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Safety First: Keep this Harvest from Being Your Last!
The Sun., Oct. 4, edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured a front page article with the headline, "Deadliest Workplace: The Small Family Farm." The article included sobering statistics about mostly avoidable farm accidents on Minnesota and other Midwest farms. Sadly, the statistics reported more fatal or near-fatal accidents in agriculture than many other "dangerous" industries, such as construction, mining, and in factories.
The article stated,
"Minnesota and other Midwestern states allow small farmers to rely on their own judgment and experience to decide what's safe and what isn't. State and federal budget cuts have slashed farm training and safety programs, even as farm machines have become more powerful and more dangerous.
"Deaths are on the rise. More than 210 work-related deaths occurred on Minnesota farms from 2003 to 2013 - an increase of more than 30 percent when compared with a decade earlier."
Federated Co-ops, Inc. consistently promotes safe farming practices, and we encourage our growers do the same. Independent family farmers are still the heart and soul of the Midwest agricultural economy, but without careful attention to safety at every level, accidents will claim the lives of even the most experienced farmers.
Be careful out there. Use good judgment. Take time to be safe. Federated wants you around for yet another harvest next year!