margins by decreasing farm accidents,” Cox said.
Counties interested in hosting a Farm Safety program can contact Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org.