INDIANAPOLIS The nation's growing embrace of small-scale production of local and organic crops is leading to more farm injuries and deaths among amateur growers.
Experts say some novice farmers have little appreciation of the occupation's dangers. Up to a quarter of Indiana's 115 farm fatalities over the past four years have been on small operations that include so-called hobby or lifestyle farms. Those are small operations often run by people who entered farming from other lines of work.
Bill Field is a Purdue University farm-safety expert who tracks farm fatalities. Over the years, he has served as an expert witness in more than 100 lawsuits that included the deaths of a surgeon, an FBI agent, a lawyer and several other professionals who traded white-collar careers for farming.