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June 1, 2014

Learning farm safety at fairgrounds

About 80 cycle through Barnyard Boot Camp

Wayne Newhart introduced the group of children sitting attentively before him to Oscar — a figurine with a hot dog body and toothpick arms.

Oscar went and and stuck a paper clip inside of an electrical socket, Newhart explained before safely demonstrating as much on a display that held a wall plug, electric meter and fuse box. A sizzle soon sounded throughout the barn on the Cass County 4-H Fairgrounds.

The Tipmont REMC retiree then asked the kids to imagine what would happen to them were they to ever to make a similar decision.

“You’re cooking!” he said.

Newhart proceeded to demonstrate several more accidents in his lesson about electrical safety, going on to remind his audience to keep electrical devices away from water and explaining what to do if they ever find themselves in a vehicle that a power line has fallen onto.

It was one of 10 stations at the Cass County Fairgrounds Saturday for Barnyard Boot Camp, a farm safety day ADM Grain has been organizing for the past seven years. About 80 kids ages 6 through 12 rotated through the stations to learn about disability awareness, how to act in certain emergencies, first aid and safety associated with bicycles, being home alone, grain handling, tractors, firearms and fires.

Tammy Eades, a grain buyer with ADM who helped coordinate the event, said the lessons presented Saturday provided kids with knowledge they will likely one day have to rely on.

“Most of these kids are going to be in a rural setting at some point,” she said.

Steve Wettschurack, a farm accident rescue instructor at Purdue University, demonstrated grain handling safety with a model of a grain bin that dumped corn into a model of a grain wagon. Placing figurines in the wagon as the corn poured in, he warned children of playing in and getting caught inside such equipment.

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