Donation to Assist Gas Monitor Rebate Program for Farmers
At 3:00am on August 15, 2016, Mike Biadasz, age 29, went out to agitate a large outdoor (open) manure pit on his family’s farm. When the crust layer on top of the pit opened, hydrogen sulfide gas was expelled. A calm day with a clear sky and a heavy layer of fog near the ground, the lack of air movement and sudden release of hydrogen sulfide gas tragically took Mike’s life.
On Friday, July 28, Biadasz’s family donated $40,000 in an effort to help prevent other farm families from experiencing the same tragedy.
The family raised funds and presented a check to the National Farm Medicine Center (NFMC) based in Marshfield Clinic Research Institute and Marshfield Clinic Center for Community Outreach (CCO) to implement a gas monitor rebate program.
In short, farmers can apply for a rebate that covers the cost for a device that detects gas levels and alerts them when potentially lethal levels are reached.
At the event, Casper Bendixsen, Ph.D., NFMC associate research scientist, discussed how deaths like Mike’s can occur and how alarm devices can prevent them from occurring.
“Regrettably, tragedy on American farms are far too frequent,” said Bendixsen, adding that National Farm Medicine Center is the largest full time group of ag researchers in the country and philanthropic gifts are critical to their success.
“Programs like these are not often funded by national, or even state, dollars,” he said. “It’s not just about funding a program, which is fantastic. Farmers looking out for farmers- that’s what will make a difference.”
Lisa Grezenski, Mike Biadasz’s sister, discussed Mike’s death and why the family decided to raise funds and create a rebate program for gas monitors.
“We want to make sure that everybody is aware that hydrogen sulfide is very present in open manure pits,” said Grezenski. “We don’t want this tragedy to happen to somebody else. We want to keep this going because we want to keep people safe.”
“He was the kind of kid you’d be so proud to have,” added Mike’s father, Bob Biadasz. “When we lost Mike, we had to do something to help people from this tragedy happening. Our mission is to bring safety and awareness to the community. Nobody wants this to happen.”
To learn how you can support farm safety, please visit this website.