“If it seems like a no-brainer, it probably is!” That’s the shout-out on four new farm safety video PSAs created and
performed by a team of Ontario 4-Hers. The 60-second videos feature youth in four different scenarios at home and on the farm.
Tammy Oswick-Kearney is communications director for 4-H Ontario. She says she was “really impressed at how hard the 4-Hers worked over two weekends to come up with four stories, develop the scripts and take part in absolutely every aspect of the production.”
“This team of seven young people were totally committed to coming up with a product that would appeal to their age group and really make a difference to their safety on the farm,” Tammy adds. 4-H Ontario received funding through the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association’s CASHP funding program supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Growing Forward initiative.
The stories follow the same story thread based on a given that most of us wouldn’t do something “unsafe” on purpose, so why do we take chances with farm safety?
In each scenario, a young person makes a bad safety decision in a familiar home situation — such as lighting a barbecue in an unventilated room indoors. Then the story moves to a comparable farm situation such as a confined space within a silo. The results are dramatic but Tammy says the youth were never in danger and did not actually operate any machinery.
She says the four videos have now been distributed to key media contacts across Ontario and 10 copies have been sent to each provincial 4-H office. “Somehow the videos made it to YouTube within hours of their release,” she says. “We’re really pleased at the increased exposure they’re all getting.” Tammy’s goal is to reformat the videos to broadcast quality in order to interest PBS and CTV in running them as PSAs.
She says so far the four videos have been huge hits at the Progressive Agriculture Safety Days held this spring in Ontario. “Kids totally relate to these safety risk situations,” she says, “and I believe our team of 4-H youth has come up with a really effective tool to help kids stay safe on the farm.”
Get in touch with your provincial 4-H office or check YouTube for Tired Hands — re chemical safety; Extra Rider — re no riders on farm equipment; BBQ Silo — re confined spaces; and Dress-up — re PTO entanglement. It’s a no-brainer!