Wellness Tips

Ag Progress Days farm safety demonstrations focus on ATV hazards

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Interested in exploring safety topics crucial to the everyday lives of farm families? Visitors to the Farm Safety Demonstration Area at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, Aug. 8-10, can learn about the hazards of all-terrain vehicles and ways to minimize the risk of rollovers.

Four total demonstrations — at 10 a.m. and noon on Tuesday and Thursday — will show the hazards related to ATV usage and highlight protective safety gear for ATV riders.

On Wednesday, Aug. 9, agricultural safety specialists will simulate a power take off entanglement emergency and demonstrate first responders’ approach to managing farm-related incidents. This demonstration will take place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The Farm Safety Demonstration Area also will host Penn State faculty members from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, who will demonstrate the safe use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones. Visitors can watch drones in action and learn about their uses in agriculture. The demonstrations are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.

Visitors to the Rural Health and Safety Tent, at the end of West Sixth Street and adjacent to the Farm Safety Area, can take advantage of a variety of free health screenings, activities and information for all ages. Health specialists will offer carotid artery screenings, vision screenings, blood pressure screenings and health and safety information from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Several organizations will provide interactive activities and wellness information:

  • AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians will offer tools, tips and assistive technology to educate farmers and agricultural workers about options to continue farming and working in agriculture despite a disability or health condition.
  • Prevention Health will provide carotid artery screenings each day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • The American Trauma Society will present information and activities related to ATV safety, helmets and concussion education.
  • The Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety will offer a tick educational activity, including examples of real ticks and tick removal kits.
  • North Central Sight Services will provide free vision screenings and demonstrations of assistive technology for those with low vision or vision loss.
  • Penn State Health will provide blood pressure screenings, functional assessments and wellness resources.
  • American Liver Foundation will provide liver health education and resources.

In addition, the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health’s farm worker protection safety specialist will provide pesticide applicators with two opportunities daily to earn core pesticide credits by attending 30-minute presentations on pesticide safety topics. Two classes — each worth one core credit — will take place daily behind the Rural Health and Safety tent:

“Pesticide Storage, Security and Transportation” will occur at 11:30 a.m. and will cover proper storage of pesticides for safety, security and preservation of the product as well as tips for transporting pesticides.

“Pesticide Spills Happen — What should you do? Who should you call?” will take place at 1:30 p.m. Instructors will discuss what to do during a spill, items needed in a spill kit, and the appropriate contacts for reporting the spill.

Sponsored by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, 9 miles southwest of State College on Route 45. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 8; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Aug. 9; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 10. Admission and parking are free.

For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website. The official hashtag for social media is #agprogressdays, and the event also can be found on Facebook.

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