Everyone enjoyed themselves at last year’s Progressive Agricultural Safety Day. Students aged six to 16 gathered at Alex Fraser Park to learn about how to be safe around electricity, fire, tractors, hand tools, cars, small animals and more. (Observer file photo)

Quesnel’s Progressive Agriculture Safety Day proceeding as planned, with additional COVID-19 precautions

The May 16 event will be capped at 75 participants and will include a “no handshake policy”

A variety of stations teaching everything from road safety, first aid and animal safety to outdoor survival skills and farm equipment safety are being organized for Quesnel’s second annual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day.

Lead co-ordinator Cody Dillabough is excited to build on the momentum from last year’s inaugural event.

“For our first event last year, it was remarkable,” he said. “We had just over 100 participants, and that was really, really good.”

Progressive Agriculture Safety Day provides children and youth aged six to 16 with the tools to safely thrive in the community, and the event is full of demonstrations and hands-on activities covering everything from exiting an energized tractor or vehicle and correctly buckling up to building your own first aid kit and learning how to use a fire extinguisher properly.

Dillabough says the biggest change for this year’s event is the addition of Quesnel Search and Rescue, who will be doing a “survive alive” session to teach participants outdoor survival skills.

Stations being planned for the May 16 event include animal safety, ATV and dirt bike safety, survive alive, electrical safety, farm equipment safety, fire safety, small animal safety, first aid/first on the scene, food safety, hand tool safety, lawn equipment safety, PTO and entanglement safety, road safety and hidden hazards. Trans Canada Energy will present information about gas line transmission and what to do if you smell gas, there will be a chance to learn what hazards are hidden around your home, yard and workspace, and junior and senior registered 4-H members will have the opportunity to do a farm safety walk about.

“Because we’re primarily a farming community, it is really important to educate parents and children — and we don’t just educate them about farm safety, but also bout safety around the house,” said Dillabough.

This year’s Quesnel Progressive Agriculture Safety Day is set to take place Saturday, May 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Alex Fraser Park.

Dillabough released a statement Thursday, March 12 saying the event will be continuing as planned amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“We take the health of our participants and community very seriously,” he said. “We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak, and we’ll continue to assess our event every few days. We have implemented several measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to keep participants at our event safe.”

The event has been capped at no more than 75 participants. As well, participants and presenters will not be permitted to attend the event if they exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19, and participants will be prohibited from touching any props/teaching aids that are used as part of a presentation.

Dillabough says they will also be implementing a “no handshake policy.” This includes all physical contact and extends to customary game/activity-related activities such as high-fives and fist-bumping. All of the programming will be reworked to take the form of engaging demonstrations that will limit hands-on participation.

There will also be several handwashing stations available throughout the venue.

The event is completely free, but anyone interested in participating in Progressive Agriculture Safety Day is asked to register in advance. Registration packages are available on the Quesnel Safety Day Facebook page. For this day, 4-H members will receive credit towards their 4-H safety badge/senior skill certificate.

Organizers are also still looking for volunteers and gratefully welcome anyone who is interested in helping be a group leader or helping with registration. Contact Cody Dillabough at 236-587-8328 if you would like to get involved.

Quesnel Progressive Agriculture Safety Day is supported by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, the 4-H British Columbia Provincial Council, Farm Credit Canada, the Quesnel 4-H District and the Central Interior Regional 4-H Council.

To learn more about Progressive Agriculture Day, which has been taking place across Canada and the U.S. for 26 years, visit progressiveag.org.

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