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Father Speaks Out After Losing Son in the “Worse Perfect Storm”
August 24, 2016

The father of a 29 year old farmer from Portage County who died last week from manure gas poisoning said the mishap was a result of the ‘worse perfect storm’ imaginable.

Robert Biadasz of Amherst said his son Michael went out to agitate their outdoor manure pit at 3:00 a.m. on August 15 because they planned to haul loads of waste later that day.

 “Mike was sitting in his truck for a while Snapchatting some of his friends when he got out of his vehicle to check the crust on the pit,” Biadasz told Wisconsin Ag Connection. “When he approached the lagoon, he was immediately overcome by either methane gas or sulfur oxide fumes.

We found him laying on his back near the pit at exactly 6:30 a.m.”

Biadasz said his family later received confirmation from the National Weather Service that there was an ‘atmospheric cap’ in the area during the time of the incident. That’s when heavy air conditions create what is known as a ‘deadly dome of air,’ which would cause the natural gases from the manure pit to stay in place instead of rising up and dissipating.

“Mike loved farming. It was his passion and he had a great mind for business. He recently purchased more farmland near our farm and planned to grow the operation,” Robert added.

The Biadasz family were longtime dairy farmers until fire destroyed their barn in July 2003. Bob said the family decided to grow steers and start a custom operating venture instead of rebuilding the facility for dairy cows.

“We have three adult daughters, but Mike was our only son,” he said. “We’re not sure what the next step will be for us. For now, we’ll just take it one day at a time.”

Meanwhile, the tragic circumstances also claimed the lives of 16 steers on the farm. Robert told Wisconsin Ag Connection that one steer was found dead near the pit shortly after paramedics left from responding to his son’s death. Other steers in a nearby building were also found to be suffering from gas poisoning, so they were brought out into the fresh air, but were not able to survive.

A memorial fund has been established in Michael Biadasz’s memory at the Community First Bank in Stevens Point. His dad said the proceeds from that fund will be used to promote farm safety.

Source – Dairy Agenda


Summer 2018