Farm Credit Hosts Ag Safety Experts As Farm Safety Week Preview

(L to R) Alyssa Garner, Cole Fredrickson, John Lee, Dr. Chip Petrea, Amy Rademaker, Andrew Blair, and Nate Marz

Farm Credit Illinois hosted four ag safety specialists on Friday, Sept. 18 at Parkland College to preview National Farm Safety & Health Week and remember, as this year’s theme states, “Ag safety is not just a slogan; it’s a lifestyle.”

The presenters included: Amy Rademaker, Carle Rural Health and Farm Safety; Dr. Chip Petrea, Illinois AgrAbility Unlimited; John Lee, Grain & Feed Association of Illinois; and four members of Maroa-Forsyth FFA.

Agriculture remains one of the most dangerous occupations, but most injuries and fatalities can be prevented through education and care. More than one-third of farm-related deaths in Illinois resulted from tractor rollovers from 2005 to 2015, according to a study released Wednesday by COUNTRY Financial in Bloomington. Seven rollover deaths occurred in the past year. Rollovers caused 91 of 254 deaths from 2005-2015, roadway collisions resulted in 53, and grain-bin accidents resulted in 28.

In conjunction with National Farm Safety & Health Week, FCI will provide meals to farm families during the annual Meals in the Field program. FCI staff will deliver meals to 75 farm locations during the weeks of Sept. 21-25 and Sept. 28-Oct. 2 and provide each host family with two farm first aid kits. The durable and weather-resistant kit is specifically designed for farm injuries and is equipped with items such as an isothermal blanket, ice packs, a finger splint, and eye wash containers.

This year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week marks the nineteenth consecutive signing of a farm safety proclamation by a U.S. President. The first was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944.

FCI established the “Meals in the Field” program in 2000 to promote farm safety during the harvest season. Each regional office selects five to 10 farm families to receive lunch during the week of and the week following National Farm Safety & Health Week. The FCI staff serves the food wherever the farmers are working.

“For the past century, Farm Credit has been lending support to generations of farm families, and we will continue to do so for years to come,” says Tom Tracy, CEO and President of Farm Credit Illinois. “The Meals in the Field program allows us to remind our farm families – and often their neighbors – of the importance of slowing down and making health and safety a priority. It pays to take a break from the long hours associated with harvest to drink plenty of water and eat a good meal to stay alert while operating farm machinery.”