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Safety First  Llano County hosts 5th Annual Farm Safety Day for Eleme

Safety First: Llano County hosts 5th Annual Farm Safety Day for Elementary Students.

Story by Jaime Tankersley

Everyone in agriculture knows someone whose life has been affected by a farm-related injury or death. Even more tragic is that most of these accidents could have been prevented if simple safety precautions had been followed. Progressive Farmer, one of America's most top farm publications, has begun a national crusade for farm safety.

At the heart of this effort is the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day� program, a one-day hands-on workshop that teaches school-aged children and their parent�s safe practices to be utilized in the agriculture sector. Each year, Progressive Agriculture Safety Days reach more than 60,000 participants from across the country.

For the past five years Llano County has been active in this educational project. This year, over 100 fifth-grade students from both Llano and Kingsland gathered at the Llano County Community Center to partake in 11 safety sessions.

At a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day participants are divided into small groups of 10 to 15. These groups were led by local volunteers, parents and agency officials. They rotate between stations where specific topics are taught. Topics for this year�s safety day included: fire, electrical, water, reptile, hunting, internet, vehicle, first aid and tractor/mower safety.

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) had the opportunity to teach two sessions during this event; All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) safety and reptile handling and safety.

Fred Reyna, NRCS district conservationist, held the attention of the 100+ fifth grade students with a live snake.

�Just because you do not live on a farm does not mean you can do without safety,� Reyna said. �Everything learned from today�s event can be taken with you for everyday use.�

Individuals and organizations interested in conducting a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day for their community must complete an application each year that they participate in the program. Applications are due each July 15 for Safety Days that will be conducted the following calendar year. Progressive Agriculture Foundation staff members evaluate the applications and select the sites for the following year, based on funding available, community support, enthusiasm, experience and cost effectiveness for the number of participants. Returning communities are also evaluated on coordinator follow-through, quality of past Safety Day(s) and length of time with the program. Those interested in hosting a program can obtain an application at www.progressiveag.org.

NRCS district conservationist, Fred Reyna, explains safety precautions to use around snakes and other reptiles during the 2010 Llano County Farm Safety Day.

Students from Llano and Kingsland ISD listened and learned about safety practices that can be utilized in everyday life during the 5th Annual Farm Safety Day.

NRCS district conservationist, Fred Reyna, explains safety precautions to use around snakes and other reptiles during the 2010 Llano County Farm Safety Day.

Students from Llano and Kingsland ISD listened and learned about safety practices that can be utilized in everyday life during the 5th Annual Farm Safety Day.

Water safety was just one of the educational stations made available at this year�s Farm Safety Day held in Llano, Texas.  

Water safety was just one of the educational stations made available at this year�s Farm Safety Day held in Llano, Texas.