In this episode you’re going to hear a first hand account of a farm accident. It’s a jarring reminder of how so many tasks on a farm or ranch that seem routine, can be extremely dangerous. Doug Bichler is a rancher from Linton, North Dakota. He has agreed to share his story with us of a day in 2017 that changed his life forever. Doug is the 3rd generation on his family’s ranch where he owns a seed stock operation, and raises registered Simmental Cattle and Dorper sheep. He also does custom feeding for others in the area: mainly backgrounding for feeders and replacement heifers.
You’ll also hear from Angie Johnson, who is the NDSU Extension Farm & Ranch Safety Coordinator, and Emily Leier, who is the Emmons County Extension Agent. They’ll talk about impacts of farm accidents on local communities and the resources available for both prevention and support.
“I actually even used to teach farm safety. I used to be an extension agent. I'm very aware of what to do and what not to do. I think there's a disconnect though, when you're in the tractor and you're doing it versus when you're in a classroom and you're teaching. It's really easy to say things, but it's a whole other thing to actually do them and practice them.” -Doug Bichler
Doug has discovered that not only are there a lot of people with stories of close calls who can relate, but there is a whole community of people whose lives have been affected by firsthand experiences with farm accidents. As you can imagine, this whole experience has created a new set of challenges for Doug, but it hasn’t changed his resolve to work on the ranch. His attitude and empathy for what others might be dealing with, is something we should all aspire to.
“Your attitude is just such a key factor in overcoming whatever obstacle you're facing, whether it's an accident or something else. We all have things we deal with. People can just see what I'm dealing with, but sometimes we can't see what people are dealing with. So I think that's an important thing to remember.” -Doug Bichler
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