It's the time of year when farmers get busy fertilizing their wheat and preparing their fields for spring planting. It's also the time of year when the number of farm injuries increases.
"Farming is a dangerous business," Kingman County farmer John Steffen says.
Steffen knows that first-hand. He had known Orrin Westerman his whole life. The 51-year-old was working on the hydraulics of the bale bed, with it came down and trapped him. He suffered head injuries and died at the scene. Crews were called to the scene in the 700 block of SW 10th Ave. in Kingman County Tuesday morning.
"We lost a fine man today in a farm accident," Steffen says.
Steffen had a farm accident of his own in 2001. He lost half his right foot in an auger.
"I was one of the lucky ones, to live and tell about it," Steffen says. "It was a situation where I wasn't paying attention, and that's sometimes what happens with some farm accidents."
According to Kansas State University, 700 American farmers and ranchers die on the job every year.
With so many different tasks and types of equipment, Steffen says accidents can never be eliminated altogether. The death of a neighbor is a sad reminder of the dangers of farming.