Sunday, May 08, 2005


You probably think a farm is good. ie:

IOYC: Is a farm good?

You: Yes! Of course is this a trick.

But let's see what happens if I ask a Representative of the Ohio State University (dept. Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering):

IOYC: Hello. Thankyou for talking to me. Is a farm good?

Representative: (thinks for a moment). Provisional NO.

You: (listening on the other line) You better explain yourself a little better, Representative AS I FUCKING LOVE FARMS.

Representative: I suggest you look at the 'Fact Sheet' entitled 'Barnyard Drowning AEX-995-97' by my colleagues Dee Jepsen, Dawn Handrosh and Thomas L. Bean.

IOYC: I have an edited copy of it handy, thankyou for your time Representative.

Representative: This has been confusing and now I am sad. GOOD BYE.

[awkward silence]

Without further ado, THE FACT SHEET*

*edited highlights

Farms are great places to visit. Think about a typical farm with animals, a pond and fun things to explore. Have you ever thought about places you could drown on a farm? Drowning is the third leading cause of death to children 0-14 years of age.

One area on farms you can drown is in liquid manure. Manure, unlike water, is heavy and will drag your body to the bottom. Farmers usually store liquid manure in pits, slurry storage tanks or lagoons. A pit storage unit is located under the barn and can only be entered through a manhole. You should not play in or around these manholes. If you were to fall in, nobody would hear you except the animals.

Liquid manure can also be stored in lagoons. Many people mistake a lagoon for a pond because they look very similar. The danger with a lagoon is the manure creates a crust on the top that may appear safe. If you were to walk across the top, the weight of your body will cause the crust to break. There is not much of a chance you could survive in the heavy manure.

Grain drowning is a common type of solid drowning which can occur on farms. It may be fun to jump in the grain or even bury yourself, but this kind of play is very dangerous. Flowing grain acts like quicksand. Once you start to sink it is impossible for you to dig your way to the top. As you dig, the grain keeps shifting under your feet, pushing you deeper towards the bottom. It only takes 3 to 4 seconds for an adult to become helpless in grain and only 20 seconds for an adult to become totally covered. You are smaller in size so it takes less time for you to become covered in the grain. Just riding in gravity wagons from the fields to the bins can be deadly. As the gravity wagon hits bumps, the grain will shift around your body. You could be buried alive before arriving at the bin.

Drowning is a serious farm hazard. Knowing where and how drowning accidents happen is important. Protect your friends and younger brothers or sisters from these areas. Tell them to never play near ponds, liquid manure, grain bins or gravity wagons. Play safe and be responsible.


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