Farming in Missouri is a family affair, where generations work alongside one another and pass on valuable lessons about being good stewards of the land. Living on a farm provides youth an opportunity to learn about responsibilities, the value of hard work and many other life skills.
When working with youth on the farm, provide age-appropriate tasks, give clear instructions and help them if needed. Youth should not be allowed to operate equipment that they are not old enough to operate or have not been given instructions on how to use. They should also wear personal protective equipment when working with tools or other machinery. Youth should never be allowed to work with chemicals and fertilizers found on the farm.
Some farm families show livestock and allow youth to work with them at a young age. It’s important to teach them to treat all animals with respect and care, and how to interact with them safely. It’s also important to wear a helmet when riding horses to protect your head in case of a fall. After working with animals, it’s always a good idea to clean up and wash your hands before moving on to another task.
Many young people enjoy riding four-wheelers and ATVs around the farm. Be clear on safety rules for operating, including riding a size-appropriate ATV for youth, always wearing a helmet and not driving on public roads unless absolutely necessary to move from farm to farm.
When helping out on the farm, youth should never ride on a tractor fender or ride as a passenger unless the tractor is equipped with a buddy seat and a safety belt. They should also ride safely in the cab of a farm truck or other piece of machinery.
Children enjoy exploring at a young age and can find themselves in potentially dangerous situations around the farm. Be sure you know where your child is on the farm and that they are playing in safe areas. Children should not be allowed to play in grain bins, wagons, or silos or in areas where tractors and heavy machinery are operating.
Show-Me Farm Safety is working to develop tools to teach kids about safety on the farm. Check back to download printable copies of our coloring sheets, teaching resources and activity sheets.