HAVEN — Steve tumbled through a power take-off shaft before the eyes of fourth, fifth and sixth graders from the Haven school district Monday.
Luckily, Steve is only a pair of pants and shirt stuffed with straw. The straw man illustrated the gruesome truth of what can happen if precautions are not taken around PTO shafts.
The demonstration was one of many on farm safety during the Haven FFA’s annual Farmall Day.
“Now, I know that’s funny to watch,” said farmer Cameron Peirce, who ran the demonstration, “but it’s not so funny if that’s you or me or one of your family.”
Students from Haven, Yoder and Partridge elementary schools attended the USD 312 school farm to learn about farm safety. Stations at Farmall Day were manned by local and regional agriculture representatives, such as Reno County Extension Agent Darren Busick, who gave a talk on electrical safety, and Hutchinson Community College Fire Science Instructor Ron Ediger, who talked about fire safety.
The day opened with a presentation from Chisum Grund of Sharon Springs. Grund grew up in an agriculture family, and discussed his history of close calls and injuries in his presentation titled “Heard it from a Farm Kid.”
The event included 212 fourth, fifth and sixth graders from the three elementary schools, and was organized by students in Haven High School’s agriculture programs.
“My ag communication and leadership students plan this,” Haven Ag Instructor and FFA Director Corineah Williams said. “Everything from designing lesson plans to coordinating with their presenters to putting the teacher resources together for the teachers to take back and continue the discussion in their own classroom.”
The Haven school farm gets plenty of use from a number of student activities.
Haven FFA Vice President Hayden Peirce, who helped organize Farmall Day, farms a quarter section of row crops at the location. The school pays the expenses and keeps the profit from one-half of the field, and Peirce covers the expenses and keeps the profit of the other half.
“I farm the quarter here. The field is split at the draw in the middle,” Peirce said. “Students also run cattle and other things out here.”