KSU EXTENSION: Tractor safety course offered for teenagers




K-State Extension agents

As the weather warms up and the school year comes to an end, many teenagers in the area are beginning to think about summer employment. In many cases in southwest Kansas, that may be working on a farm. The Extension councils from Scott, Wichita and Finney counties will be hosting a Tractor Safety Operator's Course on May 28 at the Finney County Extension Office, 501 S. Ninth St.

The purpose of this course is to provide teenagers with a fuller appreciation and awareness of the needed safety practices around tractors and farm machinery. The Kansas Hazardous Occupation Training is conducted to provide compliance with three pieces of federal legislation governing children in occupational settings. The Fair Labor Standards Act, Hazardous Occupation Orders for Agriculture, and Occupational Safety and Health Act were established to provide protection for children in occupational settings.

The law requires any young person, ages 14 to 16, who will be employed by someone other than his or her mother or father on the farm is required to complete a certification course. Any teenager, regardless of age, is encouraged to participate. Those who are 14 and 15 will receive an operator's permit upon completion of the requirements of the course. Those older than 16 do not need a certificate but are encouraged to participate.

Safety is no accident. It is a learned response similar to "defensive driving" whereby you look for and try to anticipate hazards in advance before they get you. Practicing safety can apply to your home in terms of fire safety, poison prevention and working around automobiles. It can also apply to weather or storm hazards. On the farm it applies to nearly everything — machinery, shop equipment, livestock and other things. When you get down to it, safety is an attitude.

Topics to be covered at the training include instruments and controls, PTO and hydraulics, maintenance and safety checks along with presentations on first aid, public road safety and anhydrous ammonia.

The training begins at 8 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. A minimal registration fee covers breaks and materials. Bring a sack lunch. Pre-register by calling the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670.

Dietary supplements

Dietary supplements or fortification of certain foods may be advantageous in specific situations to increase intake of a specific vitamin or mineral. In some cases, fortification can provide a food-based means for increasing intake of particular nutrients or providing nutrients in highly bioavailable forms.

For example:

* Vitamin D — For many years, most fluid milk has been fortified with vitamin D to increase calcium absorption and prevent rickets. Vitamin D-fortified milk is now the major dietary source of vitamin D for many Americans. Other beverages and foods that often are fortified with vitamin D include orange juice, soy beverages and yogurt. Vitamin D also is available as a dietary supplement. As intake increases above 4,000 IU (100 mcg.) per day, the potential risk of adverse effects increases.

* Folic acid — More recently, folic acid fortification of enriched grains was mandated to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects, which are serious birth defects of the brain and spine. Subsequently, folate intake has increased substantially. It is recommended that all women who are capable of becoming pregnant consume 400 mcg. per day of folic acid from these fortified foods or from dietary supplements, in addition to eating food sources of folate.

* Vitamin B12 — Foods fortified with the crystalline form of vitamin B12, such as fortified cereals, or vitamin B12 supplements, are encouraged for individuals older than age 50. A substantial proportion of these individuals may have reduced ability to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12, but their ability to absorb the crystalline form is not affected. In addition, vegans should ensure adequate intake of vitamin B12 through fortified foods or supplements.

* Iron supplements for pregnant women — Iron supplementation during pregnancy is routinely recommended for all pregnant women to help meet their iron requirements. Obstetricians often monitor the need for iron supplementation during pregnancy.

4-H builds life skills

In 4-H we talk a lot about teaching and building life skills. But just what are those concepts and why are they important?

* Building self-confidence — Have you ever tried to tackle something you felt was beyond you? Maybe you thought, "I'm not good enough to accomplish that task." Well, perhaps you are stretching yourself, but you'll be more likely to succeed if you're confident. Self-confidence follows naturally when you have a positive self-concept. In 4-H, adults are encouraged to help youngsters achieve success through projects and activities that enhances young people's self-confidence and self-esteem.

* Developing an inquiring mind — Through mental stimulation, curiosity and enthusiasm, we encourage young people to find out about the world they live in, the people around them and even people in other lands.

* Relating to others — A natural and integral part of 4-H youth activities involves working with others. Young people learn to respect the feelings and the differences of others. They also learn to handle conflict, apply democratic practices in solving problems, communicate their own desires and listen to the ideas of others.

* Developing concern for the community — Long a strong aspect of 4-H, another organization that has a strong heritage in helping young people develop a sense of civic-minded pride and participation in community activities.

* Learning to make decisions — Adults often assume people naturally acquire decision-making skills on their own or acquire them through "the school of hard knocks." Actually, young people learn how to make decisions by thoughtfully planning events and activities in their life and by facing issues and the possible outcomes with the help and encouragement of adults — usually their parents.

In 4-H, we want young people to assume responsibility for their own lives and to be positive, contributing members of our society.

4-H camping

Since the first 4-H camp in the world was conducted in 1915, every state has offered at one time or another 4-H camping programs for youth. Today, residential camping reaches thousands of youth each year throughout the United States.

What does camp do for campers? Camps light sparks in children and young people, which may take flame now or which may require years to burn.

We know from research and experience that camp can lead to significant, positive, even life-changing outcomes. Camp has a distinctive supportive environment, made up of four major dimensions: the outdoor setting, positive treatment of individuals, positive norms and expectations, and stability and structure. Camp is different from home, community and school in many significant ways.

Here are eight major differences: Parents are not here; no television; we do different activities; learning is different at camp; camp has different values; you have different relationships with peers, friends and adults at camp; camp has a different environment than home; I can be a different person at camp.

Use these to the advantage of the child in better preparing him/her for real-world life experiences. This will help children to become effective, contributing citizens.

Upcoming camps include Lakeside 4-H Camp on June 12 and 13 at Scott County Lakeside Conference Center. Registration deadline is May 15.

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