"A Hall of Fame recipient should be of sound character and be an upstanding citizen in their community, and Mike definitely meets the requirements," says Dordt College professor of agriculture Duane Bajema of his colleague Mike Schouten, a Dordt College agriculture instructor at the school which is located at Sioux Center in northwest Iowa.
Iowa's Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH) agreed, and the group has selected Schouten as the 2011 I-CASH Hall of Fame honoree. Schouten will be recognized during the opening session of the Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health forum in Des Moines on November 16.
Schouten is the Dordt College Agriculture Stewardship Center manager. He teaches in the college's agriculture program, where he shows students how to safely operate agricultural equipment. "Mike is a patient and effective teacher and presenter. He promotes safety with enthusiasm coupled with a serious approach to the topic," says Bajema. "In the agricultural sector, there have been too many deaths and injuries in our area of northwest Iowa, and Mike is dedicated to reducing injuries and fatalities through education and prevention."
Dedicated to reducing injuries, fatalities through education and prevention
Schouten's contributions to agriculture safety extend to the greater Sioux County community. Schouten works with the Northwest Rural Electric Cooperative in teaching and promoting electrical safety in agricultural settings, and he has assisted the KMEG television station in Sioux City, Iowa, in developing farm safety public service announcements for the harvest season.
He serves as the central coordinator for safety demonstration devices for Dordt College, the Farm Bureau, Iowa State Extension Service and the Sioux Center hospital. "Safety is a main theme for Mike, and he has helped develop ideas and programs in safety education throughout his life," says Lori Kleyer in her nomination letter. Kleyer is a registered nurse and has worked on safety programs with Schouten, including an annual farm safety day camp for junior high-age students.
"Farming is a dangerous occupation. It seems like everybody knows of somebody who's been in a farm accident," says Schouten. "Farm safety day camps are just one way we can do our part to train kids to avoid getting hurt."
He teaches farm safety to junior high and high school students too
Additionally, Schouten provides training to high school students, FFA, and 4-H groups that request to use the equipment for safety demonstrations. The dust explosion simulator that he encouraged and helped students to build has been used by the South Dakota Wheat Growers Association to train elevator personnel in dust explosion prevention.
The I-CASH Hall of Fame award honors individuals and organizations who have made significant and lasting contributions to agricultural safety and health in Iowa. Based in the University of Iowa College of Public Health in Iowa City, Iowa, I-CASH is a joint venture of the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
Dordt College hosts an Ag Campus Visit Day on November 4
Curious about Dordt College's agriculture program? Find out if the Dordt College ag program is the right fit for you by attending the Ag Campus Visit Day event on November 4. Learn more about the nine different emphases available to agriculture majors at Dordt, including animal science, agri-business, ag missions, biotechnology, and more.
The schedule includes a tour of campus and the Ag Stewardship Center. Visitors will also observe a class and have lunch with faculty and students in the college dining hall. Campus visits are fun, informative, and the best way for high school students to explore how Dordt can fit into their future. Students interested in attending should contact the Dordt College admissions office at (712) 722-6080 or send an email to [email protected].