Creative tools available to help farmers and farm-employees take to the road safely.
Aiding U.S. farmers in getting home safely to their families every night is a priority for your soy checkoff. While farming may be one of the most rewarding occupations, it’s also one of the most dangerous. With the support of the United Soybean Board and the Delaware Soybean Board, the Maryland Soybean Board developed the Find Me Driving “Road Safety” campaign, aimed to raise motorists’ awareness of farm equipment drivers on the roads during the spring, summer and fall. The campaign also offers farmers tools for best practices in driving slow moving vehicles (SMVs) on roadways. Through the campaign, various resources — such as training videos, safety posters and window clings for your tractor and combine — were developed to help keep farmers and others safe on the road.
“Farmers driving SMVs can do so much to raise awareness of their presence on the road to other faster-moving vehicles,” said Belinda Burrier, Chair of the United Soybean Board Communication and Education Committee and Maryland farmer. “It comes down to operational best practices when moving farm equipment from one location to another, and each farm equipment driver should follow the safety tips available from this campaign to help ensure their safety and the safety of others.”
One particular asset created for the campaign is the road safety window cling, which took home a regional first place “Best of NAMA” award this year. The National Agri-Marketing Association’s awards program honors the best work in agricultural communications. Placed in the cab of a slow moving vehicle, the cling reminds drivers of basic safety checks to make before driving on a public road:
- Reflective materials and SMV emblem are displayed and clean.
- Brake pedals are locked together for even stops.
- Required lights and warning flashers are on; turn off rear facing work lights.
- Mirrors are clean and adjusted for clear views.
- Tires are at the maximum recommended pressure and wheel bolts are tight.
- Route conditions are clear of road construction, bad weather and accidents.
“We encourage all farm organizations to promote the road safety campaign tools with their farmers and share the road safety information with their non-farming neighbors driving the same rural roads with our farm equipment,” concluded Burrier.
The Find Me Driving campaign website has a collection of safety-related resources for general motorists and SMV drivers including checklists, training videos, driving statistics and tips, and safety articles.
# # #
About Maryland Soybean Board: In Maryland, farmers grow about 500,000 acres of soybeans, producing more than 20 million bushels of beans each year. With a value of $173 million to the state’s economy, soybeans are one of Maryland’s top crops. The checkoff program is funded by farmers through an assessment of 0.5% of 1% of the net market value of their soybeans at the first point of sale. One-half of the checkoff funds stay in Maryland for programs; the other half is sent to the United Soybean Board. See more at www.mdsoy.com.
About United Soybean Board: United Soybean Board’s 78 volunteer farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. Soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff. For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org.