ROCK SPRINGS – Teens and safety rarely go hand-in-hand, but the next generation of agricultural producers is proving that safety is an important part of rural work and life.
Five teams of 4-H youth from throughout the commonwealth displayed a wealth of knowledge during the Pennsylvania State University Farm Safety and Health Quiz Bowl, held at the 2013 Ag Progress Days on Aug. 14. The 4-H teams competed in a quiz show format to demonstrate their knowledge about farm safety and health hazards and recommended practices.
Teams study a range of resources, such as the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program Task Sheets, National Agricultural Safety Database (NASD) Web site, Pesticide Education Manual, Penn State Agricultural Safety Fact Sheets and extension articles. Participants not only learn about farm safety and health, but they also increase their leadership and public speaking skills and learn how to promote agricultural safety and health through their organizations and in their own farm operation.
The top four teams will compete during the 4-H Quiz Bowl State Finals at the 2014 Pennsylvania Farm Show. All team members and chapters received a certificate, and monetary prizes ranging from $200 to $150. The Pennsylvania Agricultural Safety and Health Quiz Bowl is administered by the Penn State University Agricultural Safety and Health Program. Current financial supporters include: Westfield Insurance, CNH America LLC, Farm Family Insurance Company, AgChoice Farm Credit, & MidAtlantic Farm Credit.
The 2013 teams advancing to state finals include Union County 4-H Team A, Union County 4-H Team B, Cumberland County 4-H, Dauphin County 4-H. Unfortunately, the Clearfield County 4-H Team coached by 4-H Leader, Rose Nelelen of Luthersburg and consisting of team members Reuben Hicks of DuBois, Randy Nelen and Shawn Nelen, both of Luthersburg and Jon Stephens of Clearfield, will not be moving onto the state competition in January of 2014. The team will be earning a $150 monetary award for their participation.
On Aug. 15 four local teens put their horse knowledge to the test by competing in Ag Progress Day’s Horse Quiz Bowl. The contest, now in its second year, is sponsored by the Penn State Department of Animal Science and The Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association. The Clearfield County Team, The Blazing Stars, comprised of Chelsea Folmar of Luthersburg, Katelyn Matthews of Glasgow, Fran McAninch of DuBois and Katie Russell of Grampian beat out five other teams to be named the winners. This is the second year in a row that Clearfield County has earned the top placing. The team will earn $500 for their achievement. Folmar and McAninch, who serve as teens on Pennsylvania 4-H Team Horse Power, were also on hand at Ag Progress Days giving out mop ponies and educating attendees on appropriate horsemanship skills.
The 4-H is a non-formal youth development educational program of Penn State Cooperative Extension for all youth between the ages of 5 and 19, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, genetic information, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status. For additional information on the 4-H program, contact Jana Lynne Davidson at Penn State Extension in Clearfield County at 814-765-7878, Ext. 3.