As a recipient of the 2020 Corteva Agriscience Award, Troy Boomsma lives Corteva Agriscience’s core values in his daily job and personal life. Although, one of these values stands at the forefront of his mind – live safely. After losing his son, Jaxon, in a farming accident in 2017, Boomsma and his family advocate for farm safety in as many ways as possible.
“I started to share my story in rural agriculture, there is such a relationship with Pioneer employees and growers – it hit everyone,” said Boomsma. “In my time traveling my area, I met others who had also lost kids in farming accidents and we connected to each other and told our stories.”
Farm accidents are much too common. Troy shared that a child dies every 3 days in a farm accident with 33 children injured daily. The Boomsma’s realized there were no good farm safety books out there. With the help of Troy’s younger sister and their kids, they wrote Staying Safe on the Farm with Jaxon.
“It talks about both the love and danger of the farm. It is really about telling the story of farm safety and promoting it,” said Boomsma. “We hope that farmers are having the conversations with their kids about the dangers of the farm because a farm is like a big playground for kids.”
Troy’s team and Pioneer have stepped up to share the farm safety message. Pioneer created orange stickers that boldly remind about the dangerous of the farm. In addition, there are coloring pages and fact sheets. Troy has given a book to every sales representative in his territory and donates books often.
His colleagues have recognized his hard work, dedication and positive impact Troy has made by using his role as a Pioneer Territory Manager to share the message of farm safety.
“Troy has made a big difference in farm safety across a broad geography and has turned a very difficult situation into a learning opportunity for all of us,” Jeff Behrens, Pioneer District Sales Leader. “Troy is a great father and has done a wonderful job keeping Jaxon’s memory in the forefront.”
In addition to working with Corteva, the Boomsma’s work with 4-H and their Farm Safety Day camp by providing donations. They also work with the Farm Bureau to share these messages. To honor Jaxon, the local community started a memorial and made upgrades to a local park that Jaxon enjoyed.
“Safety is important to Corteva Agriscience and you just don’t see other companies talk about it,” said Troy. “That is what I really appreciate now about Corteva Agriscience.”
He credits his own experience of growing up on a farm for learning hard work, integrity and personal accountability.
“There are no better people to work with than a farmer,” said Boomsma. “For us to have success in agriculture, we need to continue to help farmers succeed and bring their kids back to take over the farm.”
Interested in joining the farm safety conversation? Utilize the Corteva resources Troy has helped create or visit the Jaxon L. Boomsma Keep His Smile Alive Facebook Page to order your own book or follow their impact!