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Ag health focus of fair

An ag health and safety fair is shown at St. James Medical Center in Pontiac last week / CIFN photo.

PONTIAC – Just in time for planting season, local farmers were able to stay on top of their health during an Ag Safety and Health Fair held at OSF Saint James Medical Center in Pontiac last week.

The hospital’s director of ancillary services, Tim Johnson, said they had a decent turnout for the first ever event on Friday with plenty of information available for farmers. Members of the Pontiac Fire Department demonstrated how to handle ag emergencies and offered suggestions on what to do while waiting for rescue squads to arrive.

“They’ve also got one of their fire trucks sitting out here in front of the building. That’s a nice photo opportunity for some of the young kids,” said Johnson.

The fair also included heart health and pre-diabetes screenings along with physical conditioning tips to prepare for spring. This includes strengthening the back with exercise and proper body mechanics.

“We also have some folks talking about sleep apnea and how to recognize that,” Johnson added.

Dieticians offered healthy snack ideas for the field and OSF held CPR classes as well. The idea for the collaboration between St. James Medical Center and the Livingston County Farm Bureau started several months back when Farm Bureau manager Jody Hughes and Johnson discussed the possibility of offering a CPR or first aid course. They decided to do more by adding health and wellness into the mix.

Last Friday as an ideal time to hold a health fair for farmers since spring isn’t too far away.

“Before you start throwing bags of seed around or working on equipment, there’s an opportunity to make sure you’re in good shape.”

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