Published 4:55 pm Friday, August 4, 2023
JACKSON –While beneficial to the operator, there are dangerous elements to farm equipment and farm life in general. That’s why safety is paramount to those working at or visiting a farm.
With that in mind, several organizations came together here July 28 to host Farm Safety Day at the Northampton County Cultural and Wellness Center. Those taking part included NC Cooperative Extension, North Carolina Wildlife Commission, Northampton Memorial Library, and Northampton County Farm Bureau.
While open to all ages, the event was geared stressing safety measures to children. Demonstrations included farm equipment safety, food safety, and bike safety.
Michael Belch gave a first-hand account of a life-threatening incident. He told of a day where he was operating a sweep auger that caught the back of his leg and was pulling him in. Fortunately, there was another person present who was able to cut the power off to the machine.
NC Wildlife Commission personnel staged a demonstration of using a drone to search for missing individuals. The drone contained a thermal device that concentrates on a person’s body heat. That, in turn, directs searchers on the ground to the exact location of the missing person.
From an agricultural standpoint, drones are often used by farmers to locate “problem spots” within planted fields.
Wildlife officers also stressed boating safety, to include encouraging children to always wear life preservers while riding in a boat.
One of the NCWC officers demonstrated the use of throwing a life ring into the water, showing how that device can be used to assist a person in distress.
Craig Ellison, Director of the Northampton County office of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, used a chain and sprocket of a bicycle to demonstrate how those devices can cause injuries while in motion.
Ellison also used a slingshot to launch a rock into a cardboard box. That particular action was to show the force of an item that can be thrown from a bush hog and the importance of keeping a safe distance from those devices while in use.
Additionally, Ellison stressed safety measures for those climbing the steps of a tractor.
Tractor safety also included how to protect oneself from burns due to the hot engines and how the PTO, which is capable of rotating 540 revolutions per minute, can also pose a danger.
At a hand-washing station, EB Odom, Northampton Cooperative Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, stressed the germs are under fingernails and in the creases of the hand. She used a dye on the hands of children to show where germs remained after washing.
Brandon Pike, Ag Extension Agent, had a presentation on how to be safe in grain storage areas.
Lillie Pernell with the Northampton Memorial Library passed out free bicycle helmets for children. The cost of the helmets was covered by a grant from North Carolina DOT.
Northampton County Farm Bureau sponsored a lunch for the attendees. Burgess Farms of Conway supplied watermelons and cantaloupes.