According to the National Ag Safety Database, 33 children sustain agriculture-related injuries every day, and every three days, a child dies as a result.
“As wonderful as it is to grow up in an agricultural world or to have an opportunity to spend time on a farm, there are risks that come with that,” Dodge County Extension Educator Karna Dam said. “And as we are entering into planting season and the busyness of that time, we want to really focus on trying to help our young people be more aware, to be able to recognize potential risks and to hopefully live a little bit safer life.”
On April 24, Nebraska Extension and Progressive Agriculture Foundation will host a farm safety day camp for youth from Dodge, Burt and Cuming counties from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Dodge County Fairgrounds.
The camp has limited attendance for youth from third grade to sixth grade, but parents are welcome to participate. Masks are required for all attendees, who can register at extension.unl.edu/statewide/dodge/4HCamps/.
Registration for the event is $10 per child, with a maximum fee of $25 per household, which includes a lunch, snacks, T-shirt and a take-home bag of safety materials. Parents will be charged $5 if attending.
Throughout the course of the day, the camp will cover six safety topics: power take-off, electrical, equipment, grain handling, animal and all-terrain vehicles.
“So the students will rotate through those six sessions,” Dam said. “They’ll get to learn from experts in those fields and hopefully take home some information.”
Dam said this camp is the first farm safety event the area has had in about 25 years. Due to the content of the camp, she said it will feature limited hands-on features for kids.
“Our goal is that all of the youth who attend are kept safe, but we want them to be able to see what the potential risks are,” she said. “So it will be more visual than hands-on.”
Ultimately, Dam said she’s hoping that children will leave the camp with a much stronger awareness and understanding of their surroundings when in an agriculture setting.
“More than anything with each of the sessions,” she said, “we want them to leave each session understanding what the risk is and what they can do to help protect themselves.”