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Serving: IN
Hearts on the Map Represent Farm Deaths

Hearts on the Map Represent Farm Deaths

Some counties have more farm deaths than others.

Here is one time when you don't want to see many hearts in your county on the map. The map is the location of fatal farm-related accidents from 1980 through 2012.

The data is compiled by Bill Field, Purdue University Extension safety specialist, and his staff.

Since there is no official reporting requirement for farm fatalities in Indiana, the information is based on reports the staff collect, using as sophisticated of methods as possible to make sure they find out about as many farm accidents as possible.

Some counties have more farm deaths than others.

The Indiana Department of Labor classifies farm deaths by different criteria. Since they use a narrower definition, their count is usually not as high. Field counts deaths related to any cause on a farm setting. Until 2012, he also included deaths on roadways involving farm equipment. Beginning in 2012 he's breaking that out in a separate category.

Every county in Indiana has at least one heart on the map, meaning there was at least one fatal farm accident over the past 32 years in that county. The counties with the fewest deaths, two each, are Fayette, Vermilion, Howard, Ohio and Newton.

At the other end of the spectrum some counties have been hard hit through the years. Some of it may relate to the number of farms in the county or the type of agriculture that goes on there, such as livestock vs. grain farming. Counties in northern Indiana with large Amish communities have been hit hard. In most cases, the number of deaths per year among the Amish communities has decreased after an intense effort by Field and others to educate Amish farmers and their families and children about potential dangers and the need to practice safety habits.

MAP OF HEARTS: Every county in Indiana has at least one heart on the map, meaning there was at least one fatal farm accident over the past 32 years in that county

Elkhart and LaGrange lead this dubious category with 27 deaths each during the period. Other counties with more than their fair share of fatalities include Greene, at 22, Dubois, 16, Daviess, 13, Jennings, 14, Dearborn, 13, Jefferson, 13, Ripley, 13, Morgan, 13, Franklin, 15, Adams, 15, Madison, Jay and Allen, all with 13 each, Harrison with 14 and St. Joseph with 16.

TAGS: Extension
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