Chippewa Valley (WQOW) — Wisconsin is full of farmland and families who work hard on them everyday. That’s why instructors of a course at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) are teaching the next generation how to work safely.
Students from across Eau Claire, Chippewa and Dunn Counties are learning multiple aspects of agricultural safety, from how to operate a tractor, to responding to and preventing future farming accidents. The course is provided as a partnership between CVTC and Eau Claire County’s UW-Extension.
According to the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 417 farmers and farm workers died from work related injuries in 2016. Regi Geissler, a trauma coordinator for HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, told News 18 common farm-related injuries are associated with operating equipment, so she wants the future farmers to understand the dangers.
“I want them to be safe out there while they’re working, and to be careful and cautious and take the time to really get concerned with those safety mechanisms, and not to bypass those because they’re there for a reason,” Geissler said.
Brent Christianson, an agronomy instructor with CVTC, told News 18 age 12 is the state minimum to legally operate and work on farms, making this course vital to instill safe farming practices for the future.
“We want them to be exposed to what can go wrong and what should be done to properly operate this equipment and be around this equipment,” Christianson said. “We want to create good habits for all of these students.”
Christianson also said this course is a good reminder to everyone to be safe on the roads, as summer is just the beginning of the busy season for farmers.
This summer’s farm safety course runs through Friday, and there are plans to have the course again next year.