Quiz Bowl encourages youth to think about farm and ranch safety

Farm Forum

The FFA chapter from Clark High School was the top scoring team during the fifth annual Team up to Safety quiz bowl competition held on April 7 in Brookings. Sponsored by South Dakota Farmers Union, the quiz bowl was held in conjunction with the South Dakota State FFA convention held on the campus of South Dakota State University.

“The quiz bowl is a fun way for high school students to learn about safety on the farm or ranch,” said Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union President, of the Jeopardy style competition that asks FFA members questions on farm and ranch safety.

“We hope with the information they’ll learn at the quiz bowl they’ll be prepared if they’re ever faced with an emergency situation or if they’re working with livestock or doing any other potentially dangerous job on the farm,” he said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 million youth, under the age of 20, live on farms in the U.S. Over half of them do farm-related work. Sombke points out that agriculture is often listed among the most dangerous occupations in America. Because of the large machinery they work with, along with chemical hazards, unpredictable livestock and enclosed spaces like grain bins that hold thousands of pounds of grain, farm workers face many risks.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that in 2010 the injury rate for agricultural workers was over 20 percent higher than the rate for all workers. The department reported in 2009 alone that 440 farm workers died from work-related injuries.

“The risks are real, especially for young people on the farm or ranch,” Sombke said. “Part of Farmers Union’s mission is to educate young people about agriculture, and farm safety is very important part of that.”

The top four placing teams included: Clark, first place with 170 points; Howard, second place with 155 points; Wolsey/Wessington, third place with 140 points and Viborg/Hurley, fourth place with 125 points. These teams will compete at the quiz bowl finals during the SD State Fair in Huron on August 30th.

The teams who competed in the quiz bowl included FFA Chapters from the following towns: Tri-Valley, Lyman, Alcester/Hudson, Centerville, Clark, Parker, Lennox, Deuel, McCook Central, Marion, Wolsey/Wessington, Platte-Geddes, Hoven, Winner, Dell Rapids, Howard,Viborg/Hurley and Rutland.