Progressive Agriculture Safety Day teaches children about multiple areas of safety
Published 10:24 am Thursday, June 11, 2015
Nice weather and excited participants bolstered the first Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in Albert Lea.
The Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, which was Wednesday at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds, was organized by Katie Pestorious. Around 60 kindergarten- through third-grade-aged children attended the event.
While it was a bit breezy, Pestorious said she was glad the weather cooperated and the event went well.
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“We could not have asked for a better day,” she said.
There were numerous volunteers and instructors involved with the event, which focused on teaching the children about different areas of safety. While it was the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, only a few of the safety areas specifically related to agriculture. Pestorious said this event was good for children from both the city and the country.
Each instructor could make their own plan, Pestorious said. Some of the instructors she approached to ask to participate, while others approached her. There were also 25 local sponsors of the event, including AgStar, Kibble Equipment, Cargill and Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services.
The eight safety areas were germ safety, power take-off safety, grain safety, first aid, chemical safety, electrical safety, sun safety and disability awareness. Only grain safety and power take-off safety were specifically related to agriculture.
The children learned something different at each area. In both the grain safety and power take-off demonstrations, the instructors used models to show the children what can happen if someone gets stuck in a grain bin or a power take-off. In the sun safety area, children made bracelets with beads that changed color in UV light.
Pestorious estimates it’s been about 20 to 25 years since there has been a farm safety day in Albert Lea, she said.
That was one of the reasons she wanted to bring a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day to town.
Progressive Agriculture Safety Day is a nationwide organization, Pestorious said, and national sponsors helped supply T-shirts for all volunteers and children, a take-home bag and liability insurance for the day.
“Without them, this wouldn’t be possible,” Pestorious said.
Pestorious is on the FFA alumni board, and the board had wanted to do an agriculture safety day but wasn’t sure how to get started. She learned of Progressive Agriculture Safety Day through her husband and they applied to host one of the events last summer.
Pestorious said the day is good for children as it can help save lives. She said it is good for children to understand safety and to be proactive.
“It’s always nice having activities for kids to do in the summer to be safer if left home alone,” Pestorious said.
She said she plans on making Progressive Agriculture Safety Day an annual event. While this event had all the children in one group, she hopes to add grade levels in the future. Pestorious noted that registration will be limited for future Progressive Agriculture Safety Days.