Written By: Leah Chester-Davis
One of the things that struck Carolina Farm Credit Loan Officer Carrie Barnhardt most about Sampson Parker’s harrowing story of survival against all odds was the comments he made about the charred corn picker.
“He left that charred piece of equipment in the field so every time he pulled into the farm it was a reminder that God saved his life. That just gives me chills,” she says. “What strength! For me, that would have been a constant reminder of the negativity but for him he saw it as a reminder of the positive.”
Carrie says she views it as a hopeful testimony about the future. She knows Sampson’s story will serve as both a cautionary tale and an inspirational message full of hope, and is excited to share details about an upcoming Farm Safety Seminar at 6 p.m. on October 24, which the Carolina Farm Credit Concord and Salisbury branches will host in cooperation with the Rowan County Extension Center.
The evening will feature a dinner and Sampson as keynote speaker. Sampson, who has shared his story in our Farm Safety series, will also have copies of his book, “Unthinkable Choice,” available for purchase. It chronicles his epic fight for survival and provides a glimpse as to why his story made international news and why it was among the Top 10 news stories in 2007.
The seminar will also feature information and resources from the N.C. Agromedicine Institute. Door prizes with a safety theme, such as ear plugs and first aid kits, will be distributed. Because there have been a number of tractor accidents on highways, the seminar is open to the general public. Seating is limited so please get your reservation in by Oct. 11; call the Concord Branch of Carolina Farm Credit at 704.786.0193.
“Not only is it good for the public to be aware of farm safety but also people who are around it 24/7,” says Carrie. “It just takes a second when you’re not thinking, you’re low on sleep, you’re stressed about something else, or you’ve got a million other things on your mind. It’s good to be cautious and aware of what you are doing. Sometimes it’s a reality check to come and talk to somebody who has been through a farm accident so when they are out working on their farm they think of Sampson Parker and say I need to take a step back and reevaluate this before I jump in. It’s good to have somebody lay it out for you and show you what they went through and how you can try to prevent something like this from happening in the future.”
Carrie, who also farms with her husband, says she gets it when it comes to sometimes acting too quickly. “Farm safety is so important and I think a lot of times it’s overlooked in the hustle and bustle.”
The Farm Safety Seminar at 6 p.m. Oct. 24, Rowan County Extension Center, 2727 Old Concord Road, Salisbury, is designed to serve as an important reminder to step back and think before acting too quickly around dangerous equipment. It will also include important mental health tips for those dealing with stress in today’s farming environment.
In this Farm Safety series, farmers Sampson Parker, Cabarrus County, Corey Lutz, Lincoln County, and Lewis Phipps, Alleghany County, share their stories of farm accidents and survival.