Volunteers Unpaid But Priceless

What does it take to combine fun, kids and farm safety education?

Published in the November 2010 Issue Published online: Nov 08, 2010 Verena Arribas
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Betaseed and VolunteersHands-on activities along with graphical presentations are a perfect start! Yet, combining these experiences with new bike helmets, other goodies and providing healthy snacks creates a fantastic environment to teach children about the important topic of safety on the farm and at home.

Safety Comes First

On September 17, over 220 kids experienced a day that combined education with great fun. Cody Lehman, Verena Arribas and other volunteers from Betaseed, Inc. partnered with Colleen Svingen and Debra Evenson from the NDSU Extension Service Richland County to host Betaseed's first Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in Wahpeton, North Dakota.

Children between the ages of 8 and 10 spent one day learning how to identify and deal with hazards at home and on the farm. "The children eagerly learned how to take responsibility for their own safety, respect parent safety rules and share safety tips with their family and friends," said Cody Lehman of Betaseed, coordinator of the event and local Betaseed customer representative.

Betaseed and GroupLessons Learned

Practical experience of local volunteers and presenters added to the safety day's goal of teaching all participants lifelong safety lessons such as sun, food, lawn mower and bike safety, dealing with power equipment, appropriate measures in case of fire and first aid.

Also participating were area representatives from state law enforcement for drug and seat belt safety.

For farm kids, safety day provides an increased emphasis on tractor safety, animal handling and grain storage bins. Demonstrations and other activities helped greatly to reinforce general safety rules. Over time, Betaseed and Progressive Ag hope that by sharing and applying lessons learned at these events, participants will help to reduce the number of rural children injured in farm incidents.

Betaseed Kids and JoelVolunteer Thanks!

Safety day success was due in large part to the generous support of many local organizations and volunteers.

The fantastic turnout was particularly exciting for the Betaseed team as this was the first Progressive Ag Safety Day conducted by a sugarbeet seed supplier.

In addition, Betaseed is the only sugarbeet seed company to generously support Progressive Agriculture Foundation in their mission to make farm and ranch life safer and healthier for all children through education and training nationwide.

Betaseed is looking forward to hosting two more Safety Days in Wahpeton, N.D. and Stephen, Minn. in 2011.

Together with the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, Betaseed is determined to give back to local communities by keeping kids safe and healthy.


The safety day's success is due in large part to the generous support of many local organizations and volunteers.

The following individuals assisted at the safety day in presenting at 12 different stations. The stations included:

Animal Safety - Milan Drewlow (University of Minnesota Extension Wilkin County), ATV Safety - Erik Dietrich (ND Parks and Recreation Department),

Bicycle Safety - Mike Heikes,

Drug Awareness - Blaine O'Hara (SEMCA Task Force),

Fire Safety - Brett Lambrecht and team (Wahpeton Fire Department),

First Aid - Carol Lee (Richland County Health Department),

Food Safety - Elizabeth Freden (NDSU Extension Service Richland County),

Grain Safety - John Kringler (NDSU Extension Service Cass County),

Lawn Mower Safety - Duane Bernhardson (Betaseed, Inc.),

PTO Safety Demonstration - Joel Kaczynski (RDO Equipment),

Seat Belt Safety - Deputy Kristin Thorsteinson (Richland County Sheriff Department), Sun Safety - Rene Scheurer (Betaseed, Inc.).

Area businesses and organizations that provided money, services or equipment to support the safety day were: Betaseed, Inc. and NDSU Extension Service Richland County as well as Econo Foods Wahpeton, Farmers Insurance Pool, Hills 210 Café & Subs, and the North Dakota Farm Bureau Foundation.