ATV safety to be demonstrated at Ag Progress Days

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Visitors to the Farm Safety Demonstration Area at Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 14-16, can learn about the safe operation of all-terrain vehicles and can see farm accident rescue simulations.

Aimed at both youth and adult ATV users, the 20-minute safety demonstration will take place at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday on a course at the end of West 8th Street.

The presentation, which will be moderated by a state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources instructor, will show the perils of risky ATV operation and stress how the machines can be used safely by modeling a DCNR-approved ATV safety course.

ATVs increasingly have become important on farms, according to Dennis Murphy, Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Safety and Health and coordinator of the farm safety area at Ag Progress Days.

"More and more ATVs are being used for work, and that is being fueled by the many attachments that are made for them to help with farm tasks," he said. "And farm families use the machines for fun, too, riding for recreation and to hunting and fishing spots."

The ATV safety demonstration is being offered at Ag Progress Days because Murphy and others in the College of Agricultural Sciences have become concerned by the growing number of ATV accidents.

"Ridden improperly, they can be dangerous," he said. "We see statistics showing too many people -- particularly youths -- being involved in ATV accidents resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. We are hoping to get their attention at Ag Progress Days and influence them to be more careful operating ATVs."

Addressing the health and safety of farmers, Ag Progress Days also will feature farm accident rescue simulations at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, involving agricultural confined spaces. Those will include demonstrations of emergency scene stabilization and patient-extrication techniques, as well as safety suggestions for farmers who need to enter confined spaces on the farm.

In addition, attendees can get information about several types of farm-safety programs and agricultural emergency response resources from on-site specialists.

The farm safety and health quiz bowl will be held Wednesday in The Learning Center, located off of Main Street just below the Pasto Museum. FFA youth compete at 9 a.m., and 4-H youth compete at 1 p.m.

"Youth will answer farm safety and health questions in this semi-final quiz bowl event," said Murphy. "The winning teams will advance to the state finals in January at the Pennsylvania Farm Show."

Visitors to the Rural Health and Safety Tent, at the end of West 6th Street adjacent to the farm safety area, will be able to take advantage of a variety of health screenings and information. Free vision screenings and blood pressure readings will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. On Wednesday only, free tetanus shots will be given while supplies last.

One core pesticide credit can be earned by attending a 30-minute presentation about personal protective equipment, which will be conducted by a rural health farm worker protection safety specialist at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.

Sponsored by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College on Route 45. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 14; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 15; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 16. Admission and parking are free.

For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website at http://apd.psu.edu. Twitter users can find and share information about the event by using the hashtag #agprogress.
 

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Last Updated July 16, 2012