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Mobile unit helps deliver farm safety program

Ag For Life program will launch next fall and aims to deliver interactive content to rural areas across Western Canada

A mobile unit will drive home the farm safety message next year when Ag For Life launches its latest initiative.

The Rural and Farm Safety Mobile Unit has been under consideration for about three years, said Ag for Life chief executive officer Luree Williamson.

A $650,000 donation from Agrium, announced Nov. 16, will help get the unit on the road to rural schools, communities and fairs by September 2017.

“We were absolutely thrilled when Agrium had stepped up and said they could provide some funding to help us get the wheels on the bus going, if you will,” said Williamson.

Unit design is underway and is likely to be a trailer pulled behind a truck so it can be taken to rural areas and sites across Western Canada and beyond.

“We’re going to be looking at the western provinces for sure and then we’ll be going into some target areas into the United States in our winter months…. We’ll be looking for some program partners down there.”

The mobile unit will carry a variety of farm safety information in displays about the main on-farm hazard areas. It will also include digital interactive content that can be altered to suit the audience involved.

“We want the content to be able to be shared worldwide,” said Williamson.

“If there’s groups anywhere that are interested in delivering farm safety programming, we’d like them to be able to utilize a lot of the content that we develop.”

Content development is the next task, along with additional fundraising to cover operational costs once the mobile unit is ready to hit the road. Such funding will determine how far the unit can travel and the number of people it can reach with its farm safety message.

Ag for Life also launched its Alberta Agriculture Teacher Toolkit, a collaborative effort by commodity and industry groups.

Available at agricultureforlife.ca/agriculture-in-alberta-teacher-kit, it provides teachers with basic information about food, animal care, farm machinery, environmental sustainability and biotechnology.

Ag for Life is a non-profit organization established by seven founding members with a mandate to deliver rural and farm safety education. Glacier FarmMedia, the parent of The Western Producer, is a contributing member.

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