Putting their farm safety knowledge to the test, four South Dakota FFA Chapters competed in the Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl Championship at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.
Wolsey-Wessington FFA Chapter won the quiz bowl. Team members are Trayce Haeder, Paige Snyder, Mark Hamilton and Jacob Kahre. Their FFA Advisor is Andrew Boersma. Each member receives a monetary prize.
“This quiz bowl is a fun way to make youth aware of farm safety and educate them on how to keep themselves and their friends safe,” said Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union president and fourth-generation Conde farmer. “As an organization, South Dakota Farmers Union is dedicated to supporting family farmers and rural communities. We invest in keeping our rural youth and families safe. Just the simple fact that most farms in South Dakota are family farms, means many South Dakota youth either live on farms or have friends who do.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 million youth, under the age of 20, live on farms in the U.S. Over half of them do farm-related work.
Agriculture is often listed among the most dangerous occupations in America. Farm workers face many risks because of the large machinery they work with, along with chemical hazards, unpredictable livestock and enclosed spaces like grain bins that hold thousands of pounds of grain.
Wolsey-Wessington is one of four teams to qualify for the championship quiz bowl during the South Dakota State FFA Convention held in April on the campus of South Dakota State University. Other qualifying teams included Hoven, Howard and Dells (from Dell Rapids).
Creating an opportunity for youth to learn about farm safety in a fun way, is why Sara Colombe encourages students to participate in the Farm Safety Quiz Bowl.
“The quiz bowl makes learning about farm safety fun. And the contest builds momentum for some other farm safety educational opportunities, like participating in our local cooperative’s grain bin simulator that demonstrates how to help get people out of grain bins safely,” said the Hoven FFA advisor and agriculture education instructor. “The students are really into the fact that if they win, there is a cash prize. Competing in a farm safety contest, versus taking a test is much more effective.”
In addition to the annual Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl and farm safety education implemented into the curriculum of Farmers Union summer camps, last year, the organization designed a customized Farm Safety Trailer meant to engage youth and families in fun, farm safety education.
“The hands-on nature of the Farm Safety Trailer allows us to make the message of farm safety real,” said Rocky Forman, Farmers Union Member Services Coordinator.