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Keeping Kids Safe on the Farm as Important as Ever

Communities are encouraged to complete applications to host a 2021 Safety Day Event.

Winnipeg, MB, June 17, 2020: Since 2002, more than 157,000 children have participated in Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® events in Canada. The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) has been working with the Progressive Agriculture Foundation (PAF) to support volunteers that host these community-based Safety Days.

Progressive Agriculture Safety Days is recognized the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America. Traditionally, Safety Days are one-day events featuring a mix-and-match of stations that are fun, engaging, and hands-on. Stations cover everything from sun safety and recognition of chemical look-a-likes to avoid exposure, to farm equipment safety. However, in 2020, Safety Day events may look a little different.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of spring Safety Days were cancelled or postponed”, says Marcel Hacault, the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association’s Executive Director. “The health and safety of children, volunteers and community members is paramount at all times, and of course that’s never more important than during the pandemic.”

In lieu of in-person Safety Days, both the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) and the Progressive Agriculture Foundation (PAF) have made available resources for rural children. CASA, in partnership with BASF, created a “For Kids” resource page on casa-acsa.ca, featuring tools like a farm safety contract for parents and kids, a toolbox talk, links on building safe play areas and the Agricultural Tasks for Youth and downloadable activity and colouring pages.

The Progressive Agriculture Foundation created a Daily Learning Drop series available on Facebook and YouTube. A total of 68 consecutive drops provide timely safety and health information to teachers, parents and children in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. PAF is also exploring additional virtual opportunities for children to experience a Safety Day while at home.

“Seeing the postponement of many of our spring events, coupled with the fact that more children would likely be helping on the farm during spring planting season, we took a proactive approach to continue our mission and deliver timely, hands-on safety and health messages,” says Brian Kuhl, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. “Our goal was to help assist both parents and teachers with fun activities for children, hoping they would adopt safer practices while at home or on the farm, to combat risky behavior that can accompany curiosity and boredom.”

Both CASA and PAF look forward to when in-person Safety Days can resume and encourage communities to apply for a 2021 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day.

“Even though no one is sure what will happen in the future, we are hopeful that in-person Safety Days can resume as soon as it’s safe to do so,” says Hacault. “We’d encourage communities to start planning and send in an application for 2021.”

Communities that would like to host a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in 2021 can apply online at www.casa-acsa.ca/programs/safety-days-for-children/ or call CASA at 877 452 2272. The deadline to apply is July 15, 2020.

The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and safety of farmers, their families and agricultural workers. CASA is funded in part through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal, provincial and territorial initiative and receives additional support from the agricultural and corporate sectors. For more information, visit www.casa-acsa.ca, find us on Facebook or LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter @planfarmsafety


For more information, please contact:
Robin Anderson, Communications Coordinator