CHARLES CITY, Iowa – Local fourth-graders are learning the importance of farm safety thanks to a group of FFA members, as well as hearing from someone who’s life has been affected by a farm-related injury.
On April 26, 2014, Matt Ross was fixing a broken water line on his farm when he was crushed by a backhoe’s digging bucket.
He broke his back and doctors told him he would never walk again, but he says the lessons being taught today could have prevented his accident.
“It teaches kids you know basically like I said don’t get comfortable around the machinery. About the time you get comfortable, you’re going to end up like I am. It could have been worse, like I said I was supposed to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair and you need to instill this in their minds at an early age,” he said.
Farm Safety Day Camp was held at the Floyd County Fair Fairgrounds for area fourth-graders.
FFA students from Charles City were in charge of teaching the students about farm equipment, animal and chemical safety.
“They said to always wear a seat belt in the tractor,” says Ethan Armstrong, fourth-grader.
Madison Nauman, a FFA member who has been attending the event since she was in the fourth grade, says even kids who don’t live on a farm can benefit from the event.
“The tractor safety, the kids learn to stay away from it and learn how to be safe around it and not get too close and to wear seat belts and to stay sitting — and that’s always good not even like when you’re on a farm because there is always farm machinery, but even in town,” says Nauman.
As for Matt, he says he is going to continue to do his part to inform kids about farm safety.
“If I can make the difference in a person life to prevent them from going through what I had to go through and what my family had to go through, it would mean the world to me,” says Ross.
242 students from Floyd County participated in the farm safety event.