S.D. Farmers Union Farm Safety Trailer Receives National Award
South Dakota Farmers Union Farm Safety Trailer received the Best of National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Exhibits award during the 2019 NAMA Convention.
“Farm safety education has long been a focus of South Dakota Farmers Union summer camp programming. Because of the mobile nature of the Safety Trailer we are now able to reach more youth, in more communities with farm safety education year-round,” explains Karla Hofhenke, Executive Director of South Dakota Farmers Union, one of South Dakota’s largest farm and ranch organizations.
When designing the 24-foot-long learning space, South Dakota Farmers Union invested in developing creative ways to provide hands-on safety training for high-risk farm activities. They teamed up with Insight Marketing Design to bring their ideas to life.
“It was a challenge to bring all these safety features to life in an engaging way. We loved working with the Farmers Union team to do this,” says Candy Van Dam, partner and chief strategy officer for Insight Marketing Design.
Designed for active learning, the Safety Trailer features an ATV simulator, miniature farm, grain ladder and safety harnesses and more.
“Judged against similar projects, the SDFU Safety Trailer won because of its well thought out strategy to reach rural youth and farm and ranch kids with safety information regarding some of the most dangerous things that can happen on a farm or ranch,” Van Dam says.
To date, more than 7,000 South Dakota youth have engaged with the Safety Trailer.
“Kids learn best by doing. So, we made sure the Safety Trailer invites them to engage in learning about farm safety,” says Rocky Forman, SDFU Member Services Coordinator.
Traveling to communities throughout South Dakota, Forman coordinates with 4-H leaders, FFA chapters, schools and other youth-based community groups to reach as many South Dakota youth as possible.
“Youth are our future, it is an honor when a national organization recognizes the work Farmers Union does to support South Dakota’s youth,” says Doug Sombke, SDFU President. “And, whether they live on a farm or not, because agriculture is our state’s number one industry, there is a good chance they will visit a farm at some point, and they need to understand the dangers associated with farm machinery or ATVs.”
In addition to the Farm Safety Trailer, South Dakota Farmers Union also hosts an annual Farm Safety Quiz Bowl each year during the South Dakota State Fair, where FFA members put their farm safety knowledge to the test, competing for the championship title.
To learn more about South Dakota Farmers Union youth programming, visit www.sdfu.org.