Another view of farm life; Area students visit local farms
Published 10:13 am Thursday, September 25, 2014
By Hannah Dillon
CORNING — Third-grade students from Albert Lea and other surrounding schools got a chance to learn about farm safety during a farm tour.
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The 23rd annual farm tours took place throughout the day Wednesday and today for some area schools. Students got to visit a potato farm, hog farm and dairy farm. Austin Public Schools third-graders took similar farm tours a few weeks ago.
The students’ visit to the hog farm also taught them about safety with some farm equipment used for harvesting corn.
Kiven Lukes, who owns hogs at Gary Braaten’s farm a half mile south of tiny Corning, spoke to the third-graders about the importance of staying safe around combines and tractors.
Combines — which reap, thresh and winnow the grain — are valuable to farmers during fall harvest. However, they can be dangerous, Lukes said.
Lukes said he explained how a combine works to the students and that there are many moving parts inside of the machinery.
He stressed he tried to teach the kids about safety by explaining, rather than just telling them not to play on the machinery.
Lukes told them why there are guards in place on combines to keep operators safe, as well as stressed farm machinery is not a toy to be played on.
He talked to the children about tractors. He said how tractors are used with different implements to do work on the farm.
One student asked if it would be possible to ride on the back of a tractor. Lukes said he didn’t recommend that, as one could fall off the tractor and underneath the trailing implement.
Even for people who don’t live on a farm, Lukes said knowing about farm equipment safety is important. He said some people will more than likely visit a farm that has this type of machinery.
Lukes hoped the students gained a respect for farm machinery and learned how to stay safe around it.
By explaining, versus just telling students not to do something, the students are more likely to understand and to buy into an idea, Lukes said.
At the other two stops, third-graders got a chance to see calves and a milking machine as well as a shop where potatoes are processed after harvesting.