Monday, October 7, 2019

The Importance of Being Aware

It’s that time of year again, HARVEST. Wait, What?  Conference season. For me, it has been  very odd to be writing curriculum, creating decorations, organizing supply needs, as well as practicing flags and reflections. I am used to greasing the combine, checking the pressure in tractor tires, setting up the auger, or filling what seems like everything with fuel. 
Coming from a farming family, I basically bleed crops, steers, and turkeys(even if my brother Damon thinks I’m a city kid). It’s hard for me not to be rushing home after school to help take care of the animals so my brother and dad could go out to the field. Instead, I’ve been rushing to develop activities for our SOAR Conference. But whenever I travel to various chapter visits throughout the state these past few weeks, I have seen families out in the fields and on the road farming.  This reminds me of home and how my family is doing the same. However, this time of year also brings up something that is very important for me. Farm Safety.

Not only do all of the drivers need to be aware on the road, but farmers need to be aware of themselves and their surroundings. Farm Machinery is out on the roads much more and we need to be diligent of them around us. It does nothing to us if we get upset or frustrated to be “stuck” behind a tractor for two miles. Being behind a farmer for two miles is the same as waiting two stop lights in town.  Just let the farmers have a few miles so they can find a safe spot to pull off the side of the road so they remain safe and that you do as well. It is important to have patience around this machinery so everyone remains safe. 
But pedestrians and onlookers aren't the only ones at risk-farmers stand a very high chance. Out of 100,000 farmers, 21 will have their lives taken. If we are aware of our surroundings we will have a much higher chance of remaining safe this season. Taking five more minutes out of your day to remain safe is much better price to pay than a lifetime of grief for your family. 
My FFA Chapter gives out the Michael A. Alig Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship was formed after Micheal was killed in a farming accident. I had the honor of receiving this scholarship this past spring. Every since I won this scholarship, I have realized how easy it is to have an accident on the farm. After realizing this, I take more time to do some of my chores, I am also more aware of my surroundings. Taking these cautions I am safer on the farm and so is my family. 
As we begin to get into full swing this harvest, Be aware of your surroundings, Be patient, and Be smart. 

Be Safe Out There, 
Dillon Muhlenkamp

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