Safety made fun at Monsanto Farm Safety Day

Thursday, October 1, 2015
Children run through a stranger danger gauntlet exercise to run and tell a trusted adult about being approached by a stranger at Monsanto Farm Safety Day Thursday, Sept. 24. (Arron Hustead/Democrat-News)

A 10-year-old "mostly annual" tradition continued Thursday, Sept. 24, as Monsanto hosted Farm Safety Day at its warehouse.

Elementary school children from across Saline County learned about a variety of ways to be safe in a wide variety of dangerous situations. Groups of children made their way through 10 stations at the warehouse where phrases such as "Stop, Drop and Roll," and "Stop, Don't Touch, Leave the Area, Tell an Adult," were prevalent.

Instructors at the event included: Marshall Fire Department -- fire safety, Missouri Department of Conservation -- boating and fishing safety, Monsanto --- gun safety, Marshall Parks and Recreation -- water safety, Saline County Health Department -- fitness, Cargill -- food safety and lawnmower safety, Marshall FFA -- ATV safety, Missouri Department of Transportation -- railroad safety, Missouri State Highway Patrol -- seat belt safety, and Power Up -- stranger danger.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Collin Stosberg teaches children about seat belt safety with a rollover car simulation at Monsanto Farm Safety Day Thursday, Sept. 24. (Arron Hustead/Democrat-News)

Seatbelt safety was one of the highlights for many children as they laughed and shouted while Highway Patrol Sgt. Collin Stosberg put two crash test dummies through a rollover car simulation. Stosberg displayed what happened to the two dummies, dubbed Kansas and Jayhawk, both with and without their seat belts. In multiple instances, without their seat belts engaged, Kansas and Jayhawk were sent flying out the windows of the vehicle where they commonly landed on their heads.

"Learning should be fun and we're going to make it fun, and it's okay to laugh at my dummies because they're not real people, right," Stosberg told one group. "But what if that was a real person? What if that was your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother or even you? That would be sad right? And that's what we want to avoid."

At other stations, children learned about proper safety gear to use in the pool or when mowing the lawn. They also learned about the spread of bacteria and the most dangerous areas of the railroad tracks to avoid in order to prevent getting trapped when a train is coming.

The event first began in 2005 and has been held "mostly annually" since then, Monsanto representative Susan Pointer said. Monsanto hosts the event every year depending on the availability of its warehouse. Pointer said last year, Monsanto was unable to host the event because the warehouse was full. She said the event began after a child fatality that occurred as the result of a grain trailer accident.

"From that, we decided to do something to touch more kids' lives and teach them safety," Pointer said.

Pointer said approximately 800-900 children were expected to take part in the day's events. That morning, students got an extra experience at the fire safety station.

"This year, the fire department went out on a call, so the kids thought that was real neat," Pointer said.

Representatives of the fire department were able to make it back from the call and continue their fire safety presentations shortly thereafter.

Contact Arron Hustead at ahustead@marshallnews.com