The life of a farmer is often pictured as someone living a simple, hardworking, and rewarding life. What we can forget is that the equipment that farmers use is dangerous.
The Drieth family in Colorado knows this all too well.
87-year-old Issac Drieth, called the “salt of the earth” by friends, spent Thanksgiving day with his family and then was dropped off on his 97-acre farm where he lived alone that night. On Friday, as the Daily Camera reports, he was run over by his own tractor.
Boulder County Parks and Open Space Ag Resource Specialist Phil Leffler tells the Daily Camera that at nearly 90 years old, “Ike,” was still going strong:
“He had a lot of pride of just his own farming operation and he fought the weeds hard. The place appeared better than most, whether county or not county, because he was meticulous with his battle against weeds and things of that nature... He was very upbeat and was an inspiration for all of us that he could take care of that place so well at his age.”
Joe Drieth, Ike's son, remembers his father with great love saying, “He's the greatest person who ever walked this earth. I loved that man.”
Sadly, Ike's loved ones are not the only farming family to experience this sort of tragedy. According to the National Ag Safety Database, tractor accidents are the leading cause of farming fatalities.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie recently explained the harsh realities of the dangers of farming to TWCNEWS:
“When most people think of dangerous jobs, farming probably doesn’t immediately come to mind—however, the fatality rate for farmers is 800 percent higher than all other American workers."
Issac's death is a somber reminder that the people who work hard everyday to provide America with the products can be dangerous— and sometimes it comes with the ultimate price.