Cindy Dunn was in studio Wednesday morning to speak to WPKY about the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day June 8th.

Dunn said that the idea for the safety day began after the agriculture magazine Progressive Farmer ran a story in September of 1990 written by KT Reynolds who told about the tragedy of his son’s death. He had borrowed a tractor and mower to clean up a path from the road to his house and his children kept begging him to ride on the tractor. He told them no throughout the day, but towards the end of the day he caved and allowed his children to ride with him. His youngest daughter rode in his lap, and his other daughter and son rode on the fenders of the tractor. Before he knew, it the fender his son was sitting on broke and his son, Bo, fell, landing under the tractor’s tire. Bo was then run over by the tractor and the mower before Reynolds was able to stop. Along with his devastating story the article profiled over 100 more farm tragedies, most of them children, and how most of them could have been avoided had basic farm safety principles been applied. The magazine received so many letters and calls from people expressing their own tragedies that Progressive Farmer began devoting space to safety tips in each issue, but the calls and letters kept coming. So, they decided to take on a more hands on approach. Progressive Farmer then modeled a safety day after ones being presented by State Farm and Extension programs, and that following summer they sponsored 19 safety days across the south and midwest. By the seasons end, over 200 other communities were asking them to come, so the Progressive Farmer Safety Day Camp Program was born.

Over the years the number of camps increased so to raise money the magazine started the non-profit Progressive Farmer Foundation to accept donations from other businesses and sponsors. By 2002 the program had grown so much it became a stand alone program and ownership turned over to the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, which still owns and operates the program today. In 2006 the name changed to Progressive Agriculture Safety Day. Current statistics say that every three days a child dies in an ag related accident, and that everyday 33 children are injured in ag related accidents, so the need is still great for farm and ag safety days. And the safety day isn’t just for farm children, all children are invited, because you never know when something you teach them will protect them.

This year the safety day here in Caldwell County will include 10 safety stations, ranging from lawnmower and tractor safety, to chemical safety, to electrical safety, to ATV and bicycle safety, and more. Not only will children be taken through each station, where they will learn through hands on teaching, they will each take home a bag of goodies that includes a folder full of safety information, as well as a free bicycle helmet. The day will also include lunch, and a morning and afternoon snack.

Registration is currently underway and is $5 a child until June 1st, after which registration is $10. The safety day is geared toward children aged Kindergarten through 5th grade and is for children living in Caldwell and Lyon counties, though surrounding counties are still allowed to register. If you register your child by the June 1st deadline they will be entered to win a bike and both a girls and boys bike will be given away at the end of the event. Children were sent home from schools with registration forms, but if you didn’t get one, or have lost it, you can pick forms up at the Caldwell County or Lyon County Conservation District Offices, where you can also return completed forms.

If you have any questions, or would like to volunteer to help during the safety day, you can call the Caldwell County Conservation District Office at 270-365-5533, ext. 3, to speak with Cindy Dunn.

You can watch the full interview below.

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