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Safety advocates seek essential input from farmers, first responders

At harvest time and all year long, farmers deal with circumstances beyond their control. Trauma nurse and farmer Mary Beth Voights encourages farmers to strive every day to focus on the one thing they can control: their safety.

“Take every opportunity to be in charge of your own safety,” said Voights, whose family grows corn and soybeans in LaSalle County.

Voights joins Carle’s Center for Rural Health & Farm Safety in marking Sept. 20-26 as 2015 National Farm Safety and Health Week.

To help make the most of this week, Amy Rademaker, Carle farm safety specialist, and Voights encourage farmers, emergency responders and agriculture instructors in east central Illinois to complete an important 10-minute survey.

“We work closely with farmers in the region to provide the safety and support they need,” Rademaker said. “Carle and our partners will use the results of the survey to make sure we’re teaching what we need to be teaching, providing the services we need to provide.”

Keep these tips in mind during this year’s later-than-usual harvest.

  • Watch for slow-moving vehicles.
  • Slow down quickly but safely.
  • Pass when you are certain there is no oncoming traffic.
  • Never pass while farm equipment is making a turn.

Voights understands most farmers want to leave a legacy for future generations. Focusing on safety ups the chances of that happening.

“When I’m not driving the combine, I treat severely injured patients at Carle. I want to see you in the fields, not the ER. To make sure you get the safety support you need, take the simple online survey today,” she said.

Find more information from Carle.