May 24, 2011, Winnipeg: Fifty-seven Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® are planned across rural Canada this year. More than 2,500 adult volunteers will organize the events and lead activities to help make farm and ranch life safer and healthier for at least 10,500 rural kids.

“That’s an increase of seven full-day events, more than 800 more volunteers and best of all – 4,000 more kids,” says Marcel Hacault, executive director of the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA). CASA provides logistical support for Safety Days across the country.

Joelle Schafer from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is a first time co-ordinator who says she’s thrilled to be able to use this unique program at the Composite School in nearby Clavet sometime this fall. “The school first agreed to a half day program,” she adds “but when they took at look at the topics and teaching plans, they invited another school and added an afternoon session!”

“The kids in grades 3 through 6 will have a really positive experience,” she says, “and it’ll be a great networking activity for the volunteers from the community, including the RCMP, EMS and core sponsor Cargill as well as the Saskatchewan Abilities Council and the University of Saskatchewan.”

The Clavet Safety Day will focus on seven or eight of the 29 teaching modules available in the program, including helmet use, disability awareness and first aid plus animal, tractor, ag chemical and water safety.

July 15th is the deadline to apply to organize a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® in 2012 for your community. Apply online at www.planfarmsafety.ca .

Hacault says the early application date is necessary because base funding from corporate sponsors is limited and “unfortunately, we’re likely to have a waiting list once again”. In 2010, Cargill Canada partnered with CASA to provide core support for seven “extra” Safety Days in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

Safety Days may be delivered in English or French and training is available in Canada in both languages.

For a list of 2011 Progressive Agriculture Safety Days in Canada and to apply for 2012, go to the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day section at www.planfarmsafety.ca.

The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) is a national non-profit organization that co-ordinates, develops and leads national initiatives to help farmers, their families and workers recognize and manage safety risks. CASA is primarily funded through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial initiative Growing Forward with support from Canadian agri-business.

The Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program is the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America and a program of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to provide education and training to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. For more information about the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program across North America, go to www.progressiveag.org.

Media contact: Diane Wreford (204) 275-8874