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Farm Safety Camp held at Ag Stewardship Center

Sometimes you shouldn't obey your parents. That was the message a Hull area dad had for 120 kids attending the Farm Safety Day Camp Program on Thursday, June 19, at the Agriculture Stewardship Center.

Lucas Soodsma looks on as his dad, Jack Soodsma (left), and Mike Schouten (right) speak to a group about PTO and skid loader safety at the Farm Safety Day Camp

Lucas Soodsma looks on as his dad, Jack Soodsma (left), and Mike Schouten (right) speak to a group about PTO and skid loader safety at the Farm Safety Day Camp

One of the key speakers was Jack Soodsma, whose son, Lucas, was recently injured and is still recovering from a farm accident.

"Sometimes dad's aren't thinking," said Soodsma to the group of youngsters. Taking full responsibility for an accident that seriously injured both his son's hands in an inadequately shielded Power Take Off (PTO) shaft, Soodsma encouraged the youngsters to always put safety first, and if told to do a farm chore that could put them in danger, talk to the parent about it and stay away from potential accidents.

The goal of the Farm Safety Day Camp Program is to reduce the incidence of agriculture-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths by increasing the awareness of the potential dangers associated with specific farm and ranch practices.

Sioux Center has been conducting camps for nine years, accepting 120 kids each year. The young people are placed into small groups that rotate to eleven different stations to cover topics including PTO and skid loader safety, electrical safety, sun safety, helmet and moped safety, small animal safety, small equipment safety, first aid, making emergency contacts, fire safety, and flowing grain safety.

"If we can prevent one child from getting hurt or killed, it's all worth it," said Mike Schouten, manager of the Dordt College Agriculture Stewardship Center. Funding for the program comes from a Progressive Farmer grant to the Sioux Center Hospital and many area business sponsors.