PELLA ? The Washington County 4-H Club was presented with the Outstanding Youth Grant Award from Iowa?s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH) at this year?s Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health conference in Pella.
Each year, I-CASH designates funds for Iowa youth groups to engage in a farm safety and health project. At the end of the season, the top project is selected based on the level of youth involvement and impact to the agricultural community.
Washington County 4-H project ?Stay Safe, Take a Break? interrupts farmers in their fields during harvest season to present them with a bag of safety information and remind them to take frequent breaks during the busy harvest season. The project has received several grants from I-CASH; this the first year they have been presented with the Outstanding Youth Grant Award.
Leader Amy Green says that the farmers are always pleased to receive the bags. ?Initially, they are concerned with a strange vehicle entering the field but when they see a smiling 4-H?er with a bag of goodies ? it makes their day.?
The interruptions do seem to provide farmers a few minutes of down time. Green reports, ?As we drive away, their equipment usually doesn?t move for a while as they sort through the goodies and do exactly what we hoped ? they take a break to help rejuvenate and stay safe.?
This year, the 4-H?ers reached 200 farmers in their fields. Group members Brooke Stout and Kristen Twinam attended the award ceremony and gave a brief presentation about their project to an audience of farmers and safety and health professionals.
For more information about the I-CASH youth grant program go to www.i-cash.org