February 28, 2001 | By: Laura Skillman

Inside Bobby Grogan's farm shop more than 200 middle school students listened to farm and home safety information. Later that night, it was the adults turn to pay attention.

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service agents in Carlisle County worked with a steering committee to plan the recent safety day that included everything from knowing the hazards of household chemicals to a mock all-terrain vehicle rescue.

Adults were treated to a heavier dose of reality with a program by Dale Dobson, farm safety field officer with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The program called Life, Death and Reality includes slides of farm accidents.

Grogan said he was happy to host the day's events.

"I think it's good for farmers, and their wives and kids need to see this," he said. "It's a great thing for the farming community. If we could just save one person from getting hurt, it would be worth it."

Grogan's two sons farm with him and he says safety is always on his mind, but even he has come close to having an accident when a power take-off grabbed a tear in his coveralls. Luckily he had his hand on the handle and was able to turn it off.

The Feb. 22 safety day included sixth through eighth graders from Carlisle County while the evening session was for adults in Carlisle and Hickman counties.

Safety days have been a part of the Extension activities in Carlisle county since the late 1990s. A farmer in the community who serves on the county Extension council lost a foot in a farm accident and kept bringing up the need for safety programs. So, the Extension service applied for and received a grant from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to do a family safety fair.

This year's event is the first one since 1998 to include both youth and adults.

The steering committee planning the activities included the county agents along with farmers, 4-H volunteers, Extension homemakers and school personnel.

Tawnya Hunter, Carlisle County Middle School principal, said she was approached about the safety day and with Carlisle County being so close to farming, it seemed like a good idea to include the entire student body, she said.

"A lot of these kids are exposed to ATVs and to tractors and lawn mowers and weed eaters," she said. "As a school, we are shorthanded on being able to talk about these type of topics and this is a great opportunity to get them exposed to these safety issues."

It takes a community effort, Hunter said. The event lets the kids get out into the community and allows the community to be involved with the young people.

Ahlea Sullenger, a seventh-grader, said she learned safety precautions and what to do and not to do.

"Like if I mow the yard, I know how to do that safely and won't get hurt," she said.

Cody Morris learned the face rule about the tractor.

"I learned if you can see the driver's face then they can see you," he said. "You don't need to get behind the tires or anything."

To learn more about holding a safety day in your community, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service office.


Peggy Rexroat, Jason Hodge (270) 628-5458