Be safe out there (Pig Tales)
(Editor’s note: Dr. Rich Barczewski is a retired professor with Delaware State University.)
The past six months have been different to say the least, but several things have become apparent to me over this time.
First, a lot of people have forgotten how to be nice to each other.
It does not matter if you are driving down the road, out shopping in a grocery store, or viewing social media, many people just have lost a sense of civility.
People have gotten much shorter with each other, put out by current recommendations and grown intolerant of folks with differing opinions then they have.
It is really a shame as the one thing we can do, especially during these difficult times is to be kind to one another.
One of the reasons that this is so concerning to me is that we are starting our fall harvest season and like always, that means that our roads will be seeing combines and grain trucks once again, and based on the impatience I have seen, I worry for our agricultural producers.
The fall harvest season is always an extremely busy time, with long hours, across multiple weeks in the fields.
It is also a time when accidents are more likely to occur.
With that in mind, it is critical that you do everything you can to stay refreshed and as alert as possible.
It is perfectly OK to take a break if you need one — as it would be far better to take 15 minutes longer in the field than to end up dead because of a stupid mistake that occurred because you let your guard down while operating machinery.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again: We all know people who have been injured on the farm.
Folks have lost fingers, hands, legs and even their lives in farm accidents, and the vast majority of these accidents occur during the busy seasons on the farm.
So, as we enter the harvest season continues, please be safe.
Another item worth mentioning is that we are currently in the middle of hurricane season.
Now, I know as a rule, most folks always hope for the best but get prepared for the worst when it comes to weather calamities.
The heavier-than-normal rainfall that we have had over the past month or so, coupled with high winds, has resulted in several downed trees on my small property and when trees go down, that generally means getting out the chain saw and getting to work cleaning up the mess.
Using a chain saw requires some general knowledge on proper saw usage coupled with a lot of caution.
Just this past week we had a tree go down, quite easily I might add onto the corner of a lean-to on our barn.
If it had crashed down, it would have definitely severely damaged the building — but thankfully, it just slowly went over until it and lodged over a dog kennel and unto the roof of the barn.
Now coupled with having to use the chain saw, I also had to use a ladder to get the treetop off my barn roof.
Fortunately, the bulk of the weight was hanging over the edge and when I cut the main trunk (about 6 inches in diameter at that point), the tree just rolled off the roof and fell to the ground.
That left the rest of the tree in a place that was much safer to work on.
Needless to say, my wife gave me a lot of grief for not wearing a helmet or gloves for protection.
I did however have plastic eyewear on as a precaution.
I was 99.9-percent sure what was going to happen when I made that cut, but you know something?
My wife was right and I should have taken more precaution because that would have been the safe thing to do.
Life on a farm is always presenting us with various situations where we have the opportunity to get hurt.
Most of the time — even when we take risks nothing bad happens but every now and then — things do not go as planned and accidents are prone to happen.
So, as we enter the fall harvest season, and the peak of the hurricane season, be sure to do the right thing, take every precaution and keep yourself safe.
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