While almost every American industry has had rapid advancements in safety and oversight, small agricultural operations and family-owned farms are just the opposite. The truth is, the kind of farming that’s driving the Central Illinois economy remains one of the most dangerous professions in the U.S., injuring or killing thousands each year nationwide.
It’s a trend driven by a series of overlapping factors, from small farms being exempt from even the most basic federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules, to a reliance on outdated machinery, to the time-honored practice of children learning the trade through hands-on lessons, despite incredible risks.
Our in-depth special report “Safety on the Small Farm” over four days examined the trend, one that’s critically important to our region, where soybeans and corn plucked from sprawling acreage are shipped around the world, and where there is deep pride in agrarian traditions and a sense of independence.
What we found were farmers touched by profound disabilities, family members dealing with loss, and experts who study occupational safety saying there is an alarming lack of verifiable data on injury rates.
We told our story – timed for publication in advance of the harvest season – through imagery, graphics and videos, as well as an editorial on our opinion page. Importantly, we sought solutions to the trend and ways to engage. The Bloomington Pantagraph and Journal Gazette/Times-Courier in Mattoon also published the series.
We also produced a podcast featuring a roundtable discussion with staffers who worked on the series, and we’re continuing our engagement effort by planning a panel discussion at the University of Illinois Extension office featuring those in our series. We also followed up after the series published by reporting on local students learning about farm safety through a seminar that featured one of the experts we featured.
Our effort to educate about this important topic is just getting started.
SAVOY -- Dan Livesay, 86 of Savoy formerly of Decatur and DuQuoin died at 2:49 a.m. Saturday, September 8, 2018 at home.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 14, 2018 at Morgan Memorial Home, Savoy. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, Mahomet. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Dan was born on August 20, 1932 in Benton, the son of Dwight and Marie Gibbs Livesay. He married Paula Antenore in 1990 in Paducah, Kentucky and she died on October 13, 2017.
Survivors include a son; Chris (Tamara) Beaty of Dewey, 2 grandchildren; Austin (Kelsey) Beaty and Benjamin Beaty and 2 great grandchildren; Nash Beaty and Romy Beaty.
He was a U.S. Navy veteran.
Dan was a lineman and then a service manager for Illinois Power Company.
He was a member of Ainad Shrine Temple and the masonic lodge.
Dan was an avid skier and hunter who loved hunting dogs, trap shooting, and duck hunting. He also collected R.S. Prussia.
In his later years he found a passion for rebuilding and restoring antique radios and phonographs.
Dan was a master of all things he endeavored to do. His father was an electrician and taught him everything he knew, and Dan built upon those skills in the Navy and following his service those skills became his life’s work.
He had a stern exterior, but his ultimate nature was one of extreme generosity and would help anyone in need. He had a deep love and respect for his parents especially his mother which he then carried on in his loving care of his wife and even daughter-in-law. He had a tremendous respect for those who mother and was an absolute gentleman.
The family would like to thank the staff of Willowbrook House 1 for their loving care and Carle Hospice.
FORSYTH -- Larry L. Reed, 76, of Forsyth, IL, passed away Sunday, September 9, 2018 at Decatur Memorial Hospital.
Funeral services will be 10:00 am Thursday, September 13, at Grace United Methodist Church. Visitation will be from 4-8 pm Wednesday, September 12, at Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Home, Decatur. Burial will be in Westside Cemetery, Moweaqua, IL. Memorials may be made to Grace United Methodist Church.
Larry was born July 5, 1942, in Decatur, son of Floyd Albert and Harriett Maria (Kirkwood) Reed. He married Carol A. Zindel on December 15, 1984 in Moweaqua, IL.
Larry was a teacher at MacArthur High School for 8 years, then was the Director of Purchasing and Transportation for Decatur Public Schools for 25 years. Larry was a member of Grace United Methodist Church for 60 years, and has served as a trustee for the Village of Forsyth since 2003.
Surviving is his wife Carol of Forsyth; children: Matthew J. Reed of Decatur, Brian D. Reed (Lynne) of Colorado Springs, CO, and Erin L. Reed (fiancé Matt Stiles) of Decatur; granddaughter Lily Reed of Colorado Springs, CO; sister Beverly J. Reed of Decatur; brothers David B. Reed (Karen) of Decatur and Thomas G. Reed (Sharon) of Waterloo, IA ; several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one infant son.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family in care of Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Homes at www.brintlingerandearl.com
MACON -- Janet Lee Wolworth, 80, of Macon, IL passed away at 4:20 p.m., Friday, September 7, 2018, in the Eastern Star Home, Macon, IL.
A graveside service honoring Janet’s life will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, September 14, 2018, in the South Macon Township Cemetery, Macon, IL. Memorials may be made in Janet’s memory to the Eastern Star Home, resident treat fund. Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Home, Macon is assisting with services. Messages of condolence may be sent to www.dawson-wikoff.com.
Janet was born August 6, 1938 in Grant Park, IL the daughter of Herman and Cora (Cleringer) Ohlenkamp. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.
Surviving are her many friends and staff members of the Eastern Star Home.
STRASBURG -- Herbert A. Collins, 90, of Strasburg, Illinois, passed away at 1:08 a.m. Sunday, September 9, 2018 in Shelbyville Manor.
A family memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, September 13, 2018 in Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville, IL with Rev. David Ducommon and Rev. Kathy Lewis officiating. Memorials may be given to the Strasburg United Methodist Church or HSHS Hospice of Effingham, IL in care of Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, 415 N. Broadway, Shelbyville, IL.
Herbert was born on July 27, 1928 in Strasburg, IL, the son of Virgil Leslie and Edna (Allen) Collins. He was a graduate of Strasburg High School in the Class of 1946. Herbert married Josephine Lee Bray on December 25, 1950 in Decatur, Illinois. He was a farmer and also worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Herbert was a member of the Strasburg United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his wife, Josephine; three sons, Herbert Dennis Collins of Sullivan, IL, David Lee Collins and wife Cheryl of Sullivan, IL and Gary Lynn Collins of Galveston, TX; one sister, Betty Ann Skielnik and husband Tony of Mt. Pulaski, IL; and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and five sisters, Genevieve Buesking, Daisy Gulick, Thelma Campbell, Marie Sommerville and Irma Wright.