First Farm Safety Day provides valuable learning to hundreds of southern Alberta students

Calgary – Dramatic demonstrations and hands-on learning stations greeted more than 700 Southern Alberta students at the first ever Farm Safety Day, Thursday May 26 at Stampede Park. The brand new Calgary Stampede initiative, supported by AltaLink, was focused on helping rural youth learn and identify the risks around them in order to keep themselves safe.

With recent tragedies in our province’s farming and ranching communities underscoring the need for an event such as this, a mutual desire to support our community’s youth had the Calgary Stampede and AltaLink joining forces for Farm Safety Day.

“I grew up in an agricultural community and have seen the incredible work ethic and can-do spirit rural Albertans bring to the work they do day in and day out,” said Scott Thon, President and CEO of AltaLink. “I am also aware of the complex nature of our agricultural operations and the dangers associated with it. That’s why AltaLink, in conjunction with the Calgary Stampede, hosted Farm Safety Day – to provide education and awareness to our youth on how to work safely and prevent injuries.”

Students spent the day enjoying interactive activities on topics ranging from grain safety and confined spaces, to animal behavior. They were also able to see first-hand the powerful impact of accidents, with a rollover simulator as well as a station that showed just how dangerous it can be to have your clothing get caught on a common piece of farm machinery – a power take-off shaft.      

“It’s kind of scary,” Strathmore area student Julia Doble said after watching the demonstration, but added, “kids usually don’t know about these things. Adults usually learn from experience, so it’s good for kids to learn about this early so they can prevent accidents.”

That’s exactly what teacher Marleen Belton was hoping would happen when she brought her students from the Rosebud River School, of the Springvale Hutterite colony. The community north of Rockyford relies heavily on farming, with young people becoming involved early on.  Belton believes her students will definitely benefit from what they’ve learned at Farm Safety Day.

“It’s sinking in,” she said as the event drew to a close. “When they can come and touch things and see it, the hands-on really helps.”  Plans are now in the works to make this an annual event that brings hundreds of rural students to Stampede Park to talk safety every spring.

About the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west.  The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit.  All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

For more information, please contact:

Kristina Barnes

Communications Manager, Western Events and Agriculture

Calgary Stampede

T. 403.261.0382

C. 403.585.4706

E. kbarnes@calgarystampede.com