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enny Thompson, Louisa County 4-H extension agent, explained the identifying characteristics of venomous and non-venomous snakes.Be able to identify poison ivy (leaves of three) when hiking. Never wrap a lead rope around your hand while leading a horse. Make sure the driver sees you when approaching a tractor.

These were just a few of the numerous tips discussed as over 60 4-H members from Louisa and Fluvanna counties, including livestock clubs, horse clubs, Cloverbuds (pre-4-H ages), and Future Farmers of America members, rotated through the 10 stations at Youth Safety Day. Parents were welcome and younger visitors were even invited to a story time, which featured farm-themed books.

Organized by the Louisa County Women’s Committee of the Virginia Farm Bureau, the May 9 event was held at Charles and Betty Rosson’s Quaker Hill Farm in Trevilians. The goal of the evening’s sessions was to present a comprehensive, educational overview on farm safety focusing on youth involvement, with emphasis on animals, plants, insects and reptiles, machinery, all-terrain vehicles and food safety.

“We always enjoy having the kids here to learn about being safe on the farm,” said Betty Rosson, who served on the project’s committee along with Cathy Collins. “They learn a lot and so do their parents. We believe that this is a very important and necessary activity.”

Virginia Cooperative Extension agents from Louisa and Fluvanna counties and community volunteers shared their expertise on topics such as distinguishing between venomous and non-venomous snakes and properly operating off-road vehicles. The evening’s activities included a complimentary dinner to the approximately 135 attendees. David Fisher of Burnley Farm and Charles Rosson, Louisa County extension agent, served as grill masters.

“This is the fourth safety day that the women’s committee has hosted since our group was formed in 2007,” said Collins. “What really makes the event special is partnering with the two extension services, volunteer fire and rescue groups, and organizations like the Master Gardeners.”

Each youth took home a first-aid kit consisting of items such as band-aids and ointments, which were provided by local doctors, medical suppliers and the women’s committee. Several lucky participants won prizes donated by area businesses.

“Our group is focused and very hardworking. When we have a project, everyone is always willing to become involved,” said Collins.