Montana State Fund Highlights Farm Safety With Winning 4H Auction Bid

HELENA – The Montana State Fund is emphasizing safety in the agricultural industry and giving back to the community with a steer won at the Last Chance Stampede and Fair 4H auction.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), agriculture ranks among the most dangerous industries to work in.

Hazards in farming can range from heavy machinery, chemicals, large animals, and even dangerous weather conditions.

In 2019, 410 farmers or farm workers died in the United States, a rate of 19.4 per 100,000 workers. And every day, around 100 agricultural workers will suffer an accident at work resulting in loss of work time.

Safety at work is a message that the State Fund wants to convey to young workers and future agricultural producers. Young people may be at greater risk of injury at work.

“Youth and safety is an area of ​​particular interest to workers, as young people are injured at more than twice the rate of older adults. Thus, young people aged 15 to 19 have twice as many injuries as adults aged 25 and over,” says Holly O’. Dell, the new president and CEO of the Montana State Fund.

A 2014 report cited by NIOSH showed that 12,000 young people were injured on farms that year, a third of those injuries were directly related to farm work.

The purchase of 4H is part of the Montana State Fund’s ongoing efforts to encourage young people to be safe, from scholarships to donations to vocational programs in public schools.

“It’s a win-win situation as students engage in learning about safety and what they will need to know in their future careers and get the equipment they need to stay safe. in high school,” O’Dell says.

State Fund also uses management to give back to the community.

Representatives say half of the 1,380-pound animal will be donated to Helena Food Share to feed local families. Overall, the Montana State Fund paid just over $9,000 to buy the beef and have it processed.

Representatives from the Montana State Fund say they are considering similar offers and purchases at other fairs across the state in the coming years.

The Montana State Fund also offers more than two dozen farm-related safety manuals on its Farm Safety webpage.

About Yvonne Lozier

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