ASCC-ACNR Hosts Farm Safety Day
June 22, 2016
By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer
Over 200 of American Samoa’s youngsters and more than 30 parents participated in the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day presented recently by the Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources (ACNR) division of the American Samoa Community College (ASCC). From morning till early afternoon the ACNR staff and its community partners shared safety information in a number of areas, with the goal of making farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities.
The Progressive Agriculture Foundation, based in Birmingham, Alabama, funds yearly Safety Day events in American Samoa and other locations across the nation. “Our division has hosted this event for 12 years now,” said ACNR Agriculture Extension Agent Amio Mavaega-Luvu, who is also certified as a Farm Safety Coordinator with the Federal Farm Safety Program. “Every year we increase the number of participants. These safety issues are always new to some kids, and to some of their parents who accompany them.”
Participants in the free event were enrolled by their parents in response to announcements made several weeks prior. Safety Day usually targets ages 8-13, but ACNR has also destined a program for ages 4-7. “Because we didn’t want to turn down the little ones, we placed them in our Wellness Center,” said Mavaega-Luvu, “where our 4-H and Forestry staff worked with them on handicrafts and other hands-on activities. They also took tours to the Aquaculture Division to see the fish tanks and to the ACNR greenhouses.”
Activities for older children took place in the ASCC Gymnasium, where they were organized into groups who rotated between five presentation areas. The five topics covered for 30 minute presentations were Animal Safety, taught by ACNR staff Fili Uta and Niela Leifi, along with ACNR student Fa’atoialemanu Areta; Chemical Safety, taught by guest ASEPA staff member Tualagi Gaoteote; First Aid/CPR, taught by Lesolo Peato Kalio, EMS Chief Special Operation and his staff; Small Tools & Equipment Safety, taught by ACNR Agriculture Extension staff member Su’esu’e Alopopo; and Food Safety, taught by ACNR staff from the Extended Food Nutrition and Education Program.
“They enjoyed the program and stated that the information shared by the presenters is very useful for them and their families,” said Mavaega-Luvu of this year’s participants. “I believe Safety Day builds a positive attitude among those of us here at ACNR towards working with the community to protect our number one resource, our children.” Mavaega-Luvu also acknowledged ASEPA, LBJ, and EMS, community partners who contribute important information of their own that contributes to the well-rounded perspective on safety made available to the Territory’s youth during the event.
The Progressive Agriculture Foundation governs and secures funding solely for the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program, the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America. Five-star sponsors of the program are Bunge, Agrium, Crop Production Services, TransCanada, CHS Foundation and Enbridge. Four-star sponsors include ADM, John Deere, Farm Credit and Monsanto. For more information, visit www.progressiveag.org.