With wet conditions the last few springs, disking and planting are top priorities as the days lengthen. Mother Nature threw freezing temperatures at the area this week, causing some to pause in the frenzy to get spring’s work done.
It’s been fun to talk with those with cow-calf operations. Many had pushed back the date to start calving this spring. With a relatively open winter, “we could have been done by now instead of just starting.”
As the rush continues to get into the field to complete spring’s work, don’t neglect steps to stay safe and healthy.
Talking with Mike Hirsch – injured in a farm accident – at Java this week reinforced how important paying attention to safety can be. Mike told me that he has always been safety-conscious and learned a lot about safety while working with his dad in the operation. And having young sons interested in farming makes him all the more conscious of how quickly accidents can happen. He had nightmares about what happened to him initially after the accident.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics an average of 700 deaths can be attributed to farm work injuries each year and an additional 120,000 agricultural workers sustain disabling injuries from work-related accidents. Many of these accidents occur during the spring planting season. And we all know that an accident could just as easily happen to any one of us.
We know people who have been in accidents. Lives have changed totally because of what happened in seconds. Although we can’t undo the damage, ag people reach out. It’s heartwarming to see the response of rural communities when an accident happens and help is needed. Those who are pressed for time in their own operations put aside their own needs to do what must be done to help others. From what I’ve witnessed, there is no hesitation.
I’ve also seen many, many instances where farmers gathered to put in crops, harvest fields, move cattle. At other times, funds flow freely to help those in need.
Farm Rescue, with their motto of “Helping Family Farmers in Crisis” draws on many of the farm organizations, businesses and individuals to help in their efforts. The funds aren’t distributed to farmers,; they go to pay for the expense associated with planting and harvesting crops. Full-time staff members keep the organization running. The organization’s brochure lists RDO Equipment and Walmart as Premier sponsors, but looking at the listing, hundreds of other groups also add their financial support. Thanks to all who open their hearts and checkbooks.
A few years back, Farm Rescue helped a farm family in the area that had their farm torn apart by a tornado. In the Farm Rescue brochure, photos and captions tell the brief story of those who have suffered from broken ribs, partial paralysis, respiratory failure, stroke, cancer and heart attacks. Call 701-252-2017 if you need help or would like to support the group. www.farmrescue.org
Looking for help
I’m looking for a different kind of help. After four years, Darla Scarlett, who has worked as the Farm Forum news assistant, decided to move on to greener pastures. It will be hard to replace here. I’m looking for someone who has a combination of journalism skills and a passion for agriculture. The job is part-time, 25 to 30 hours a week. Give me a call if you are interested in learning more about the position, 605-622-2343. The ad for the position is also listed in the Farm Forum and American News.