Versailles FFA holds first Family Farm Safety Night, distributes safety equipment, prizes


Staff report

VERSAILLES — More than 250 farm families from Darke, Mercer, Shelby, and Preble counties attended the first-ever Family Farm Safety Night on Monday, Dec. 13, sponsored by Versailles FFA. After many tragic accidents near the area, the Versailles FFA Chapter felt compelled to hold a safety night to reinforce the importance of practicing safety measures at all times as well as to distribute safety equipment to help reduce the risk of farm accidents.

The evening began with a free meal for all guests prepared by Joan Grillot. Shortly after, guests were treated to the following speakers: Frank Miller, Chief of the Osgood Fire Department, who spoke about his first-hand experience on the scenes of accidents and when should one call for help; Lisa Pfeifer of OSU Extension, who detailed safety measures in grain bins; Dr. Dee Jespsen of Ohio State University-CFAES, who informed farmers on silo gases; Glen Arnold of Ohio State University-CFAES and Greg Fortkamp of Fort Pumping, who spoke about dangers and percentage measures regarding manure safety; Jeff Wuebker of Wuebker Farms and Jed Bookman of Sunrise, who discussed the proper wearing of safety equipment; and lastly, Taylor Dill of OSU Extension who instructed guests on the correct method of utilizing respirators.

Farmers were also encouraged to bring their children to the event. During the presentations, children in grades five and below learned safety measures to stay safe on farms. The children’s activities were taught by the Versailles FFA Officer Team, led by Delaney Barga, Lexie DeMange, and Zoe Billenstein.

Each family in attendance was given a respirator, safety harness, or four-way gas monitor to help prevent accidents. A total of 30 safety harnesses, 17 respirators and 32 four-way gas monitors were distributed.

The night concluded with door prizes for the children, the grand prizes being two bicycles donated by Graves-Fearon Insurance Agency.

The Versailles FFA would like all area farmers and their families for attending and all the presenters and sponsors for making this event so successful. Special thanks are extended to the following: Gold Sponsors ($2000 to $3000) included Darke County Farm Bureau and Marion Young Farmers Association; Silver Sponsors ($500 to $100) included Cargill of Sidney and Mercer Landmark; Bronze Sponsors ($100 to $500) included Maria Stein Vet Clinic, North Star Hardware and Implement, Premier Crop Insurance, Cardinal Ethanol LLC., Sunrise Cooperative, Kenn-Feld Group, Cooper Farms Feed & Animal Nutrition, Dannon, Bruns Animal Clinic, Otte Ag LLC., Nutrien Ag Solutions-Ansonia, Phelan Insurance Agency-David Coons, K & L Tractor Sales, Graves-Fearon Insurance Agency-Nationwide Insurance, Reiter Dairy/Dean Foods, Pearl Valley Cheese, Farms State Bank, and Park National Bank.

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