Platte-Geddes FFA chapter wins SDFU Safety Quiz Bowl

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HURON — Four teens from the Platte-Geddes FFA Chapter were named the 2023 Farmers Union Farm Safety Quiz Bowl Champions Sept. 2, during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair.

“The contest is a fun way to incorporate farm safety. We were all focused and ready to answer questions,” said Brooklyn Nepodal a member of the Platte-Geddes FFA Quiz Bowl Team. “Farm safety is extremely important. My grandpa actually gives us demonstrations on how to be safe around our family farm.”

Nepodal competed alongside Natalie Severson, Harper Kirsch and Tristen Petrik. The team qualified for the Farm Safety Quiz Bowl Championships during the State FFA Convention held in Brookings this spring. Other teams to qualify were Gettysburg, Kimball, Platte-Geddes and Wolsey-Wessington. Members of the winning team received a cash prize.

Keeping farm safety top of mind is the reason South Dakota Farmers Union hosts the Farm Safety Quiz Bowl each year, explained SDFU President and Conde farmer, Doug Sombke.

“So many South Dakota youth either live on a farm, work on a farm or enjoy time on friend’s farms – this is the reason farm safety is included in all our youth educational programming,” explained Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union. “Farms and ranches are some of the best places to raise children, but they are also work zones where accidents can and do happen.”

Knowing a child injured in a farm accident is the reason Platte-Geddes FFA Advisor Cayla Graves encourages her students to compete in the quiz bowl each year.

“Kids like competition. They like a good challenge,” Graves said. “If I just assign them something and say, “read this article about PTO safety,” they may read the article, but they do not have a vested interest in truly understanding what it has to say. Competition created by this quiz bowl makes it fun for them to learn and think about farm safety.”

In addition to the annual Farm Safety Quiz Bowl, South Dakota Farmers Union is also promoting farm safety during the South Dakota State Fair through their interactive Farm Safety Trailer.

During the South Dakota State Fair hundreds of youth will try on a safety harness while learning about grain bin safety; drive an ATV simulator to learn how to safely drive an ATV and learn about high-risk areas of the farm and how to be safe through the 3-D model farm.

“Kids learn best by doing,” explained explains Rocky Forman, SDFU Member Services Coordinator. “So, we made sure each safety lesson exhibited in this trailer engages youth in a hands-on activity.”

Thousands of South Dakota youth have visited the Farm Safety Trailer since it hit the road in 2018.

“The hands-on nature of this trailer enhances our educational mission and allows us to provide farm safety education to youth year-round,” said Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director.