Dordt College News

Mike Schouten receives ag safety Hall of Fame award

October 31, 2011

“A Hall of Fame recipient should be of sound character and be an upstanding citizen in their community, and Mike definitely meets the requirements,” said Dordt College Professor of Agriculture Duane Bajema of his colleague Mike Schouten, Dordt College agriculture instructor.

Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH) agreed, and the group has selected Schouten as the 2011 I-CASH Hall of Fame honoree. Schouten will be recognized during the opening session of the Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health forum in Des Moines on November 16.

Schouten is the Dordt College Agriculture Stewardship Center manager. He teaches in the college’s agriculture program, where he shows students how to safely operate agricultural equipment.

“Mike is a patient and effective teacher and presenter. He promotes safety with enthusiasm coupled with a serious approach to the topic,” said Bajema. “In the agricultural sector, there have been too many deaths and injuries in the local area, and Mike is dedicated to reducing injuries and fatalities through education and prevention.”

His contributions to agriculture safety extend to the greater Sioux County community. Schouten works with the Northwest Rural Electric Cooperative in teaching and promoting electrical safety in agricultural settings, and he has assisted the KMEG television station in Sioux City, Iowa, in developing farm safety public service announcements for the harvest season.

He serves as the central coordinator for safety demonstration devices for Dordt College, the Farm Bureau, Iowa State Extension Service, and the Sioux Center hospital.

“Safety is a main theme for Mike, and he has helped develop ideas and programs in safety education throughout his life,” said Lori Kleyer in her nomination letter. Kleyer is a registered nurse and has worked on safety programs with Schouten, including an annual farm safety day camp for junior high-age students.

“Farming is a dangerous occupation. It seems like everybody knows of somebody who’s been in a farm accident,” said Schouten. “Farm safety day camps are just one way that we can do our part to train kids to avoid getting hurt.”

Additionally, Schouten provides training to high school students, FFA, and 4-H groups that request to use the equipment for safety demonstrations. The dust explosion simulator that he encouraged and helped students to build has been used by the South Dakota Wheat Growers Association to train elevator personnel in dust explosion prevention.

The I-CASH Hall of Fame award honors individuals and organizations who have made significant and lasting contributions to agricultural safety and health in Iowa.

Based in the University of Iowa College of Public Health, I-CASH is a joint venture of the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

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