SCAHIP Booth at FFA In Indianapolis Draws in Thousands from Nationwide Membership

92nd National FFA Convention & Expo | Oct. 29 - Nov. 1 | Indianapolis, IN

The Southeast Center for Ag Health & Injury Prevention once again set up its Ag Health & Safety Information & Demonstration Booth at the Annual FFA Convention in Indianapolis from October 29th - November 1st. With over 70,000 FFA members in attendance, the Convention venue is a prime opportunity to provide the latest in farm safety and health to the next generation of farmers, farm families and those who support agriculture nationwide.

Visitors to the booth had several interactive options: Several iPad stations were set up and visitors were invited to take a short social media survey so that Center Outreach programs could better understand how to reach and maintain lines of communication with FFA members and leaders. Or, they could try out the virtual reality tractor driving simulation that has been developed by Dr. Stacy Vincent through his CROPS project. Graduate student Brett Wasden was there operating the simulator while people put on virtual reality goggles and navigated a rugged terrain as part of the computer simulated tractor operation. Long lines throughout all the days indicated the popularity of the interactive booth offerings and survey takers and simulation drivers were rewarded with SCAHIP T-Shirts. In all, over 800 FFA members are sporting SCAHIP t-shirts throughout the country! Free safety stickers, always popular, were available at the booth as well. This year’s stickers featured hearing safety, ATV safety, and a SCAHIP center logo – in all 3,750 were grabbed up by FFA attendees.

The booth display, sporting the SCAHIP orange and white logo colors. Also featured two large screen HD-TVs: One broadcast individuals’ operation of the virtual reality simulation to those not engaged in the simulation, and the other playing loops of several of the SCAHIP produced video safety series “Safety Spotlights” and “Living the Safe Farm Life." Those videos topics include farmer suicide prevention, roll bar safety, farm chemical safety and more.

If you were a teacher, you could pick up a free t-shirt, get a “teacher packet” packed with SCAHIP’s multiple available FREE instructional resources, as well as set safety ear plugs and a gardening/work site knee pads, which were well received. Many of the teacher booth visitors discussed plans for local farm safety days with Dr. Joan Mazur, who distributed 100s of packets, was at the teacher station and it is obvious that FFA is turning much attention to programming and events that feature best practices for agricultural health & safety.

SCAHIP staff, Ashley Rockwell, Christin Kane, Alex Sabad and graduate students Brett Wasden and Jacelyn Nesmith were joined at the booth we Dale Dobson, our collaborator from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Home and Farm Safety program and Dr. Kang Namkoong from the University of Maryland, a partner on the CROPS project who has been heading up the mobile and virtual reality technology components of that program.

All-in-all this year’s National FFA Convention was a success and continues to be an important Outreach opportunity to connect the students and teachers of the FFA with interactive and life-saving agricultural health and safety best practices, information and resources that can be used in their home towns and communities to promote farm safety!