In our new issue, I wrote a story about Neal Sawyer and his grass-fed beef farm near Princeton, Iowa. Photographer Mitch Kezar and I visited Neal and took photos of him riding around his pastures on his four-wheeler, checking the cows and moving electric fence. Neal talked about how he convinced his father, Norman, to switch the herd from grain to grass, and it worked. They sell Sawyer Beef at farmers' markets.
As the Spring issue hit mailboxes, I heard that Norman was in a terrible ATV accident in the pasture where we had photographed Neal. A blog set up by the family says, "On Thursday morning, April 19th 2012, Norman Sawyer was thrown from a 4-wheeler. He landed on his back, injuring his C6 and C7 vertebrata. From what we’ve been able to piece together, one of the high-tension electric wires caught the 4-wheeler throttle and caused the 4-wheeler to take off, bucking Norman off. Neal was with him in the pasture, but did not see the accident. When Neal got to Norman, both could tell it was a serious neck injury. Due to the condition of the pasture, the ambulance could not reach Norman. He was helicopter evac to the hospital in Rockford, IL."
You can follow Norman's progress at http://www.nwsrecovery.com/ and leave him an encouraging note.