From Farm Tragedy to Farm Safety Legacy
Aug 13, 2012
With harvest quickly approaching in the Corn Belt, it's a good time to think about farm safety. It seems fitting to dedicate a post to a Marilyn Adams, a woman who has dedicated a quarter of a century to educating farm children and families about farm safety and health so they do not have to experience the tragedy she saw first-hand when her son died in a farming accident. Her story follows.
Keith Algreen, Marilyn's son.
In 1986, Marilyn's 11-year-old son, Keith, suffocated in a gravity flow wagon of shelled corn while helping with harvest on the family's Iowa farm. Marilyn channeled her grief by founding a nonprofit organization a year later, Farm Safety 4 Just Kids (FS4JK), whose mission is to "promote a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries and fatalities to children and youth."
The organization has grown from a one-woman campaign to an organization with more than 135 chapters and 3,000 members that serves both the U.S. and Canada.
Marilyn with chapter members and staff at the 2011 Chapter Training Conference held in Des Moines.
Marilyn received recognition for her efforts in 2008 when she was named America's Greatest Hometown Hero and grand prize award winner in the Volvo for Life Award. This award included a $100,000 donation to FS4JK and a new Volvo every three years for life.
Volvo names Marilyn America's Greatest Hometown Hero. Marilyn in her Volvo XC90, presented by Willis Auto Campus in Des Moines.
Marilyn retired from FS4JK in June this year which also marks the charity's 25th anniversary. She will remain on the board of directors and will continue to speak at related engagements.
Marilyn's retirement party, accepting an award from past Board Chairman Burt Kross.
Marilyn has also written a book titled Rhythm of the Seasons: A Journey Beyond Loss.