Land of sunflowers and oil

North Dakota is the land of sunflowers and… oil refineries. Between 2010 and 2011 oil exports from North Dakota increased by 200 percent. (According tot he U.S. Census)

Oil has become a very big deal there.

sunflower_field_north_dakotaPhoto from dakota-north.com

We were there recently conducting a focus group with retired farmers, the issue of oil fracking was mentioned. Whether you agree with it or not, it is changing the face of agriculture, at least in North Dakota. After renting a car and taking a little side trip to the Peace Gardens, Shari (our education director) was amazed at the number of large rigs sharing the roads.

One older gentleman at the focus group said they have a farm that is divided by a two lane road. They raise cattle and can no longer safely move the livestock from one field to the other due to the number of semis using the road.

Now they have to load up the cattle in a trailer and drive across the road instead of herding them as they did in the past. The trucks make the 25 foot walk too dangerous for both the slow moving livestock and the farmer as well.

Other focus group members mentioned that they were concerned about their grandchildren being so close to the many large, fast moving rigs.

What has changed within the agriculture industry in your area that has created new hazards? More importantly, how do you stay ahead of it?

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About Farm Safety For Just Kids

Farm Safety For Just Kids is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries, and fatalities to rural children and youth. We produce and distribute educational materials addressing various dangers commonly found in the rural environment. Farm Safety For Just Kids is supported by a chapter network of grassroots volunteers located throughout the United States and Canada. The organization also has part-time outreach coordinators in several states. Chapters, outreach coordinators, and volunteers conduct educational programs to raise awareness about safety and health issues affecting their communities.
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