06/25/04 — Children learn farm safety first hand

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Children learn farm safety first hand

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on June 25, 2004 1:59 PM

KINSTON -- Learning the importance of farm safety was made fun and entertaining thanks to county extension agents and volunteers.

Around 20 children ages 5-12 from Wayne County joined others for a farm safety day-camp at the Lenoir County Livestock Arena. They learned about everything from fire safety, animal safety, farm equipment safety and first aid.

This was the first event of its kind in the area, according to Eve Honeycutt, camp coordinator and livestock extension agent in Lenoir County.

The 135 children spent 15 minutes at each of the nine stations and received important information from experts on the subjects and materials to take home with them. The event was sponsored by Progressive Farmer.

Eileen Coite, Wayne County livestock agent, explained safety when handling steer or other cattle. She was assisted by Beth Massey, who brought her 1,100-pound steer to demonstrate.

They told the children that it is important to tell their parents before going to work with steer; to make sure to pay attention to what the steer is doing; to wear proper clothing and shoes; to make sure the steer is in a small pen; and to wash their hands after working with cattle. There were also demonstrations for horse and hog safety.

Firemen from the Sandy Bottom Fire Department near Kinston had a fire truck on display to teach fire safety. Capt. Daniel McLawhorn said their goal was to give them a better understanding of what they do and about the equipment they use. The first thing he told them was to dial 911 in an emergency. At the end of each session, they would spray water from the truck, and the children watched in amazement.

"It's been awesome, they were really enjoying this," said McLawhorn.

Bob Pleasants, Wayne County extension agent, was joined by Eric Shivar, who played the part of "Captain Chemical" to teach the children about chemicals and pesticides. They explained what chemicals are used for and what type of equipment needs to be worn when using them.

"We have to be really careful with chemicals," said Pleasants. "Always wash your hands, fruits and vegetables."

Shivar said he really enjoyed helping to teach them a valuable lesson.

"I think they are getting something out of it no matter what age," he said.

Other stations dealt with safety when using lawnmowers, weed eaters and other equipment; protection from snakes; and ATV safety.

Those from Wayne County enjoyed the event and learned many things they did not know before.

Rex Price, 13, from Pricetown attended the camp with others from his church. He said his favorite station was the one dealing with farm equipment because his father is a farmer and he is around large tractors often. He learned that the tractors have blind spots and not to get too close to the machines when they are in motion.

Madisen Barwick, 7, and Amanda Rouse, 10, both from Seven Springs, said they also enjoyed it. Madisen said she liked the large-animal safety session because she has a pony and learned more about how to handle it. Amanda said she enjoyed all of the different topics and learned many new things.