Use caution on roads as harvest season begins

Mike Sheely is one of three agriculture teachers for the Maple River School District, and he says that farm safety is one of the most important things to teach.
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 8:30 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2022 at 8:32 PM CDT
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MAPLETON, Minn. (KEYC) - The United States is currently in the middle of harvest season, meaning that sights like tractors and combines on public roads will be more common than at other times of the year.

Mike Sheely is one of three agriculture teachers for the Maple River School District, and he says that farm safety is one of the most important things to teach to the community, especially children in rural Minnesota.

“We have less and less kids growing up on a farm, and so I think that keeping it simple sometimes. ‘What are those big silver buildings you see? They’re grain bins, and just knowing to stay away from them or large machinery. I mean it’s with my own kids. I’m driving a vehicle, I can’t see you. So keeping it very simple and explaining why it’s important,” Sheely explained.

Maple River FFA partners each year with surrounding schools to take area 3rd graders to a farm safety day, where students in FFA can educate kids on various safety topics, from farm animals to grain bin safety.

Involved students say that they feel that passing their knowledge of agriculture and safety to those with different experiences is an important responsibility.

“I’ve been around farming my whole life, I know more things about farming, agriculture than others do. So part of the thing I need to learn is, not everybody knows what I know. So you have to show them young like, safety around a four-wheeler, and around vehicles and around animals, it’s really important to start them young,” explained Noah Ziegler, an FFA student at Maple River.

Last week was the National Safety Council’s National Farm Safety and Health Week, an effort that aims to promote safe practices around farm equipment.