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Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 10:30am

Program Teaches Kids Farm Safety

Researchers at the University of Georgia are wrapping up a four-year study of kids working on family farms. Nationwide more than 2,500 teen farmers are hurt every year – mostly from tractor-trailer accidents. A new program called “Ag Teen” could change that.

The study includes 150 South Georgia families. Children of those families, ages nine to 19 were split into three groups. The first got farm safety information from their fathers, the second from other farmers, and the third learned the lessons at the end of the study.

The results show fathers are the most effective teachers when they set the example by wearing seat belts on tractors equipped with rollover protection. University of Georgia professor Zolinda Stoneman led the study.

“Almost all deaths from tractor rollovers could be prevented if people had both the rollover protection structure on the tractor and they wear a seat belt.”

Researchers are hoping to implement the Ag Teen curriculum throughout Georgia, using local extension offices.