Take the pledge to drive cell free

Take the pledge to drive cell free here! Hands-free is not risk-free. According to the National Safety Council, almost 25% of car crashes involve cell phone use. Driving requires eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and a brain focused on the task of driving. Drivers engaged in cell phone conversations, handheld or hands-free, are cognitively distracted and can fail to see up to 50% of their driving environment including stop signs, pedestrians, and red lights. Take the pledge today!

DD Pledge

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Distracted drivers

Close your eyes and count for 5 seconds. Now, imagine driving 55 MPH with your eyes closed that long. Scary, right?

It gets worse. Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.

There is a new website that has been covered by many big news sources lately called twitspotting.com. TWIT stands for “texting while in traffic”. It took just a few people to get irritated enough to start the movement and it is taking off. The purpose of this website is to snap pictures of distracted drivers you see and submit them to the website. They have even gone as far as posting some of the pictures to billboards in order to get their point across. So what do you say, should we help them out?

The guidelines are simple:

You can’t take photos while you’re driving. That’s just stupid. You must be a passenger, or not in a vehicle.

Any sort of distracted driving is fair game (using a phone, putting on makeup, reading the paper).

However you photograph be safe. Don’t endanger yourself, or distract other drivers. Keep in mind that laws vary by state, so we’re just documenting bad behavior.

In honor of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month don’t be a part of the 660,000 drivers that are using their phones right now while driving. And I am not just talking cars on a freeway, countless times I see farmers talking on their phones in tractors, so stop the madness and take part in the movement!

TWIT Spotting

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Have you laughed today?

How did the farmer find his lost cow? He tractor down.

Why shouldn’t you tell a secret on a farm? Because the potatoes have eyes and the corn has ears!

The University of Illinois Extension put together a nice infographic about the benefits of laughter, so if the jokes above didn’t quite do it for you…I suggest you find a reason to laugh soon!


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Happy National Public Health Week

The health and well being of our farm families is important to us. Take this week to look at what you can do to lead a more healthy lifestyle. For more information on the week visit the National Public Health Week website.

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Some kids stick with me.

I’ve worked for Farm Safety For Just Kids for four years. The week I started a little boy fell from a tractor and went through a sod cutter. Recalling his story still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up, even four years later.

I am a marketing director. I work for Farm Safety For Just Kids.

But when I read about a child involved in a farm accident my first reaction is that of a mom.

Yesterday I read an article about a 12-year-old boy in Texas who died after he fell from a tractor and was pulled through a brush hog. Tears pricked the back of my eyes. I can’t even imagine. Well, I can… but I don’t want to.

His parents don’t have a choice. I picture my own son, and I squeeze my eyes shut. I don’t like to cry at work.

At the end of the day, I’ll tidy up my desk and make the half hour commute home. When I walk in the door, I’ll squeeze my son so long he starts to squirm. When he finally breaks free, I’ll plant a kiss on the top of his head.

I will carry the boy from Texas with me, just like the rest.

My hope is that you will too. The next time your son or daughter or grandchild asks to go for a ride – think of them. And think twice.

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New life on the farm!

If you’re anything like me, the day the first calf hits the ground is almost better than Christmas morning! At that moment you know it is the beginning of something new. Luckily this year all it took is one of us to go out of town and within a few days we had 6 new baby calves! Long days followed by late nights watching and helping your animals in any way needed. Your goal = healthy moms and healthy newborns.

Whether birthing season is just beginning, already finished, or yet to start on your farm, we find it necessary to remind people of the most important thing, safety. No matter the species or the breed, giving birth can be a difficult time for some animals. Here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe:

  • The hormones of a new mother are running wild, this is when animals can be the most unpredictable so be on your toes if you need to get close.
  • Whether you’re calving, lambing, foaling, or farrowing we recommend that you keep the kids away! This is not a time for kids to be in the barn or pasture.
  • Get enough sleep. This time of year can be stressful and full of late night trips to the barn so make sure you are not operating on a low battery and getting the sleep your body needs.
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Talk to your kids about ATV safety!

Have you talked to your kids about ATV safety lately? With the weather finally turning and a busy farm season ahead of us, today would be a great time to do it! ATV incidents account for a good number of farm injuries so let’s take a step back and prevent those injuries from happening and talk to your kids. Thanks to the folks at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota for the great video below!


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