Minnesota farmer killed by falling tree while protecting cattle from storm

A farmer from Arlington, Minnesota was pinned by a falling tree and killed while attempting to shelter his cattle from a storm on Tuesday, May 24.

According to the Sibley County sheriff, 62-year-old Marvin Ziesmer and his wife jumped on separate ATVs as the storm approached, in an effort to herd their cattle from the pasture to the shelter of a barn.

Strong winds brought down a tree, pinning Ziesmer to the ground. Ziesmer's wife is a nurse, but there was nothing she could do to save him. He was pronounced dead shortly after 6:30 p.m.

“What are the odds? I have no idea what the odds of something like that would be,” said friend Hillard Rolf. “Just one of the freaky accidents.”

Friends described Ziesmer as jolly, friendly and always willing to help. He worked for years at the Seneca Canning plant in the heart of downtown Arlington, retiring when the plant closed a couple of years ago. Now, loved ones are planning his funeral.