America's most dangerous jobs: 7. Farming and ranching
September 20th, 2012
03:45 PM ET
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Fatality rate per 100,000 workers: 25.3
Median wage: $70,010

Working on a farm or a ranch is labor-intensive and machines help lift much of that burden - but they are also the cause of many fatal accidents.

Ranch hands use all-terrain vehicles to reach distant fields and even to herd cattle. The use of ATVs has become so widespread that in states like Montana, they surpassed horses as the biggest source of injuries on ranches, according to Gene Surber, who teaches safety at large agricultural organizations such as the Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization for cattle ranching families.

Horses still cause a lot of injuries, though. Many horses are poorly trained and ridden hard. But cowboys think they can ride anything, said Surber. They'll saddle up an unruly horse and get thrown.

On farms, machinery, like tractors, tend to be the culprit in most accidents. Many occur when drivers back the big machines over other workers they didn't see, said Les Graham, Surber's partner.

Last year, 260 farmers and ranchers died on the job, the Labor Department said.

See the rest of the list - America's most dangerous jobs

Previously:

Farmers aren't evil. Now can we have a civil conversation?
Opinion: After the drought, seeking long-term solutions for farmers
Forward-thinking farmers are preventing another Dust Bowl
Drought may yield benefits for wineries and wine lovers
Farmer: 'It was the system that failed us'
Farmer in the drought – if you plant it, it might not come
Farmer: 'If you eat, this drought will affect you'
Praying for rain in the Arkansas drought
Where does your grocery money go? Mostly not to the farmers
Who are you calling 'rich'? A small farmer shares some hard data



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