Manure Manager

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Farmworker deaths in ID manure lagoons put oversight of farms into question


September 26, 2017, Jerome, ID — Alberto Navarro Munoz had been working on the farm for only two weeks when his tractor tipped over into a pit of cow manure, submerging the Mexican native under several feet of a “loose thick somewhat liquid-like substance,” according to the police report documenting his death in southern Idaho.

Munoz’s death – which occurred in Shelley, ID, last September – was one of two fatal accidents in 2016 involving dairymen who either choked or drowned in pits of cow manure. Another laborer from Mexico died in August after he was crushed by a skid loader, used to move feed and manure.

Agricultural workers suffer fatal on-the-job injuries at a very high rate — far higher than police officers and more than twice the rate of construction workers in 2015, the last year for which comprehensive records are available. READ MORE