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Farm Safety Day leaves lasting impression on youth and adults

Bobber the Water Dog was a fun, interactive part of Farm Safety Day 2022. About 100 youth and 60 adults learned about water safety from Todd Ernenputsch from US Army Corps of Engineers during the grand finale session. The kids won’t forget why life jackets are important and how they need to fit properly.

LEWISTOWN, Ill. - Accidents are not limited to the farm. Water, fire, internet, and bicycle safety were just a few of the topics 100 kids and 60 adults learned about at Farm Safety Day on June 3.

“We will never know the accidents that didn’t happen thanks to lessons learned at Farm Safety Day,” mentioned Krista Gray, Fulton County 4-H program coordinator with University of Illinois Extension. “All of the topics covered apply to any kid, no matter if they live on the farm, in town, or outside Fulton and Mason counties in a big city.”

4-H staff from Illinois Extension along with Mason and Fulton Farm Bureaus worked together to host this event. Many 4-H and Farm Bureau volunteers assisted. They believe that all children should learn about farm safety, whether they live on a farm or perhaps visit friends or relatives who live in a rural setting. Youth from Fulton, Mason, Peoria, Tazewell, Bureau, Knox, and McDonough counties were in attendance.

Topics and presenters included: 

  • Weather Safety - Chris Helle, Fulton County ESDA
  • Bicycle & Skateboard Safety - Josh Wages, Canton Police Department
  • Personal and Cyber Security - Jon Webb, Fulton County Sheriff’s Department
  • Outdoor Survival Skills - Jane Frazier & Kim Dunnigan, Extension Master Naturalists
  • Fire Safety - Matt Fliege & Jeremy Eakle, Havana Fire Department
  • Farm Equipment Safety - Darrell Atterberry, Sloan Equipment
  • Livestock Safety - Patty Howard and Alexandria Riviere, Mason 4-H volunteers
  • Firearm & Hunter Safety - Tim Sickmeyer, Hunter Safety Instructor and Randy Stockham, Mason 4-H Shooting Sports Coordinator
  • Water Safety - Todd Ernenputsch & Bobber, US Army Corps of Engineers

University of Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit and Fulton and Mason County Farm Bureaus coordinate and sponsor this annual event. This year it was held at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in Lewistown. 

Additional support was provided by several area businesses and organizations, including Spoon River Electric’s Round-Up Program which provided a $1,500 grant. This event was offered to all area youth, free of charge. Every youth who attended received lunch and a free battery powered LED camping lantern.

To get connected with other youth development events and future Farm Safety Days visit University of Illinois Extension’s website at To enjoy more photos from the day visit

About University of Illinois Extension: University of Illinois Extension is the flagship outreach effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, offering educational programs to residents of all of Illinois' 102 counties — and far beyond. Extension provides practical education you can trust to help people, businesses, and communities solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future. U of I Extension offers educational programs in five broad areas: energy and environmental stewardship, food safety and security, economic development and workforce preparedness, family health, financial security, and wellness, and youth development.

About 4-H: Illinois 4-H strives to help youth learn skills for living. University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois. Illinois 4-H aims to impact the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs and groups and short-term programming.

Source: Krista Gray, Fulton 4-H program coordinator,, 309-547-3711