ByKacen J. Bayless and Seth Bodine /Columbia Missourian |
The status of health care in rural parts of Missouri paints a bleak picture for farmers who live and work in such a dangerous profession. On top of working under constant risk of injury and death, farmers have very few options when it comes to the types of care they can receive. And, when and if that care is available, patients can be billed exorbitant costs.
While Columbia has been proactive about cleaning up its coal ash — cinders that it used to spread on icy and snowy streets in the winter — it still gets 70 percent to 80 percent of its energyfrom coal-fired power plants in the Midwest, and most of that comes from the Sikeston Power Plant in southeast Missouri and the Prairie State Energy Campus in Illinois.
BySeth Bodine, Dylan Sherman and Kacen Bayless/Columbia Missourian |
Every day, tasks on a farm carry the risk of injury or death. Tractors tip over and crush the operator. Farmers drown in grain silos. Grain augers tear off limbs. Heads are scalped when hair gets caught in spinning tractor parts.
ByDanielle Pycior and Jamie Hobbs/Columbia Missourian |
For decades, coal ash has been stored in ash ponds, many of which lie in flood plains or in water tables where groundwater can flow through the ponds into nearby wells, aquifers or rivers. For many small communities across the nation, clean groundwater is an essential resource for drinking water.
BySeth Bodine and Dylan Sherman/Columbia Missourian |
About three children die from a agriculture-related incident every day, according to a 2018 factsheet from the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, which holds child-injury prevention workshops and provides guidance for prevention programs and training to professionals.
A quarter of the deaths involved machinery, 17% involved motor vehicles like ATVs and 16 percent were drownings. Other causes include suffocation, electrocution, animals, being struck by a falling object and falling.