Friday, March 11, 2016

SAY What? A New Source of Agriculture Safety Information for Youth


A new initiative provides one-stop shopping for agriculture educators who seek safety resources and training programs aimed toward youth.

The Safety in Agriculture for Youth (SAY) project homepage (http://extension.org/say) is an umbrella compilation that includes many different curricula, programs, projects, and activities that have a common purpose of increasing safety and health knowledge and reducing hazard and risk exposure to youth on farms and ranches.

For years, agricultural safety workers have been developing youth-oriented educational materials. Still, more than 2 million youth under the age of 20 are exposed to agriculture production related hazards in the United States, partly because these resources have not reached the hands of educators within the school systems and other agricultural youth educational settings such as 4-H .

All educational resources located on the SAY Clearinghouse are aligned to the 2015 Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (AFNR) standards.  The Clearinghouse also includes a search engine feature for users to search for a curriculum or resource by a specific topic. Beyond the search engine, users can navigate through the clearinghouse by clicking on different AFNR standards on the right side of the webpage to see all of the educational products which align to a particular standard.  Each educational resource has a page that provides a description, type of resource, language (English and/or Spanish), website link to resource, and alignment chart to AFNR standards.

The AFNR Standards provide agricultural educators (both formal and informal) with a high-quality, rigorous set of standards to guide what youth should know and be able to do after completing a program or educational event. The SAY Clearinghouse lists formal curriculum and other educational resources. Formal curricula are those products that have stated objectives, educational materials that support those objectives and an evaluation component. Other educational resources lack one of the three components listed above, but still have an alignment to AFNR.

“We want these resources to be dispersed to high school students who are receiving formal agriculture classes within their school system, and we realized that if the agriculture teachers are going to use these resources, the resources need to be tied to the standards that the teachers use in the classroom,” said Dave Hill, SAY project manager.
Safety in Agriculture for Youth is a grant project funded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute for Food and Agriculture to develop a sustainable and accessible national clearinghouse for agricultural safety and health curriculum for youth.

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