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Published September 08, 2010, 05:13 PM

Adrian students learn to be safe on farm, in home

ADRIAN — For the past 15 years, Nobles County Farm Bureau leaders have been visiting classrooms and teaching students the importance of being safe — whether it’s on the farm or in the home.

By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe

ADRIAN — For the past 15 years, Nobles County Farm Bureau leaders have been visiting classrooms and teaching students the importance of being safe — whether it’s on the farm or in the home.

On Wednesday morning, Farm Bureau members and guest speakers took their message to students at Adrian Elementary School. Subjects covered during the three-hour program included tractor and ATV safety, livestock and pet dangers, gun safety, hand washing and bicycle safety.

The messages are important enough to deliver each year, according to Carol Christopherson, wife of Nobles County Farm Bureau president Dean Christopherson and Farm Safety Day instructor since 1995.

“I don’t think you could ever talk safety enough,” said Carol Christopherson. “We just hope that if we can save one child’s life, it’s worth the time.”

“Farm or not on the farm, we all have to practice safety,” said Dean Christopherson.

Students walked away from the half-hour sessions with a new respect for the dangers that can occur with farm implements, ATVs and even their own bicycles and skateboards.

“I learned that I should wear my helmet for skateboarding and for my bike … so you don’t get head injuries,” said fourth-grader Braxton Vorthems of Adrian.

While the ATV program was a favorite of Kaitlyn Christians, a fifth-grader from Adrian, she said the most important thing she learned was that if her pets are playing, she should leave them alone so she doesn’t get scratched or bitten.

Farm Safety Day is about a lot more than just being safe on the farm.

Nobles-Rock Community Health Sanitarian Jason Kloss talked to students about the importance of hand washing.

“There’s one thing we can do to prevent being ill,” he told the students. “If you do this one thing often enough, we won’t get sick.”

Using a powder to represent “fake germs,” he had students reach into a basket filled with candy bars, and then went around the room with a black light to show how the germs spread from the basket to their hands. He also used a “fake germ” liquid to test on a few willing volunteers, and then had one wash her hands in cold water; a second wash his hands in warm water with soap; and a third volunteer wash her hands in warm water with soap and a fingernail brush. The best practice to rid the germs was the combination of the warm water, soap and fingernail brush.

Kloss suggested the students slowly count to 20, sing the ABCs or sing Happy Birthday while washing their hands — that is an appropriate amount of time for a person to get their hands clean, he said.

“The more friction you can create, the more you loosen dirt and oil from the skin,” he added.

As Kloss talked about the importance of hand washing, Dean Christopherson and Bob Dieter spoke to students in the parking lot about being safe around tractors and farm implements. Both shared stories of either their own encounters with farm accidents or those involving people they know.

Dieter, who farms near Brewster, said he once was working on a blower hooked up to his tractor when the Power Take-Off (PTO) shaft broke and hit him in the back.

“It ripped half my clothes to pieces and knocked the wind out of me,” he said. “I didn’t get hurt. I didn’t have any broken bones. Talk about being lucky.”

The farm safety presentation included a demonstration of how quickly a piece of clothing can get caught in a PTO.

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