Harvest season is one of the most dangerous times of year on the farm. This week, a new program designed to promote safety is being launched here in Indiana. Specialty Hybrids, one of Indiana’s premier seed companies, has always made safety a top priority; now they are expanding their efforts with a new campaign called Farm Safely. “To us the most important thing a farmer can do is to come home safely to his family every day,” said Specialty Hybrids general manager Dennis Schlott. “We’re committed to providing rural communities and farm families with educational materials, resources, and staff to establish a safety culture on their farms,” stated Marty Huseman, Specialty Hybrids farm safely manager. “A safety culture is a conscious effort to keep safety awareness high and incorporate safe practices into everyday habits.”
Schlott said getting the safety message to farmers can be a challenge, so they are involving Indiana FFA members to help carry the message home, “When they bring the message home, we are confident it is one that will be heard.” Specialty Hybrids has sent special safety kits to FFA chapters across northern Indiana. These packages included a safety poster, a letter about resources provided through the Specialty Hybrids Farm Safely program, and mini first-aid kits for FFA students. In addition, in cooperation with Hoosier Ag Today, special safety message will be aired by leading radio stations beginning this week. The messages will provide tips and suggestions for making a farming operation safe.
Schlott encourages farm families to designate someone in the operation as a safety champion, “It can be the farmer, a family member, or farm employee who is designated as a safety champion.” “Someone from each farm family has to champion farm safety,” says Huseman. “Someone should lead discussions, bring safety into day-to-day operations and encourage a change in practices to incorporate a higher level of safety.”
Specialty Hybrids has a number of helpful resources; you can find a link to them here. Through the Farm Safely program, Specialty Hybrids offers resources, interactive demonstrations, and presentations on topics such as: how to establish a safety culture, grain handling and storage issues, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and much more.
If an FFA chapter or other rural organization wants a farm safety specialist to provide a presentation and educational resources, a speaker can be arranged by contacting Marty Huseman at 574-870-6583. For additional information about the Farm Safely program, call Specialty Hybrids at 800-545-8611.
Farmers and their families can also learn more about farm safety by following the Specialty Hybrids “Farm Safely Tips,” which will be reported weekly by local newspapers and radio stations immediately following National Farm Safety Week.