The recent heat wave across the country has been uncomfortable to say the least and inconvenient for many. In fact, the wave has even been deadly for some. In a surprising and rather complex story involving a young farmer and his livestock in rural Wisconsin, a “perfect storm of heat and manure fumes” have resulted in multiple deaths.
News channel WAOW in North Central Wisconsin has been covering this story since it started Monday. Read on to hear about the strange event in Amherst, Wisconsin.
On Monday, August 15, a young farmer and sixteen cows were killed at Biadasz Farms in North Central Wisconsin by noxious fumes coming from cow manure. The young farmer in question was Michael Biadasz, 29, who worked on his father’s farm in Amherst, Wisconsin. He was cleaning a football field sized tank of manure early Monday morning and was overcome by the dome of toxic air the arose from it.
The dome was created when Michael agitated the tank before it was to be pumped. Warmer air from the extreme temperatures of the region trapped either methane or sulfur oxide and created a toxic gas comprised of noxious fumes that enveloped the farmer. That toxic air then spread across the farm and killed sixteen cows. Although Michael had cleaned the tank this way hundreds of times before, it was a perfect storm of conditions that led to this event.
On Wednesday, WAOW reported that three more cows had died from the noxious fumes on the farm. At this time, the Biadasz family was preparing for their son’s funeral.
According to WAOW: The father mourned his son by parking a line of machinery along a road that travels past the farm as a tribute – a blue tractor, red trucks and his son’s black pickup truck.
“He was the kind of son you could only dream of,” Mike’s dad Bob Biadasz said. “He would morning to night farm.”
“When he broke up that hard crust basically the methane or sulfur dioxide came out of the manure and was sitting there because there was a heavy fog mass,” Bob Biadasz said. “It [the gasses] typically would go up in the air and dissipate.”
“Any father’s dream is to have a son like him,” Bob said. “And to lose him to something foolish like this, is tough. I was a very fortunate father to have a son of Mike’s magnitude, to work with and to love,” Bob said.
Family and friends are paying tribute to Mike by lining up farm equipment on the country road the Biadasz Family Farm sits on.
Mike’s funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Fancher. In lieu of flowers, his family will be setting up a farmer safety fund for future farmers.
What is your reaction to this story? Have you ever worked on a farm? Are you familiar with the conditions that ultimately led to this poor young man’s death? Take a moment to send wishes to the grieving family who lost their son all too soon.