CASSTOWN — Members of the Miami East FFA club celebrated Farm Safety Day on Tuesday, Sept. 20, driving tractors to school and hosting a special presentation for second graders in recognition of National Farm Safety Week.
“We decided to do Drive Your Tractor to School Day and Farm Safety Day all in the same day,” Miami East agriculture teacher and FFA Club advisor Marie Carity said. “We would normally spread it out a little bit more.”
Nine students drove their tractors to school for the event, which has become an annual tradition in the district.
“We have done it for many, many years,” Carity said. “We do it this week because of National Farm Safety and Health Week.”
FFA members also hosted a special presentation on farm safety for the district’s second-graders, featuring demonstrations with farm equipment and live animals. The demonstrations focused on seven specific areas of farm safety including grain, roadway, and chemical safety, large and small equipment safety, along with large and small animal safety.
FFA members and local farmers provided farm equipment for the demonstrations, such as tractors and combines, as well as livestock including colts, pigs, cows and chickens. The demonstrations were all planned by Miami East High School juniors and seniors.
“We have seven stations,” Carity said. “All of the lesson planning has been done by students; all the supplies are provided by students and local farmers.”
Approximately 110 Miami East second-graders attended the demonstrations, and 30 FFA Club members participated in organizing and running the event.
“It’s a privilege to do this,” Carity said. “These are third and fourth-year students.”
“We’re trying to just teach the kids all about farm safety, because there’s lots of different dangerous aspects of it,” Miami East FFA Club president Isaac Beal said. “We brought in some animals; we brought a lot of farm machinery, such as a combine and then a couple of tractors, to teach kids the dos and don’ts around them, and how to be safe.”
“It’s really just caution,” Beal said. “There’s a lot of farm equipment out, especially around harvest and I think it’s just really crucial for kids to be aware of the things that could go down.”
“It’s just awareness for everyone,” Carity said. “We know that we live in a very rural community. We target second graders because about the second grade, they’re starting to become more independent and they’re playing more outside by themselves.”
“Second grade is a transition grade, where they become much more aware of what’s happening,” she said. “We target this grade, because we need to make them understand you don’t play in some of these situations.”
The writer is a regular contributor to Miami Valley Today.