Quiz bowl encourages youth to think about farm and ranch safety

Farm Forum

HURON, S.D. – Four FFA Chapters placed in the Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl held in conjunction with the 2015 South Dakota State FFA Convention and will be advancing to the state competition held during the South Dakota State Fair.

The qualifying teams are, in order of highest score, the Viborg/Hurley FFA Chapter; the Parker FFA Chapter; the Deuel FFA Chapter and the Howard FFA Chapter. The Wolsey/Wessington FFA Chapter ranked fifth in points and will be the alternate team for the final round at the State Fair competition.

“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 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 teams who competed in the quiz bowl included FFA Chapters from the following towns/schools: Sunshine Bible Academy, Centerville, Chamberlain, Lennox, Dell Rapids, Lyman, Tri-Valley, McCook Central, Rutland, Miller, Gettysburg, Beresford and Marion.