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The world lost a farmer

“My goal in life? To someday be able to step back and see ‘Wehri Farms, Mott, N.D.’ in crisp, bold decals on the door of a semi. To know that what I am doing is feeding thousands. To wake up every morning and be proud of my accomplishments and excited to start the day. To be able to look around me and see for miles all the hard work I have put into my life. To have a loving wife who helped me raise beautiful children to whom someday I can pass it all down to. Someday.”
– Michael Wehri, 2013

Michael Wehri
Michael Wehri
At the age of only 19, Michael Wehri knew what he wanted out of life. He knew his responsibilities, and he was more than ready to undertake them … but as willing and eager as he was, Michael never got his someday. He had just finished double-checking the clearing of his equipment when the wind took a power line and caught the sprayer unnoticed.

He died on June 10, 2013.

On that day, the world lost a son, brother, nephew, friend, classmate … The world lost a farmer.

Although this happened in western North Dakota, it could have happened anywhere in the state, where agriculture is more than a job — it’s a way of life. And in life, it’s all about the people we love. Farm safety is important wherever you may be!

What I’m learning in my internship scares me. The number of accidents involving farm equipment and power poles has more than tripled since 2009.

Safety is a huge priority for the state’s farmers and ranchers, and for electric cooperatives like Capital Electric. In addition to spreading safety messages through radio ads and billboards, your co-op also works with members to raise the height of lines or install underground cable where appropriate.

Michael Wehri was a classmate of mine at Mott-Regent High School and also one of my best friends. Not only was he a one-of-a-kind guy, he was a role model. He was a leader who always gave a thumbs up of encouragement and reassurance; he was the most optimistic person I’ve ever known.

Farming truly ran through his veins. In his free time, he’d read magazines or manuals on farm equipment. It was just what he loved. It was his God-given purpose, and he carried that through his last day.

In the end, it truly is the little things. Those small memories we hang on to. The way Mike impacted my life will live on. I promise.

Stay safe out there.
Your safety matters to us.

Lexus Haut is an intern at Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative and Northern Plains Electric Cooperative. We are grateful to Lexi and the co-ops, and the family of Michael Wehri, for sharing this powerful story and message.

 

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