From the Field: Patience and Safety on the Farm

From the Field is a bi-monthly column written by Mark Campbell, Farm Bureau Field Services Director for the Central District. He writes about Farm Bureau member benefits and County Farm Bureau activities.

Participants in Nelson County Farm Bureau’s safety program
There are many jobs on a farm, but planting, haymaking, and harvest seem to be the most stressful.  Often, farmers are dealing with a small time window regarding the weather and the calendar.  Weather has been challenging to say the least this year on making hay.  However, no one is really complaining because it has been a terrific year for growing grass and crops.  I dare go out on a limb and say that it is the best that I can remember.  Although I concede that many people claim a longer existence and memory.
During these busy times, patience and safely operating equipment are critical.  I am a pretty patient guy, but I don’t deal well with equipment breakdowns.  It seems that many of these equipment breakdowns occur during haymaking with acres of hay on the ground and storm clouds billowing in the distance.  I will say that time and experience have refined and strengthened my patience over the years. I love the story that my pastor sometimes tells on patience.  The more that he prays for patience; the more problems he seems to have.  He chalks that up to the Lord training him to be more patient. 
Why am I talking about patience in a blog about agriculture?  Well there are a couple of reasons.  First and foremost is that most farm accidents happen when people are in a hurry and taking short cuts.  Many accidents happen when people are fixing or repairing equipment out in the field.  The second is other people are watching.  No, I’m not talking about the NSA–I mean family members or employees.  My young sons are always watching, and as you parents know, they will soon model what they see and hear.  My sons, even at ages 8 and 10 are safety conscious and love to put on the tractor flashers and lights whenever they get the chance. 

Nelson CountyFarm Bureau recently held a safety program at the beautiful location of Dickie Brothers Orchard in Massies Mill.  Fifty-five people attended the event.  Saunders Brothers, a large scale nursery, brought 23 employees to the safety program.  Immediately after the safety program ended, Jim Saunders summarized the presentations in Spanish for the employees that he brought. 
Jimmy Maass, VFB Safety Manager, stresses the need to be safe first before being fast.  We all recognize the need to push it a little harder to get the work done.  But be safe first.
Jimmy, who spoke at the event, talked about tractor rollovers and the VFB incentive for placing a roll bar on your tractor.  The incentive is $400.  So visit your county Farm Bureau office if your older tractor does not have a roll bar, and pick up an application.  He also spent a good bit of time talking about power take-offs (PTOs).  He then demonstrated PTO entanglement with a dummy. 
With some of the farms in the county having multiple employees that operate equipment; I foresee more interest in having safety demonstrations.
Let’s hope that the good rains keep coming and everyone stays safe out there. 
Until next time,


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