Clemson Agricultural Safety

Safety Spotlight – November 2021

Charlie Westbrook

Hometown: Rock Hill, SC

Position: Owner of Cherry Place Farm

I farm with my son, Charlie III, and my daughter, Bailey. Charlie graduated from Clemson (Ag. Mech. ’17), and Bailey graduated from Anderson University ’20.  We grow Strawberries in the Spring and produce in the Summer. We run a Corn Maze/ Pumpkin Patch in the Fall and sell Christmas trees/wreaths in the Winter.

How often do you run across the topic of agricultural safety in your position?
Because we are primarily an Agritourism farm, safety is essential. I deal with some form of safety almost every day. Whether it’s spreading Fire Ant bait, spraying chemicals on crops, smoothing walking areas to decrease tripping hazards, or working on equipment, safety factors into all areas of agriculture.

What do you think the biggest concern is regarding agricultural safety?
In my opinion, people today are very removed from what it takes to farm or be around farming.

What is the biggest way to leave an impression on middle to high school age children?
One thing that can be very effective for training school-age children is to hold Farm safety day camps in the summertime. We have hosted several over the years that were connected to Clemson Extension and Progressive Farmer.

What does your position do to mitigate accidents on the job?
We do to educate the public about safety is to place signage in places that will be easily seen. Also, we train employees to communicate with visitors about being safe while there.

What is the biggest concern teaching adults about safety precautions?
Agricultural safety does not have to be scary for people; there just needs to be an understanding that when you are at a farm, be aware of your surroundings, and it will keep you safe.

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