The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

May 3, 2013

Being smart means being safe

Albia students get hands-on education about danger around farms

(Continued)

When the professionals work on a "hot" area where there is electricity, they use a lot of special gear. Even their rubber gloves have gloves over them.

"The leather gloves protect the rubber, and the rubber gloves protect me," VanDePol told the students as he passed the gloves around.

They also remain visible to drivers, which kids need to do, too. They may not need to go as far as the linemen, who brought their equipment with them. They put out orange cones and wear yellow hard hats and vests. Gibler asked if anyone knew why the colors were different. Even the adults didn't know: The Highway Department, after extensive study of accidents, has ordered that orange be used for things that don't move and yellow for things that do.

Though there were lots of kids from Albia-area farms at the safety event, they were aware that it's the highway that brings in some of the food they eat, but it's families like theirs growing that produce.

"I think a lot of kids are unaware of the source of their food," said Albia teacher Julie Carlton. "They think you go to Jim and Charlie's [market], and that's where food comes from."

She said Farm Bureau and FCSAmerica are two of the groups which visit Lincoln Elementary School in Albia in order to let kids know that it takes smarts and hard work to grow food.

But Jim and Charlie's Affliated Foods was at the event, too. Pineapple may have grown in the ground, but it doesn't grow in Iowa, grocer Mary Clouse told the third-graders. But what about corn, she asked. Yes, it does grow in Iowa, they answered.

Before they started handling food, though, came some basic food safety.

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