High school students learn farm safety at event in Springfield

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 1:31 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2021 at 4:23 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Some Future Farmers of America learned important lessons about safety on the farm Friday. Nearly 150 students from five schools attended the event at MSU’s Pinegar Arena.

FFA students from the Ozarks learned about a variety of safety topics. They visited eight different stations featuring topics like tractor safety, working with cattle on foot, and the danger of getting trapped and buried in a grain bin. They also learned about using pesticides and herbicides with caution, safety around electrical lines with farm implements, and how to safely administer shots to livestock.

Besides learning accident prevention, students also talked about mental health. Research shows the rate of suicide among farmers is even higher than that of veterans. Those holding the event want to ensure FFA students learn that there are resources available, and help them learn to recognize the signs of a mental health crisis in someone else.

“You know, they’re too tough to go to the doctor for that kind of stuff,” says Dr. Beth Walker of MSU College of Agriculture. “And suicide among farmers and veterinarians is very high in this country. So maybe if we just bring it to light, take that stigma away, people will be more willing to get help that they need, or be able to recognize somebody who needs help.”

They’re glad to be sharing some valuable lessons to help folks be safer on the farm.

“I think it’s super important, especially at this stage,” says Kendra Betz, MSU Collegiate Cattleman’s Association President. “They’re more open to learning new things, and how we do things changes with time. So they can also go back home and be like, Dad, this is this new idea that I really think that we should try to implement.”

Missouri State University agriculture students, who are members of the MSU Collegiate Cattlemen’s Association, organized the event.

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