By Jeff Mulhollem and Gary Abdullah, Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK – Visitors to Penn State’s Ag Progress Days Aug. 16-18 can learn about the hazards of tractor overturns, and how to reduce the risks of them happening.
Addressing the health and safety of farmers, Ag Progress Days will also feature farm accident rescue simulations involving agricultural equipment, including demonstration of emergency scene stabilization and patient-extrication techniques. And attendees can get information about several types of farm-safety programs and agricultural emergency response resources from on-site specialists.
All of this will be available at the Farm Safety Demonstration Area and adjacent Agricultural Safety and Health Tent at the end of West 8th Street.
Specialists will demonstrate tractor overturn hazards and tractor-safety practices Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Farm accident rescue simulations involving agricultural equipment, including demonstration of emergency scene stabilization and patient-extrication techniques, will occur Wednesday at about 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Tractor overturns are the number-one killer of farmers in Pennsylvania, according to Dennis Murphy, distinguished professor of agricultural safety and health, and coordinator of the farm safety area at Ag Progress Days.
“Farmers won’t want to miss these demonstrations,” he said. “And we will have our tractor stability simulator there, too. It’s a new demonstration that will allow people to sit in a tractor cab and be tilted to get some experience with side angles and get a feeling for tipping sideways.”
Visitors to the farm safety area will be able to take advantage of a variety of health screenings and information. In the AgrAbility and Rural Health tent at the end of West 6th Street, next to the farm safety demonstration area, visitors can learn how AgrAbility services help families to continue to farm despite a disability or long-term health condition.
The following free health screenings will be offered: vision screenings and blood pressure readings daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 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 by a rural health farm worker protection safety specialist at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.
The farm safety and health quiz bowl will be held Wednesday in a tent on West 9th Street. 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.”
Also, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Farm Safety and Occupational Health Advisory Board will meet at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 18, in the quiz bowl tent. The public is welcome.
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 Tuesday Aug. 16; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 17; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18. Admission and parking will be 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.