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Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) reports:

Nick Schrader, an Agricultural Engineering major at Iowa State University, created the winning design in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Agricultural Seatbelt Usage and ROPS Initiative (SUR) logo design contest.

The goal of the contest was to allow students to explore their creativity while enhancing tractor safety.

Schrader's logo design will be part of a national ROPS
promotion strategy for North America.

According to ASABE, ROPS are 99-percent effective in preventing injury or death in the event of an overturn. It was clear to Schrader that the logo needed to express the hazard of operation.

"It was easy to pick out a triangle for the initial design. A triangle represents a warning in most situations and could be split to depict the three key initiatives," said Schrader. "The key initiatives included the use of seatbelts by agricultural equipment operators, placing ROPS into the upright position when you have foldable ROPS on your equipment, and promoting the installation of ROPS on older tractors without ROPS."

Schrader knows first-hand the importance of promoting the safe operation of equipment.

"I worked for a neighboring farmer in high school that had two of his fingers cut off in an auger accident. Knowing someone personally that had an accident happen to them is a key driver to always implement safe practices."

Schrader was recognized for his winning design at the ASABE annual meeting in Montreal, Quebec, Canada where he received a cash prize. The logo he designed will be used in a national ROPS promotion in North America.

While at the awards luncheon, Schrader and other contest participants discussed the fact that a logo alone isn't enough to communicate the safety hazard. Schrader has more ideas.

"I believe further action is needed. I'd like to see a short video with catchy pictures or sound that is associated with the safety messages and shared on the radio or RFD-TV."

Schrader is an intern at John Deere Des Moines Works in the Quality Shared Services Group. He covers the John Deere Quality Manual and facilitates internal and external audits to ensure ISO certification. He is also involved with Six Sigma Initiatives.

Actively involved in the Iowa State ASABE Club, Schrader has served as the club's web master and event planner. Next year he'll serve as chapter president. Schrader is also a member of Alpha Epsilon, FarmHouse Fraternity, and serves as a peer mentor for freshmen in Agricultural and Bio-Systems Engineering.

"The ROPS logo competition has allowed me to share my ambitions in a complex and fast-paced culture. I hope that this warning logo can spark a safety culture change and begin to help those involved with all industries about the implications of not using ROPS and other safety practices."

Second place in the competition went to Amelie Sirois Leclerc from McGill University, and third place went to Joel Parr from Iowa State University.

In addition, Schrader and his peers from Iowa State University received the first-place award for large student engineering branches. The award recognizes ASABE university student branches that excel in campus and community participation, organization, and quality of meetings and programs. The student branches help undergraduates become more knowledgeable about their chosen profession. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers initiated the awards in 1935 as part of its commitment to excellence in agricultural engineering education.

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