CAMDEN, Del. — The Delaware Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee is excited to announce this year’s Ag Safety Conference scheduled for Wednesday, March 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Commodity Building at the Delaware Fairgrounds in Harrington — in person.
“The pandemic, for the past few years, has prevented the conference from meeting in person. Everyone is looking forward to ‘in person conversations’ with fellow farmers and neighbors,” Delaware Ag Safety Conference Chair June Unruh said
The conference, offered in partnership with Nationwide, the University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension and Delaware’s Department of Agriculture (DDA), will feature presentations on health and safety issues, a core credit, free coffee, donuts and lunch for participants, and door prizes.
Unruh said the event focuses on farmers and members of the agriculture community, but it is open to anyone with interest in the topics offered.
“This isn’t just for farmers – anybody can attend. In the past, we’ve always had people come that aren’t in the farming business, but they liked the topics,” she said.
She will have a chance to lead the conference by giving opening remarks, followed by DDA Secretary Michael Scuse.
Presentations during the event will include:
- Heat-related illnesses with Dan Wagner of Bayhealth Medical Center,
- Fall Protection with Matt Ludwig of Nationwide,
- Ladder Safety with Matheu Carter of the University of Delaware, and
- Worker Protection Standards in reference to Respirator Specific Training by Dr. Kerry Richards of the University of Delaware (one core credit included for participants).
Delaware Farm Bureau President Richard Wilkins will give closing remarks to round out the event.
Past conferences have focused heavily on grain bin safety among other topics, but Unruh explained that this year’s conference has a different spin.
“This year’s conference, I think, is focused on the farmer himself. We’ve always talked about machinery and safety, and this year it’s all about keeping himself safe. He’s got a job to do and he’s got to keep himself healthy and well. He’s out there feeding the whole world; he’s got to pay attention to his own safety, as well. And we feed them! They feed us, so this is our chance to feed them,” Unruh said. “Our farmers are stewards of the land and are feeding the world. It is crucial that they take their own personal health and personal safety seriously. Agriculture workers are exposed to a wide range of work related hazards and the Safety Conference addresses these types of issues every year.”
To agriculture professionals, she added, “We must never lose focus of safety issues on the farm. It is crucial for the well being of our farmers so they can perform their everyday jobs. Doesn’t matter if you are just starting in farming or have been farming for a lifetime — safety starts with you. Think safety everyday. The world is counting on you.”
Registration is free and includes the core credit and lunch for participants. For more information and to register, visit www.defb.org.
–Jennifer Antonik, Delaware Farm Bureau