By Treena Mielke
The first annual Farm Safety Day sponsored by the Bentley Agricultural Society was a success thanks to positive volunteer participation, student involvement and a large turnout from the community.
Ag Society president Jan Bickford was pleased with the event, held March 4 at the Blindman Valley Agricultural Centre.
“It went really well. I’d definitely like to see another one in the future. Bentley is a farming community and they are pretty busy, and it was good to see everyone come out. A big thanks needs to go out to the volunteers who helped make it such a huge success.”
Sherry Henderson, branch manager for Servus Credit Union in Bentley and a director on the Bentley Agricultural Society, said the public response to the event was positive.
“When we opened the doors at 10 p.m. we had 240 people already waiting. At lunch 370 people were served beef on a bun.”
She said Alberta Agriculture, Turple Bros. Ltd. from Red Deer, and the Bentley Volunteer Fire Department set up booths at the event.
“The fire department was amazing. They showed the kids what they did in an accident and showed them lots of their equipment. Bentley is a volunteer fire department, but they managed to have three or four firemen here at once.”
All of the volunteers contributed in a big way, Henderson added, noting that there were 24 volunteers from Bentley and surrounding area participating.
“It’s nice to have that kind of involvement.”
She said the purpose of the event, which was to emphasize the importance of farm safety with youngsters and adults, was highlighted by 11 displays, many of which were interactive.
Each of the kindergarten to Grade 9 students from Bentley School spent 10 to 15 minutes at each display to fully understand the concept.
A popular display was the grain safety demonstration which showed the dangers of playing in grain bins or gravity wagons.
The importance of wearing a bike helmet was emphasized at another display which gave the students a better understanding of playground safety. Students were given pamphlets which provided a checklist of helmet safety including the advice that helmets need to be replaced every five years and also after they have been in a crash.
Bentley Agricultural Society received a $2,500 grant from Alberta Agriculture to stage the event.