Yesterday, I read a news report about a woman who was killed by a bull when moving cattle with her husband. According to the report, "A rural Long Prairie woman has been attacked and killed by a young bull in central Minnesota. Todd County sheriff's authorities say 31-year-old Deanna Smith was moving cattle with her husband when she was attacked Tuesday night. The St. Cloud Times reports crews tried to revive Smith, but she passed away."
While this is a pretty brief report of a tragic incident for this farm family, the news made me think about farm and ranch safety. Every day, livestock producers are outside feeding their cattle, working on heavy machinery and facing elements that most nine-to-fivers don't even have to think about. In the mundane tasks of keeping a cattle operation going, it's easy to become complacent and skip over safety precautions when we get in a hurry to get a job done.
I hope today's report is a reminder that all it takes is a split second for something terrible to happen on a farm or ranch. Accidents do happen, but it's important that today and every day we practice farm safety. That means keeping on our toes and remembering that even animals have bad days at the office. It also means remembering what we learned as kids -- stay away from the power take-off (PTO), stay out of the gravity wagon, look both ways before backing up a tractor and avoid holes and steep hills on ATVs and other machinery.
Take a minute to pray for this farm family today. Their lives have certainly changed with the loss of this farmer's wife. Remember to be aware of your surroundings and be safe. No job is too important that you need to lose an arm, a leg or your life. Be safe out there!