Featured photo: Students witness how fast an accident can happen during their workshop.  Learning about farm safety is an important part of the agriculture curriculum at Pioneer.

The Pioneer FFA sponsored the safety workshop on October 22 with guest speakers representing several organizations throughout New York State. The 3-hour program included five break-out sessions on topics such as animal safety, tractor and equipment safety, PTO safety and personal protective equipment.

Martin Krause, a spokesperson for NYCAMH, the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, informed the students about personal protective equipment to use in an agricultural setting. Krause discussed eye protection, ear protection, and proper footwear to use on the farm and brought several displays and simulators to reinforce the importance of personal protective equipment.

Richard Hoffman, co-founder of Farmedic and long-time supporter of the Pioneer Agriculture program, set up visual aids to describe the danger involved in running farm machinery. Hoffman reviewed the steps needed to effectively call for 911 and the students learned what to do if they are the first person at the site of an accident scene.

Justin Romance, of Larry Romance & Son, Inc., and Mr. Brad Bliss, of Lamb & Webster, Inc. demonstrated the dangers of PTO shafts, pinch points, and loose clothing and hair around equipment. Equipment on display set up with simulated accident victims helped make the seriousness of the accidents real for the students.

Another important workshop presented by Tanya Nickerson from Cornell Cooperative Extension discussed the importance of animal safety.  Students learned about working safely around large animals and about animal vision and Nickerson used research conducted by Dr. Temple Grandin to show how to handle animals in a calm manner.

Finally, Marvin Luders, a local dairy farmer, talked to the students about safety when using farm machinery and working around animals. Luders was injured in a farm accident and was able to use his past experience to show the students the importance of farm safety. He stressed the importance of having a good attitude when tackling a task.