(5/29/14) According to Steve Okonek over 200 people from Buffalo and Trempealeau Counties participated in the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day on May 3, 2014.
The Buffalo/Trempealeau Counties Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, held at Pietrek Park drew 105 children along with 96 volunteers and parents from throughout the counties for a safety day on how to take responsibility for their own safety, respect parents' safety rules and share safety tips with their family and friends, said Steve Okonek of UW-Extension, coordinator of the event.
New this year was a special presentation on ATV and UTV safety by Bob Jumbeck, Game Warden with Wisconsin DNR. Bob did an excellent job of explaining basic ATV/UTV safety to all of the children and adults in attendance. Questions from the audience displayed a sincere interest in the topic.
In the past seventeen years, the event has reached 2256 children and another 1296 adult volunteers. Additionally, over 40 local sponsors help make the event a success. This year each participant received a t-shirt, a goodie bag filled with donated safety type items, including a gun lock from Operation Child Safe, snacks and lunch. Each child assembled their own first aid kit at the first aid session. The first aid bag has been donated this year by GEA Farm Technologies, of Galesville.
Hands-on experiences led by local community members taught participants lifetime safety lessons. Over time, Okonek said he hopes that by sharing and applying the lessons learned at the safety day, participants will help to reduce the number of rural children who die or are injured in farm accidents. The Progressive Agriculture Safety Day was sponsored nationally by Bunge North America, Agrium, Inc., Toyota, The Farm Credit System Foundation, Inc, John Deere, Monsanto Company, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., and Kubota Tractor Corporation
Steve Okonek said the safety day's success is due in large part to the generous support of many local volunteers. The following individuals assisted at the safety day in presenting safety training: Heather Busse, with Pet Safety, Carl Duley, Buffalo County Extension Educator with poisonous plant and insects, Barb Barczak, Trempealeau County Health covered hand washing and sun safety, Arcadia Ambulance Service, and C-FC FFA students from Western Wisconsin Ambulance with First Aid, Jon Zander spoke about tractor and equipment safety, Independence FFA with shop and tool safety, and Stephen Schiffli with chemical safety. The Coast Guard Auxiliary presented on water safety.
Over 40 area businesses donate both money and materials to make this whole event happen. Watch for our thank you advertisement in the paper and look for laminated photos in business places of Safety Day.