HURON, S.D. – During the State FFA Convention held in Brookings, FFA Chapters from Canton, Gettysburg, Kimball and Lennox qualified for the South Dakota Farmers Union Farm Safety Quiz Bowl Championships held during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair, September 3.
“Farming is among the most dangerous careers on the planet, so it is important that youth understand how to be safe on the farm or ranch,” explained Brady Duxbury, FFA Advisor for the Lennox Sundstrom FFA Chapter. “Honestly, in rural South Dakota we all know someone who has been hurt on a farm or ranch.”
Myra Whitehead agrees. A senior at Lennox High School, she says a neighbor was temporarily paralyzed and has been left with life-long challenges as a result of a four-wheeler accident.
“Farm safety is crucially important because we live in South Dakota where there is so much farming and ranching and there’s always farm-related accidents,” Whitehead said. “So, it is important to understand how to be safe – be aware of your surroundings, especially if there are animals around.”
Whitehead was a member of the Lennox Sundstrom FFA Chapter team that placed during State FFA Convention. Other team members from her FFA Chapter include Autum Wittstruck, Nate Collette and Maya Forse. Other Chapters and team members to qualify include Kimball FFA Chapter: Jayden Kolt, Gavin Walsh, Colton Michalek, Luke Leheska and FFA Advisor, Tracey Welsh; Canton FFA Chapter: Jackie Kreber, Jardan VanDeStreet, John Halverson, Kaeden Bitterman and FFA Advisor, Jennifer Cleveland; Gettysburg FFA Chapter: Alex Tanner, Owen Raush, Garrett Zeigler, Tanner Eide and FFA Advisor Mercedes Lemke.
Whitehead said she appreciated the competitive nature of the Quiz Bowl. “It was a fun experience and a good opportunity to learn more about farm safety and test my knowledge.”
Encouraging youth to think about farm safety is the reason behind South Dakota Farmers Union hosting this Farm Safety Quiz Bowl each year during the State FFA Convention and during the South Dakota State Fair said SDFU President, Doug Sombke.
“If you make it fun and competitive, hopefully kids will take the time to engage with farm safety. Too many of us know friends or family members who have been injured on the farm or ranch,” Sombke said. “Farm Safety education is one way Farmers Union can support our farm and ranch families and hopefully keep them safe.”
Whitehead said she enjoyed the competition and was able to help her teammates qualify because she learned a lot about Farm Safety from her dad, grandpa and Duxbury. This is good news to the FFA Advisor/Agriculture Education instructor.
“I require all students become OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) certified because the reality is, whether we live on a farm or have friends who do, everyone in a rural state like ours should understand how to keep themselves and others safe on the farm or ranch,” Duxbury said. “I appreciate Farmers Union for supporting the effort to teach our youth about farm safety.”
To learn more about SDFU youth educational programming and how the grassroots organization supports farm and ranch families, visit www.sdfu.org.