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Save our Farm Youth safety day in Philip

SOFY ... Duke Westerberg, in back, from the Farm Service Agency in Philip, showed students the dangers of how how fast a lawnmower blade spins and how quick something bad can happen if safety measures are not taken.

Over 100 local students, with their classroom teachers, participated in the Philip area Save Our Farm Youth (SOFY) camp on Tuesday, May 12, at the Fine Arts building and outdoors locations.

Each student received a specially decorated t-shirt and were given fudgesickles and juice during a mid-session break.

The event was coordinated by Adele Harty, South Dakota Cooperative Extension educator - livestock, for Haakon and Jackson counties. Other major sponsors of the event were South Dakota Cares, West Central Electric, Golden West Telecommunications, and the Haakon Education Association.

School is almost over and students will be spending more time outside in the sun and heat of summer. Terry Henrie, physicians assistant from Philip Health Services, Inc., taught youth how to stay hydrated and minimize sunburn.

Dr. Alice Harty, veterinarian, taught about dangers associated with livestock and other animals. Her topic ranged from how to act around a stray dog to what young people should and should not do around horses. Students shared many of their own animal experiences.

Dave Schriever from First National Bank in Philip demonstrated all terrain vehicle safety. A machine should fit the child riding it, as measured with the proper bend of the rider's knee, for the best control. Children should always wear helmets, no matter how short the ATV trip.

Matt Talbert, wildlife conservation officer for South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks in Wall, talked about gun safety. Joe Connot from West Central Electric demonstrated the dangers associated with electricity and electrical lines.

Joe Woitte from Grossenburg Implement, Philip, demonstrated some of the hazards with working with tractors and other farm equipment. He illustrated to students how fast a sweatshirt can become wrapped up in a power take-off.

Jessica Eikmeier, 4-H and youth development Extension educator, taught the students about severe weather safety. Instructions included what to do to keep themselves safe during flooding, tornadoes and lightning storms.

Duke Westerberg from the Farm Service Agency in Philip leaned a lawn mower back so that the students could see the blade and the dangers associated with it, how fast it spins and how quickly an accident can happen if the operator is not doing everything safely.