BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Nov. 29, 2010 — Bunge North America has doubled its support of the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program. Thanks to a $1 million sponsorship pledge, nearly 77,000 children will be able to participate in farm and ranch safety and health education programs over the next five years.
“The entire Bunge North America team is thrilled to extend our relationship with the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program through 2015,” explains David Kabbes, senior vice president, corporate and legal affairs for Bunge North America. “We firmly believe in what Safety Days are all about, and our sponsorship reflects Bunge’s commitment to not only promoting the safety and well-being of our employees but to extending this safety focus to our customers and the communities where we operate.”
Bunge North America has been a leading sponsor of Progressive Agriculture Safety Days since 2006. Since becoming a sponsor, the company has contributed more than $500,000 to the program, helping further efforts aimed at protecting rural youth.
Contribution goes beyond dollars
In addition to providing financial support, Bunge North America employees in the U.S. and Canada have played a key role in making Safety Days possible for their local communities. Many volunteer in coordinator roles, working to develop and execute Safety Days from start to finish.
“Shortly after learning about the Safety Day program, I knew it was something I wanted to get involved with,” recalls Chris Poggendorf, Bunge North America safety director and Safety Day coordinator for Vermilion County, Ill. “It’s a real joy to work with kids at each event. They’re eager to learn, and they take the lessons we teach them to heart. Many times, they can’t wait to race home to share what they’ve learned with their parents.”
Poggendorf hosts one Safety Day event annually, and participates in many others. He often reaches out to local teachers and school officials to generate awareness and interest in the program. Some of the topics youth are able to explore with Poggendorf include grain, chemical, seat belt, all-terrain vehicle and lawnmower safety, among others. He notes that with education at an earlier age, children develop better habits and practices that they will eventually bring into the workforce.
Safety Day is a program dedicated to making farm and ranch life safer and healthier for all children through education and training. These one-day events teach children safety and health lessons that can keep them and those around them safer and healthier at home, or on a farm or ranch. In addition to the topics Poggendorf mentions, bicycle, farm equipment, food and weather safety are just a few more of the 30 plus topics for which the Progressive Agriculture Foundation provides curriculum and coordinator training.
Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited (NYSE:BG), is a vertically integrated food and feed ingredient company. Bunge North America supplies raw and processed agricultural commodities and specialized food ingredients to a wide range of customers in the livestock, poultry, food processor, food service and bakery industries. With headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., Bunge North America and its subsidiaries operate grain elevators, oilseed processing plants, edible-oil refineries and packaging facilities, and corn dry mills in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program is the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America and a program of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to provide education and training to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. In 2008, PAF was awarded the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance National Charity Seal, demonstrating its commitment to accountability and ethical practices. Safety Day applications are due each July 15 for Safety Days that will be conducted the following calendar year.