Boosting health and safety for rural kids

July 4, 2023
The Progressive Agriculture Foundation Safety Day program is the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America. Learn how the program helps make farms and ranches safer for children.

For more than 30 years, the Progressive Agriculture Foundation has offered safety education and training to rural youth through its Safety Day program. As part of its commitment to safety, CHS is a long-time sponsor or the program. This year, foundation CEO Brian Kuhl says the organization will sponsor more than 400 safety day events nationwide for youth ages 4 to 13.

Customized safety training

Kuhl says the Safety Day program is unique because each event is tailored to the rural community hosting it. With more than 30 safety and health topics and hundreds of hands-on learning activities, no two Safety Day events are the same. 

“We don’t have a specific curriculum built out for these events. We leave that up to community leaders. In the Midwest, we may focus on teaching livestock, grain or ATV safety. In the southern U.S., a Safety Day event might prioritize water or sun safety — topics more relevant to that region,” Kuhl explains.

Age-appropriate learning opportunities

Another unique aspect of the foundation’s Safety Day program is that the curriculum is age specific.

“We avoid general safety topics catered to a wide age group and instead focus on age-appropriate messaging that is specific and memorable. For example, our fire safety curriculum may teach older kids how to use a fire extinguisher. With younger children, we’ll adapt the learning experience to focus on escape routes and stop, drop and roll,” Kuhl says. 

Age-appropriate and interactive programming creates an engaging learning environment for participants.

“If kids are having fun, they will remember the learning experience. They will want to go home and talk about that experience with their families,” Kuhl continues “That’s exactly what we want to happen. Safety Day events are designed to encourage safety discussions at home and within the larger rural community.” 

Rural community impact

Kuhl says he often receives positive feedback from community members who have attended a Safety Day event.

“We know the Safety Day program has had an impact when we get calls from parents saying their children are reminding them to do tasks more safely. We can benefit not only children’s lives, but their families and communities as well.”

The Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program is available to all communities in North America and online safety learning opportunities are available on the foundation’s YouTube channel. To learn more bringing a Safety Day event to your community, visit progressiveag.org.