“As we navigate through these unique times, Albertans have demonstrated resiliency, the ability to adapt and how to innovate,” says Raelyn Peterson, farm safety coordinator with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “That includes the way we talk about safety on our farms.”
Before the pandemic, farm safety was mainly delivered through hands-on workshops, demonstrations, and community events. Peterson offers some ideas that rural communities and organizations can use to keep the message of farm safety as a top priority.
“Farm safety presentations or demonstrations can be delivered to a specific audience – 4-H for example – using platforms such as Zoom,” she says.
Participants are given a link to log into the demonstration and can ask or answer questions in real time. Information can be shared by using a computer camera or smart phone, giving the presenter the flexibility of using static displays or using real pieces of equipment.
This feature allows the presenter to switch camera direction, real time interaction and can be viewed by the target audience once the live portion is complete. These videos can be uploaded onto YouTube to be shared with the target audience.
Social media posts
“Social media is a great way to reach target audiences,” Peterson says. “You can reach and grow your audience organically. Or, for a few dollars, you can specify your target audience and reach them directly with boosted posts. You can engage your audience by posing a question, posting a picture or video using one of our displays.”
She adds that social media can showcase what others have done or are doing in terms of safety to share with peers.
“For example, you can show how you are keeping your young children in the yard. You can show your online community what works for you and build that conversation with your peers. It’s a good way to connect with people who have been in your shoes.”
The farm safety coordinators with the Alberta Farm Safety Program are also available to assist and can loan out several farm safety displays.
“Our machinery blind spot display uses toy props and is a fantastic way to demonstrate the blind spots around machinery – a concept that is so important for children, young adults and those operating farm machinery,” she explains. “The chemical lookalike display points out the dangers of how everyday house hold items can look very much like chemical substances used on the farm, especially when stored in a secondary container.”
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