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Monday, May 28, 2012

Sit Back and Enoy the Ride!


Happy Memorial Day everyone!  Many of you enjoyed a restful and fun filled weekend with family and friends.  The Farmer and I along with hundreds of other farmers and ranchers spent the weekend harvesting.  Summer brings the start of vacation season, but also the start of harvesting season- harvesting wheat, canola and hay to name a few in the area.



Last week, I posted this picture on my Facebook page with a notation that it was a pop quiz.  



  I am happy to report that the high school PE teacher did answer correctly that this triangle indicates a slow moving vehicle and that you should slow down.  The comments I received from some of my farmer friends were entertaining-since I was sitting at my computer and not in the tractor seat.  Comments about passing on the right, waving loudly as you pass, and people trying to pass while you are trying to navigate past mail boxes and signs on the right side.   All this got me to thinking… 
1.       Farmers don’t want to be on the road just as much as you don’t want them on there slowing down your trip. 
2.       We talk all the time about how there are fewer people wanting to return to the farm, which means those of us that do farm use bigger equipment to get over more acres when things need to be done.        
3.       When you do decide it is safe to pass, keep in mind that the farmer not only has to watch you, the oncoming traffic, but also mail boxes, signs and bridge banisters on the right had side.  Give them more than a lane if you can, please.  The above drill is 18 feet wide when it is going down the road which means the tractor driver can see way more than you can.
4.       Tractors and combines only travel at 15-25 miles per hour, but they and their implements ate also very heavy; therefore, they do not stop on a dime.
5.       One farmer feeds 155 people around the world.  That’s a lot of work and a lot of long hours in the field.  The farmer you are cussing for slowing you down has probably been working 12+ hour days since the last time it rained.  They have a lot on their mind not just you in their mirror.  Please be patient.
6.       The average age of a farmer in America is close to 60 years old.  Keep this in mind when you try to pass in a questionable manner.  Keep the possible age of the driver in mind and remember how reaction time and quick thinking slow with age.  I am no where near 60, but my father in law passed that milestone years ago.  
7.       The farmer will probably get over and let you pass as soon as they can safely get their implement over and off the road.  Try to remember that slowing to 20 miles per hour for two miles will only delay your time 6 minutes.  That is about the same amount of time as two stop lights.


If you start to get impatient, remember how much you enjoy your food.  Think about a nice juicy steak or a giant cinnamon roll as you follow that nice farmer.  Smile and wave (with your whole hand) as you pass or just sit back and enjoy the ride-they will probably turn off real soon!- A Kansas Farm Mom

P.S.

Wheat harvest has begun!  Thank goodness I have a team of awesome babysitters to help us out.  Last week, we got a lot of haying done.  The total bale count so far is 727.  



 It is a good feeling to have some hay ready for the winter.  Last year we were in a severe drought and hay supplies were very tight. Have a great week everyone!  Now I must get back to wheat harvest activities. - A Kansas Farm Mom