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Think Safety This Spring Planting Season, AG Secretary Urges

March 15, 2007

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — While touring the state’s latest Century Farm Award recipient today, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff stressed the importance of farm safety, especially with spring planting season just around the corner.

“Farming is a very dangerous but essential job that contributes to the well-being of all Pennsylvanians through the production of food and fiber,” said Wolff at Brymesser Farms in Cumberland County. “As our farmers head to the fields to plant their crop this season, it’s important to recognize the hazards that exist and to work to minimize those risks.”

The secretary’s remarks followed “Agricultural Safety Awareness Week,” which Governor Edward G. Rendell designated to draw attention to the potential dangers surrounding farm operations and to encourage farmers and related organizations to implement proper farm safety techniques. The week ran from March 4-10.

According to federal statistics, farming is among the most dangerous occupations. There are more than 25 deaths and nearly 4,500 disabling injuries every year on Pennsylvania farms.

Pennsylvania takes an active approach in educating farmers about safety issues to prevent accidents and fatalities. It is one of only two states with a Farm Safety and Occupational Health Act.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture supports farm safety day camps for youth and adults; the Pennsylvania Ag Rescue program offers agricultural rescue training for its first responders and farm families; and the Pennsylvania Agromedicine Program helps develop new curricula for teaching farm safety. The department also teams up with Penn State University’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and the national “Farm Safety 4 Just Kids” program.

During his visit, Wolff also recognized Brymesser Farms as the newest honoree under the department’s Century and Bicentennial Farm program. A sixth-generation dairy farm, the Brymesser’s have been farming the land since 1881.

The Century Farm Program recognizes Pennsylvania families who have been farming the same land for 100 years. The program emphasizes the importance of Pennsylvania’s rural heritage and traditions.

For a list of farm safety tips or more information about the department’s farm safety programs, call Phil Pitzer at 717-772-5206. For more information on farm safety and the Century and Bicentennial Farm program, visit http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/ and click on ‘Producers.’

CONTACT: Kristi L. Rooker (717) 787-5085

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

CONTACT: Kristi L. Rooker of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture,+1-717-787-5085

Web site: http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/




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