Next week, March 11 to 17, is Canadian Agricultural Safety Week 2018. Numerous farm organizations, including the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA), the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and sponsor Farm Credit Canada, are encouraging Canadians to “be part of the AgSafe Family.” The safety week is an annual public awareness campaign focusing on the importance of safe agriculture.
In 2018 organizers are focusing on supporting senior farmers through resources, safety advice articles, infographics, and more, wrapping up the Be an AgSafe Family campaign that focused on children in 2016, adults in 2017 and now, in 2018, seniors.
“Canadian Ag Safety Week really asks farm families to have conversations about safety,” says Marcel Hacault, CASA’s executive director. “Everyone has a role on the farm, the AgSafe family is a team, and everyone can contribute in a safe and productive way.”
This year’s campaign focusses on the role of the older farmer. The CASA notes in promotional material that, in Canada, the face of farming is changing, with more farmers over the age of 70 than under the age of 35.
“The reality is, older farmers are farming more acres and farming well into their golden years,” the association points out in a release. The CASA stresses that senior farmers are vital to Canadian agriculture, as older farmers offer “wisdom, knowledge and experience.” However they are also at risk for injury and the association is asking them to take the time to evaluate their health and their farms to ensure they practice safe farming by modern standards.
Farm safety week is also a time to remind non-farmers that everyone is part of the solution on farm safety. In a rural area like this, we all visit farms and encounter farm vehicles and equipment on local roads. It behooves us all to be aware how to safely interact with agriculture. For more information on agricultural safety visit agsafetyweek.ca.