Connect with us


UW-River Falls student helps build national farm safety programming online



Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, a young Wisconsin woman spent her summer trying to make a difference on a national scale.

Abigail George

Abigail George of Mondovi served as the first intern for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. The nonprofit’s mission is to provide education, training, and resources to make farm, ranch, and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities.

As a UW-River Falls student studying agriculture business and agriculture marketing and communications, George wanted experience outside the classroom.

“I saw a posting at my college from Progressive Agriculture Safety Day,” George said. “It was something that I went to as a kid, and I worked at a youth center, and we took kids there. When I came upon the opportunity to be an intern, I knew I had to take it.”

The initial plan for George’s internship was to attend in-person Agriculture Safety Days and Farm Shows throughout the summer, but she adapted to creating online resources and events.

One major project was creating an online training center and platform for new coordinators in their first or second year called, ‘Safety Day Building,’ as well as training for experienced coordinators.

“When they would normally go to many different states and counties training hundreds of coordinators, we have now turned that into 100 percent online with no travel necessary,” George said. “It is a really cool experience for me, and I hope the coordinators and other volunteers get the same amount of joy out of it.”

There is optimism for the adjusted format with more than 400 applications to host Progressive Agriculture Safety Days next year submitted before September.

“With all of the uncertainty going on, that is amazing,” George said.

The Progressive Agriculture Foundation is still accepting applications to host a Safety Day.

George returned to school to complete her senior year but said she still planned to be involved with some projects with the Progressive Agriculture Foundation.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *