Farmers Union Quiz Bowl Encourages Youth to Think about Farm & Ranch Safety

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McCook Central FFA Chapter won the championship round of the Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl held today during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.

McCook Central FFA Chapter is one of four FFA Chapters which placed in the Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl held in conjunction with the 2016 South Dakota State FFA Convention this April in Brookings.

Team members of the McCook Central FFA Chapter include: Cole Grasma, Melissa Lauck, Jordan Scheier and Leslie Kolbeck: Other FFA Chapters who competed and their team members include: Viborg/Hurley FFA Chapter, team members include: Alison Knutson, Logan Slack, Abby Hora and Annie Wirth: Sunshine Bible FFA Chapter, team members include; Chris Hass, Evan Lopez, Shelby Belmare and Titus Deal: and the Lyman FFA Chapter, team members include; Sage Mowery, Conrad Mohr-Eymer, Eli Fanning and Grant Stewart.

Designed as a fun way to inform teens about farm safety, South Dakota Farmers Union hosts the Team Up For Safety Quiz Bowl Championship each year during the State Fair.

"This quiz bowl is a fun way for high school students to learn about safety on the farm or ranch," said Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union President, of the competition that asks FFA members questions on farm and ranch safety. "We hope with the information the quiz bowl focuses on they'll be prepared when faced with an emergency situation while doing potentially dangerous jobs on the farm."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 million youth, under the age of 20, live on farms in the U.S. Over half of them do farm-related work. Sombke points out that agriculture is often listed among the most dangerous occupations in America. Because of the large machinery they work with, along with chemical hazards, unpredictable livestock and enclosed spaces like grain bins that hold thousands of pounds of grain, farm workers face many risks.

FFA member Abby Hora says the more teens think about farm safety, the more likely they are to avoid accidents.

"Like me, many of my friends grew up on farms.  It's important for teens to think about farm safety, especially when they visit farms they are not familiar with," explains Hora, a senior at Viborg/Hurley and vice president of the Viborg/Hurley FFA Chapter.

McCook Central FFA member, Jordan Scheier agrees. "Farm safety is especially important for South Dakota teens because we live in rural communities where at least once a year someone we know gets hurt really badly in a farm accident that could have been avoided."

Providing education to South Dakota farm and ranch families and rural communities is a cornerstone of South Dakota Farmers Union, explains Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director. "Youth are our future. Each year more than 3,000 youth participate in one of the many youth educational programs Farmers Union runs. Farm safety is often one of the many topics we cover because it's vital - for youth and adults," Hofhenke said.

Members of the winning team received a monetary prize.

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