Lessons learned at Farm Safety Day


By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

Agriculture is one of the most dangerous professions in the world. The most recent federal report indicates that there are 85 fatalities, on average on Canadian farms every year. While that number is a grim reality for the industry, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), along with support from the Neepawa UCT and the Beautiful Plains Ag Society, are doing everything they can to ensure that our area’s youth understand the danger and avoid the risk.

On Thursday, June 7, just over 300 people, including 265 grade five and six students from Neepawa and Carberry participated in the biennial Progressive Agriculture Safety Day. This educational event, which was held at the Beautiful Plains Agricultural Fairgrounds, aimed to inform children about all the potential dangers that can pop up on the farm. In total, 16 safety stations were set up examining topics ranging from care around machinery to fire and water safety and much more. 

EMS immediate care paramedic and event co-coordinator Theshia Hobson said that at the end of the day, they hope the youngsters are mindful of the variety of dangers that exist.

“We were pleased with the response from the kids. They were very receptive to all of the sessions and I think part of the reason for that was that the presentations were very interactive,” stated Hobson. “This [information]  is something they can take with them and use not only in an agricultural setting but in every aspect of their lives.”

A variety of businesses and organizations took the time to send representatives, including the Neepawa UCT, who had 15 members who volunteered as part of the day. UCT member Darlene Gillies of the organization is proud to be an ongoing part of this valuable day, noting that the interactive components at each station are what ensures the children are engaged.

Gillies also extended thanks to all presenters, chaperones, teachers, bus drivers, EMS instructors and all the 15 UCT members who prepared the food and represents from the Neepawa Natives hockey club, who helped with the barbecue.

Progressive Agriculture Safety Days is a national effort, looking to provide education, training and resources to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. For Neepawa and area, this event has been going on for nearly 20 years.