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Progressive Agriculture Foundation expands safety and health education

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Farm safety is taken very seriously, especially when it comes to younger generations on the farm. In an effort to increase safety and health education resources, the Progressive Agriculture Foundation announced the launch of a novel safety and health-oriented education platform. The Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program is designed to expand the reach and increase the accessibility to potentially lifesaving learning for agricultural and rural youth. 

The new Classroom-based delivery mode is designed for an average classroom size of 25 students, taught over several days, weeks or even months without ever needing to leave the classroom setting. Participants will complete at least four lessons, with each interactive-focused session offering a comprehensive overview of one critical safety and health topic at a time. 

In honor of National Agriculture Week, the Classroom-based delivery mode works to safeguard the most inspiring element of the PAF Safety Day program — the next generation of the agriculture industry. 

According to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, about every three days, a child dies in an agriculture-related incident; furthermore, each day, at least 33 children are injured. 

“Although the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program has continued to provide potentially life-saving education to youth on farms, ranches, and in rural communities throughout North America, there remains much work to be done to address the lingering, staggering statistics about child-involved in agriculture-related incidents and fatalities,” said Brian Kuhl, president and CEO of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. “We knew that we needed to remove even more barriers, develop a new approach to reach broader audiences, and increase usability to meet the ongoing demands of today’s educators.”  

Through this addition, the PAF Safety Day program can now be taught to children ages 4 to 13 through three methods: Community-based, School-based, and the Classroom-based. The Community-based and School-based delivery modes of the PAF Safety Day program are commonly comprised of one-day educational experiences held at various locations, each focusing on a variety of topics and welcoming hundreds of participants per event.  

For nearly 30 years, the PAF Safety Day program has offers hands-on, age-appropriate safety and health education delivered in a fun and safe manner. 

“From the initial development, we knew that the new Classroom-based delivery mode would not be replacing our longstanding, trusted Community-based or School-based delivery modes,” added Kuhl. “Instead, moving into the classroom provides an additional, complementary avenue for the reinforcement of crucial safety and health education to more youth paired with a strong emphasis on STEM education to contribute to the development of our students for the ever-changing, increasingly complex world.”

Through the development of the Classroom-based delivery mode, a pilot program made possible in part by CHS Inc., took place during 2021-2022 academic year. The pilot consisted of 22 individuals from 15 states trained as PAF Safety Day coordinators who reached nearly 400 students to date.  

“Piloting the new delivery mode in various classrooms throughout the United States allowed for the opportunity to refine the model of the program and thoroughly evaluate the teaching tools provided,” said Jana Davidson, program manager with the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. “The Classroom-based delivery mode utilizes the PAF Safety Day program curriculum, as well as hands-on, durable resource kits allowing for ready-to-use experiential learning.” 

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