Accident victim gives words of wisdom

OLDS, Alta. — Ray Murphy was the kind of farmer who was always busy and always wanted things done right. But on one fateful day in 2009, everything at his northeastern Alberta farm went wrong. It was the day before he was scheduled for open heart surgery in Edmonton, and he was loading cattle for […] Read more


Always know what’s under the snow

Rescue from frigid waters Brothers learn valuable lesson when venturing out on ice: know the depth of the water

TURIN, Alta. — One day before Calvin Holthe’s 14th birthday, his older brother, Curtis, gave him the most valuable gift anyone can receive. His life. As the boys, now 15 and 16 years old, reflect on events of Nov. 6, 2011, they know Calvin could have drowned while the two were retrieving a duck they’d […] Read more


Keep eye on children around farm machinery

REGINA — Murray McWilliams believes his father carried the guilt of his young son losing a leg in a farm accident to his grave. “It not only affected me, but affected the whole family,” said McWilliams, now retired and living in Regina with his wife. The family was busy finishing the leftover harvest in March […] Read more



Crash test cow takes beating for safety

Australian invention | Scientists use cow dummy to test a new livestock gate invented by an Australian cattle producer

The crash test cow slams into the gate with all its pendulum-induced 60 kilogram weight. The gate buckles and swings outward, leaving the “rancher” mannequin behind it unscathed. Robo-Cow rides again, with its actions recorded on video by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). The crash test cow has proven instrumental in testing […] Read more


Safety balanced with efficiency

Safety, ergonomics and productivity are top of mind for longtime tomato grower Dave Ryall. Shortly before his retirement, he hosted a delegation from the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association for a tour of his Gipaanda Greenhouses operation at Ladner, B.C. “If owning or a supervisor, you always have to be walking the place thinking about ergonomics,” […] Read more



Dangers lurk behind monster machines

Severe consequences | As farm equipment gets bigger and heavier, there are more blind spots and less room for error

Better engineering has helped reduce farm fatalities, but bigger machinery presents new kinds of dangers for operators. Don Voaklander, director of the Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, said a gradual decline of four percent per year in farm fatalities is welcome news. A study by the Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting System found that […] Read more


New workplace safety culture needed to save lives

Agricultural production is one of the most dangerous occupations. On average, more than 100 people are killed and thousands injured in Canada annually in farm and ranch accidents. Despite years of farm safety campaigns, reducing these statistics is a painfully slow process. The Western Producer’s Mary MacArthur explores how farm safety experts are shifting education […] Read more