South Prairie FFA provides safety lessons

The National Association of Agricultural Education (NAAE) National #TeachAg Day was celebrated on Sept. 21. This day is designed to encourage others to teach school-based agriculture and recognize the important role of agriculture teachers within schools and communities.

To recognize this day, South Prairie FFA members held a Home and Farm Safety Day for the fifth-grade classes at South Prairie. Ten FFA members developed and presented five learning stations, consisting of Fire Safety, ATV and UTV Safety, Food Safety, Chemical Safety and Livestock Safety.

No one expects or plans for a fire at home or school. Connor Johnson and Riley Johnson presented on how to prevent home fires, what to do if a fire starts and how to use a fire extinguisher.

Once a fire starts, one has seconds to make important decisions about putting the fire out, escaping and calling 911. The stop, drop, and roll method was demonstrated as a response if one was on fire, as well as escaping by crawling low to the floor. A fire extinguisher was used to put out a small fire, using the P.A.S.S. method. The fifth graders were surprised by the powder from the fire extinguisher.

The increased use of ATV and UTV vehicles on the farm and for recreation has led to more injuries and deaths. Brylee Beeter and Joshua Lindbo discussed the basic safety measures for driving and riding these vehicles by going over the basic parts of a four-wheeler, proper safety attire to wear when riding and easy to remember acronyms to ensure safety. They reinforced the content by playing a safe/unsafe game, to assess what students learned during the station.

The Food Safety station gave pointers on how children can be safe in the kitchen. The pointers reviewed by Natalee Becker and Gracie Rauschenberger included why bacteria are bad and how to prevent them, personal sanitation and how to cut foods properly with a knife.

The Chemical Safety station was run by Maddie Hogue and Miranda Novodvorsky. They discussed what a chemical is. For example, water, gold and air are all chemicals, not just your basic Windex or bleach. They also discussed what certain household chemicals do and reviewed the four types of warning labels on chemical products – caution, warning, danger and danger POISON. Students practiced identifying warning labels and discussed the use and storage of chemicals.

The session ended with a demonstration of the mixing of chemicals, resulting in a foam called Elephant Toothpaste.

Livestock Safety was presented by Amber Braasch and Adam Newman. They stressed that whether it’s buffalo, a horse, moose or a cow, people need to respect their territory and the animal and its size for who they are. Animals are very alert to their surroundings, so movement, voices and noises can startle them, leading to aggression.

The presenters reviewed how to move, talk and touch tame animals. Most importantly, they discussed the importance of being aware of your surroundings and having an escape route. The fifth graders were able to take these learned skills and pet a calf, which was being raised by a member who received an FFA grant.

Scotti Gunville, one of the fifth-grade instructors, commented on the event: “The Ag Safety Day was a great experience for the fifth-grade students. It was the perfect mix of education and fun. The agriculture students did a fantastic job of being engaging and entertaining while focusing on teaching important life skills. The impact of this day will last a long time for these kids. My fifth graders have been talking all week about Stop, Drop, and Roll, the P.A.S.S. method with a fire extinguisher and the important lessons of animal safety. Overall, I’m very impressed with our high school students and the work they put in for their presentations.”

This day would not have happened without the help and encouragement of South Prairie agriculture teachers Ben Seidler, Zachary Wiest and Heather Riemer. Agriculture teachers must have a broad knowledge base, from electrical, plumbing, woodworking, welding, farming, and ranching – just to name a few. South Prairie agriculture teachers also show their students the FFA motto: Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.


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