Wood County Farm Bureau shares important tips

MINERAL WELLS – The 14th annual Wood County Farm Bureau Safety Day program provides important safety information to Wood County students.

About 340 students from six Wood County elementary schools are participating in the two-day program, which began Tuesday and concludes today at the Wood County 4-H Campground on Butcher Bend Road at Mineral Wells.

Throughout the day, students visit eight safety stations. This year’s stations are sun safety, fire safety, electrical safety, school safety, ATV safety, disability awareness, farm machinery safety and food safety.

Coordinator Janet Wigal, with the farm bureau, said a new school was added to this year’s program- Gihon Elementary- raising the number of participating schools to six, including Lubeck, Emerson, Mineral Wells, Gihon, Franklin and Fairplains.

Students attending Tuesday’s program included fourth-graders from Mineral Wells, Emerson and Fairplains. Today’s program will be for third-graders from Gihon and Lubeck and fourth-graders from Franklin.

“We want to instill in these kids something that they can take with them for the rest of their lives, lessons they can take with them,” Wigal said.

The program featured a variety of instructors, including volunteers and representatives from the Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department, the Parkersburg Police Department, Monongahela Power, Lemon and Barrett’s Powersports and WVU Extension Service.

Mike Coartney, a lineman with Mon Power, said he enjoys coming back each year to teach students about electrical safety, from how to properly plug and unplug a lamp cord to what to do about a power line on the ground, with the students chanting “Stay away! Call for help!”

“It’s a really worthwhile cause,” he said of the Safety Day program.

Scott McCormick, a fourth-grade teacher at Mineral Wells, said he has been bringing students to the Safety Day program since it started, adding with a laugh “I’ve got a T-shirt for every one of them.”

McCormick believes the program is an important one for the participating students, helping to create a foundation for basic safety in a variety of areas.

“I love this program and the kids do to. They learn something, each and every one of them,” he said.

Wigal said the Safety Day program receives support from the Wood County Commission, Farm Credit and the Little Kanawha Conservation District.