ST. LOUIS, May 16, 2018 – From fake brains to plastic flames, students were captivated by the annual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day seminar held May 4, 2018, at the Montgomery County High School. Nearly 300 kindergarteners, first and second graders were bussed in from three surrounding elementary schools to learn safe ways to protect themselves and their friends and families should the need arise.
“It’s one of the best programs we put on each year,” said Mary Leykamp, Montgomery County High’s agriculture education teacher and FFA chapter advisor.
For four years now, Novus International’s Green Acres Research Farm team and the Montgomery County FFA chapter have organized the annual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day. The program is informed and supported by the Progressive Agriculture Foundation.
“Our goal is to instill safe habits which will in turn become behavioral changes toward living and working with a safety mentality,” said Gary Templeman, Progressive Agriculture Foundation. “We truly value the partnership with Novus International and Montgomery FFA and the work they put into the Safety Day program.”
The day’s program involved community experts and student volunteers who held informative demonstrations ranging from bicycle safety, to railroad crossing awareness and machinery risks, to fire safety and what to do in an emergency. The fire safety session was hosted by two students who are also volunteer firemen in the area.
“It’s really important to work with these kids,” said Jacob Eveland, a student and fireman from Bellflower. “They need to know exactly what to do and who to call when they need to be safe.”
The session included the essentials of “stop, drop and roll” with an artificial flame vest to show students how they can put out their own fire. From there, students were fitted with helmets to take home, sponsored by Novus International, Inc., and shown how to fasten them properly to prevent head injuries (through a fun fake brain demonstration).
“What we do here is fun for the students and has a real impact,” said Tom “Skip” Hampton, Green Acres Research Farm manager for Novus International. “Children can encounter danger anywhere, and we want to be sure they’re ready and remember what to do.”
The University of Missouri Extension hosted a session focusing on farm machinery safety, specifically demonstrating the dangers of grain bins.
“If you see a thousand kids, and you save one from an accident, it’s worthwhile,” Charles Ellis, a natural resources engineer for MU Extension said.
The annual Safety Day is just one part of Novus International’s commitment to supporting local communities and agriculture students. For more information about Novus International’s business and priorities, visit www.novusint.com. To learn more about the Progressive Agriculture Foundation and its Safety Days, visit www.progressiveag.org.