By Holly Spangler. From Praire Farmer. Originally posted: May 1, 2015. Original Article.


With May upon us and spring planting in full swing, it seemed a good time to pause and think safety. Take a look at the stories circulating this week, including one about a young farm girl injured in Minnesota, and an entire YouTube series called “Survivor Stories.” You – and your family – won’t regret it.

The fifth link is a three-in-one this week, and has nothing to do with farm safety, but everything to do with good people and good service to agriculture. I think you’ll like what they have to say, too.

She’ll be back: The story of this little Minnesota farm girl passed through my social media feeds this week. Read it, think through how quickly this could happen, and think about what you do on your farm. This little girl will have limited use of her right arm for the rest of her life. It’s springtime on the farm; are your farm kids safe?

Farmer and grandson injured by post hole digger: Another that happened in a flash. When I was a kid, my best friend’s dad was running a post hole digger. The auger caught a piece of wire, which whipped around and caught his jeans, yanking him into the auger and flinging him around and eventually onto the ground. He was seriously injured but alive, and seriously fortunate it wasn’t worse.

Saving Lives and Limbs: This one’s from my Indiana colleague and written last fall, but the message is no less pertinent in this busy season. Her grandfather did life without two arms, lost in to a corn picker, and her uncle was killed at just 16. Read it over and think it over.

Survivor Stories: I came upon this series of videos on YouTube – an entire series of videos of farm accident survivors. Or in this instance, the surviving family members. The Survivor Stories series is produced by the Health and Safety Authority of Ireland. So yes, their accents are lovely and yes, you can tell yourself that it happened in Ireland and that’s a long way from here and we do things differently. Except that we don’t. Mean bulls are still mean bulls, no matter the continent. Augers still work the same, no matter the continent. Says James Murphy in the first episode, “You have to ask yourself, what value do you put on your own life? It shouldn’t take a traumatic accident. People shouldn’t have to suffer that level of loss. Small changes can make a difference.”

Parting thoughts: A re-organization took place this week at Penton Agriculture, resulting in long goodbyes to folks I’ve come to know as friends and family. Frank Holdmeyer bounced my babies at Farm Progress Shows, just before his own grandchildren were born. Tim White nearly drowned me in a canoe at an FFA camp buried in Indiana. John Otte made me laugh and cry in the same meeting, and never failed to dazzle us with his economic brilliance. Sue Rademacher has guided the production of Prairie Farmer since before I was born and sends the wittiest emails you’ve ever read. And though I didn’t know Joe Roybal as well, I’ve admired his writing for years. They are good people and I’ll miss them all. Frank, Tim and Joe each wrote parting blogs, all worth the read.