The fourth annual Farm Safety Day returned to the Lacombe County office — bringing in 300 Grade 5 students from across the region.
“This year we are having our fourth annual Farm Safety Day, where we have 300 Grade 5 students come in to learn about multiple different topics on farm safety,” Jalene Makus, event coordinator, said. “This is for kids that live on the farm and for kids who live in the city, who may not know about farm life as much.”
The event has grown both in scope and numbers since it’s inception.
“It keeps growing and it seems like we invite more schools and more kids,” Makus said. “We started out with just 200 kids and after four years we are up to 300 kids. If we can find ways to keep it growing, that would be ideal but it is about manpower and making that happen.”
While the intent is serious — to keep kids safe on the farm — Lacombe County looks to make the day as fun and interactive as possible.
“Kids learn by having fun, so if we can make it interactive and fun — they can retain more for when they go home and they can share it with their families. That is what we hope for,” Makus said.
While it can be difficult to gauge the success of the program — Makus said a drop of farm accidents in the region may be an indicator.
This year, there are new additions to help continue to promote farm safety.
“We have quite a few returning stations: We have grain safety, post-pounder safety; fire safety; lawnmower safety and equipment blindspots. We get those stations every year,” Makus said. “We have two new stations with our wildlife safety, as well as Ag Safe has come with a multi safety station where they learn about electricity, chemical labelling and stuff like that.
“That will be a cool mix which is new and different.”
The feedback for Farm Safety Day has been uniformly positive.
“People think it is amazing and they get excited to come to learn about farm safety,” Makus said. “We get positive feedback and the kids look forward to it and now the kids in the younger grades know about our event, so they look forward to in.
“In Grade 5, they know it is coming.”