The farming community bid farewell to one of its foremost members Tuesday when Fleming resident Mark Dailey, 64, died at his residence in a farming accident.
Dailey received the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Award, was a member of the Farm Bureau and had been a member of the Washington County Fair Board for 13 years.
He died Tuesday afternoon in a tractor incident at his farm, 1358 Fisher Ridge Road.
"He always had a smile on his face, kind of ornery grin, kinda makes you wonder what he was up to. He was one of the best farmers around, very honest," said Charles Seaman, owner of Seaman's General Merchandise in Barlow.
Dailey was operating a John Deere 440 tractor and a manure spreader attached to the power take-off (PTO) when the accident occurred.
"It appears he was either attempting to hook or unhook the spreader," said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks. "It was a huge tractor. He got off it and then walked to the area between the tractor and the spreader and was trying to hook up that spinning shaft that got his clothing."
The PTO is described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the leading causes of injury for farmers.
The PTO was operating a manure spreader at the time of the accident and the shaft caused the injury by catching clothing.
"It caused massive injuries that resulted in his death," Mincks said.
The call came into the sheriff's office at 5:05 p.m. but the accident appeared to have occurred earlier in the day, Mincks said.
Members of the Barlow Volunteer Fire Department and the Washington County Sheriff Office's crime scene unit responded, where Dailey was pronounced dead at the scene.
"He's probably done this 100 times in his lifetime. It was an accident and it caught him. It was unfortunate," said Washington County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Mark Warden.
Warren High School agriculture education instructor Allen Clark said he was shocked to hear about Dailey's death.
"He's going to be missed," Clark said.
Clark said Dailey was active in the county Farm Bureau, the Soil and Water Conservation District and more. He described Dailey as a "progressive" farmer.
He was "always a student of agriculture, always anxious to learn," Clark said.
Seaman praised Dailey as a good family man, with commitment to his community. As a hog farmer, Dailey gave hogs every year to benefit organizations such as the fire department, and he did so in his own pleasant way.
"The biggest thing that I always had respect for him, he was always in a good mood," Seaman said.
Evan Bevins contributed to this story.