Narrative is the "basic mode of human interaction and a fundamental way of acquiring new knowledge."  Narrative is widely used in health communication to influence attitudes and change behaviors.  This project builds on experiences and partnerships with the translational Telling the Story Project (, a collaboration of the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH), the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH), and the National Farm Medicine Center (NFMC).  The Telling the Story Project injects prevention messages into first-person injury stories.  The project has been well-received by farmers, media, and educators.  This branch of the project will focus on child injury and fatality stories that took place in agriculture.  The articles and stories featured on this website will encourage readers to use prevention and safety strategies to protect their own families.

We encourage you to share links to our stories. In addition, our stories may be republished without further permission if published as written.  We simply ask that you credit the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.

Jaxon Boomsma Story

“If you’ve never gone to a 7-year-old’s funeral …” 

Where do you begin grasping the incomprehensible, grieving the unimaginable and struggling with, “Why?” 

Jaxon Boomsma died April 14, 2017, as the result of a tractor-related incident at a relative’s farm. Not a day goes by that the smile of this little boy from Yankton, S.D., is not missed... Read more 

Lessons for life:

Sister finds her farm safety voice as a student and athlete

College is a life-changing experience for many people, but Jaiden Boomsma’s life changed well before she arrived on the campus of South Dakota State University (SDSU).  

Jaiden’s little brother, Jaxon, died at age 7 in a tractor runover on their grandparents’ farm when she was 15. Soon after, the Boomsma family established a memorial to “Keep his Smile Alive” and try to prevent a similar tragedy from striking another family... Read more 

A mother’s promise

Christopher Allsup Foundation targets unsafe gasoline containers

Jane Allsup remembered walking past the two red plastic gasoline containers every day as she left for work.

“I saw them change color as they aged, and I noticed how they changed shape when the weather was hot and the pressure inside them increased,” she said. “But I didn’t think anything of it at the time.”

At 6:30 a.m. on a fall-like Saturday morning, Sept. 21, 2013, Allsup began her commute from the family farm in Winterset, Iowa. In the short window of time between her departure and her husband's awakening, Her son, 10-year-old Christopher Allsup, convinced his brother Chad to go outside. Perhaps recalling family time around the fire pit the night before, Christopher thought it would be fun to start a small fire in the backyard. When the traditional way of using newspaper and matches was not working, Christopher went into the garage and grabbed one of those gasoline containers. In an all-too-common practice in American backyards and barnyards, Christopher sprinkled the damp, smoldering logs with the accelerant.

Christopher backed away from the fire pit but, unknowingly, stood in a cloud of highly flammable vapors escaping from the old, unsafe container... Read more