Mark Minnicus, Delphi Ind., was only days out of his wheelchair when Joy McClain visited him recently. She was there to do a story about how he was returning home to farm with his dad Jerry. But what captivated here was his story of how he survived a harrowing farm accident that could have happened to anyone.
McClain will explain the story in detail in the October issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine, due to hit mailboxes in just over a week. It's part of her 'Home Sweet Home' series about how young people are finding ways to return to the farm even when farming is now a high-stakes financial business.
McClain uncovers the human side, like Mark's love for the land. She says it was his goal to return to farm with his dad as far back as he can remember. He went to an ag two-year school in Iowa after high school. Both he and his dad credit that experience with helping him develop different viewpoints on farming. He worked for top farm operations while at school as part of work-study programs.
One of his former 'bosses,' who frequently has students in the program work on his farm, Brian Mills, New Boston, Ill. was shocked to hear that Mark had an accident. He says that of all the students he has had come to his farm and work while cooperating with the school Mark is one of the most conscientious and careful around machinery as he has ever seen. He was one of the last people you would figure would wind up in a serious farm accident, Mills says.
National Farm Safety Week is celebrated now to remind people to be careful during harvest. Mills says he will think of Mark and realize that accidents can happen to anyone. For Mark's part, he intends to retain his experience and be as cautious as possible as he returns to farm duty this fall.
His accident involved a tractor. That isn't surprising, Bill Field notes. Field is the farm safety Extensions specialist at Purdue University. Although grain bin fatalities and rescue attempts get a lot of play, as well they should, roughly half of all farm fatalities still involve tractors. It's one statistic that has maintained very consistent over the years.
Look for what happened to Mark and his road to recovery in the next issue.