Man dies after falling from farming equipment in Stearns County

A 76-year-old man died after falling off a ladder on the side of a piece of farming equipment in Stearns County on Monday afternoon.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office says it responded to a medical emergency at 4:03 p.m. in a field near the intersection of 360th Avenue and County Road 17 in Melrose Township, about 3 miles north of the City of Melrose. 

According to a news release, a 45-year-old Melrose man was operating a New Holland self-propelled Discbine in an alfalfa field when Michael Zirbes, 76, of Sauk Centre stopped by to speak with him. Zirbes was climbing down the ladder on the Discbine when he fell to the ground, about 5-6 feet. 

He landed against the farming equipment's tire, the sheriff's office says. He was treated at the scene and taken to the hospital, where he died.