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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Learn Safety on the Farm at Farm Science Review

August 18, 2009

LONDON, Ohio – Grain storage and handling can be fatal if the proper safety precautions are not followed. This year's Ohio State University Farm Science Review will be the site of agricultural grain rescue demonstrations to emphasize the importance of following these precautions when working with grain.

Ohio State University Extension will host Heritage Cooperative in featuring Agricultural Grain Rescue demonstrations designed to educate both emergency crews and farming communities on the appropriate techniques for utilizing rescue equipment in agricultural emergencies. Pleasant Valley Joint Fire District, Urbana Fire Department, City of London Fire Department and Central Townships Joint Fire District will be conducting the rescue demonstrations.

"In the past 10 years, Ohio has experienced 19 fatalities from grain engulfments," said Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension's state safety leader. "The demonstrations are designed to help bridge the knowledge gap between emergency personnel and farming incidents they may encounter in addition to providing farming families with steps they can take before the emergency personnel arrive."

The agricultural grain rescue demonstrations will be held at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. daily at the Safety Education Tent on Friday Avenue, across from the Firebaugh Building. Farm Science Review will take place Sept. 22-24 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

With more on-farm storage systems being built comes an increased risk for grain engulfments. Jepsen said that the rescue demonstrations serve two purposes: to demonstrate the hazards of grain engulfment and to educate emergency personnel on the unique equipment needed during grain rescue runs.

"There is a continual need for rural medics and fire departments to understand the complexity of an agricultural incident. They are dealing with equipment and environmental conditions they normally wouldn't see in a rescue situation," said Jepsen. "Knowing how to shut off the equipment or isolate an entrapped victim is important to preventing further injury or even death."

In addition to the grain rescue demonstrations, the Safety Education Area will also highlight the new AgrAbility program in Ohio, which serves those in agriculture who have disabilities. A display in the Small Farm Tent will emphasize the new lighting and marking standards for horse-drawn vehicles, and an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety display will be in Alumni Park. The ATV safety program will focus on the proper way to dress when operating an ATV, how to fit an ATV to the rider, and how to properly operate an ATV.

Farm Science Review is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. It attracts upwards of 140,000 visitors from all over the country and Canada, who come for three days to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, and learn the latest in agricultural research, conservation, family and nutrition, and gardening and landscape.

Tickets are $8 at the gate or $5 in advance when purchased from county offices of OSU Extension or participating agribusinesses. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 22-23 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24.

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Candace Pollock
Dee Jepsen