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

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Four FFA Chapters placed in the Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl held in conjunction with the 2016 South Dakota State FFA Convention in Brookings and will be advancing to the state competition held during the 2016 South Dakota State Fair.

The qualifying teams are, in order of highest score: the Viborg/Hurley FFA Chapter, team members include; Logan Slack, Alison Knutson, Abby Hora and Annie Wirth: the McCook Central FFA Chapter, team members include; Melissa Lauck, Leslie Kolbeck, Kohl Miller, and Jordan Scheier: Sunshine Bible FFA Chapter, team members include; Christopher Hass, Evan Lopez, Shelby Belmore and Titus Deal: and the Lyman FFA Chapter, team members include Korder Cropsey, Conrad MohrEymer, 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 each year during the FFA Convention.

"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 they'll learn during the quiz bowl will prepare them if they're ever faced with an emergency situation or if they're working with livestock or doing any other potentially dangerous job 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. Farm workers face many risks 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.

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

 "Although, 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."

 Scheier says he is impressed that S.D. Farmers Union took the time to host the event during the FFA Convention. "When we got started we thought the quiz bowl was pretty cool. Then we started scoring points and decided we might as well put our all into it and see if we couldn't score high enough to compete at the State Fair."

 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."

 More than 70 youth competed during the FFA State Convention. The four teams will meet again to compete during Farmers Union Day at the State Fair, where the Team Up For Farm Safety champion team will be named.

 "I'm looking forward to the championship quiz bowl and think that Farmers Union supporting an organization like the FFA is a big deal," says Conrad Mohr-Eymer, vice president of the Lyman FFA Chapter. Mohr-Eymer farms with his family near Reliance where they raise cattle, sheep and goats.

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