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Illinois camp offers farm safety advice
Illinois Correspondent

MALTA, Ill. — More than 90 children, ages 8-12, visited Malta’s Jonamac Orchard for the DeKalb County Farm Safety Camp on June 20.

Camp hosts Mary Lynn, Jerry, Kevin and Denice McArtor welcomed the campers and urged them to have fun but listen closely to the presenters.

“Have a good time today but pay attention,” Mary Lynn McArtor told them.

Camp Director Mariam Wassmann, who also serves as communications director for the DeKalb County Farm Bureau said the goal is to “recognize farm hazards and learn to respect those hazards.”

The campers were divided into 12 groups so there was a group at each of the 12 safety stations throughout the morning.

Each group was led by one or two members of the Somonauk FFA. After spending about 15 minutes at a station, a bell would ring to alert campers to move to the next station.

After lunch, they witnessed a mock farm accident and received goodie bags.

A variety of vendors and safety experts were on hand to provide information on ATV safety, animal safety, bicycle safety, chemical safety, electrical safety, farm machinery safety, fire safety, first aid and rescue, grain bin and grain wagon safety, hearing safety, lawn mower and garden tractor safety, and semi truck-trailer safety.

According to the Agricultural Safety and Health Website, hosted by the University of Illinois, a total of 597 agriculture-related deaths have occurred in Illinois from 1986 to 2004. Of that number, 11 of the victims were younger than 5, 35 were ages 5-14 and 51 were ages 15-24.

“Farm safety is such an important aspect of farm family living. When young people become involved in the farm operation, they need to understand the safety hazards that exist and some of the limitations of operating large equipment,” Wassmann said.

This farm news was published in the June 28, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.