Skip to comments.Government City Slickers and Those Hick Farmers
Posted on 06/19/2012 11:52:25 AM PDT by Starman417
I came across an absurd USA Today story from last week that I just couldn't let pass without reacting to. From the very first lines I struggled to keep my jaw from dislodging from my face and falling to the dirt.
Summertime can mean danger for children on farms.
An 18-year-old Amish man died from oxygen deprivation and his 14-year-old brother was injured last month as they worked in a neighbor's farm silo in Pennsylvania. Also last month, a Maryland man and his sons, 18 and 14, died of asphyxiation while working in a farm manure pit.
The federal government and safety groups are working to build awareness of farm hazards after a Labor Department decision to withdraw regulations that would have restricted children's work on farms.
The first thing that went through my mind is that EVERY day of the year can mean danger. Recently, one of my daughter's classmates was killed in a traffic accident trying to cross an intersection. A little over a year ago, another kid was killed when a truck hit his 4-wheeler.
There is an effort out there to scare the general public - a public that doesn't have the feintest clue about life outside the urban jungles - that farms are these dangerous, child killing places.
I grew up working on my family's farm. We are a fairly large operation farming over 6,500 acres for various purposes. We raise thousands of head of free range, pasture cattle. We grow wheat, sorghum, hay, corn, and oats. We are wholesalers of grain seed for other farmers to plant their crops.
Because my dad was in the Navy the only time I was able to work on the farm was during the summer. Each summer, I would travel to Texas to help my uncles and Pawpaw and earn a little extra money. It was tough work, but it instilled a sense of discipline, drive, and work ethics I probably wouldn't have had otherwise.
It was also fun.
I learned to drive at a young age. At just eight years old, I was sitting on my Pawpaw's lap and driving the little Massey-Ferguson or John Deere tractor through the fields rolling hay to dry. By 12, I was driving pickup trucks with trailers full of that hay from the fields to the our storage lots. I also helped grind feed, immunize the cattle, and help deliver calves that were in distress. I ensured that the cattle had plenty of food and water in the pastures. I labored HOURS and HOURS in the pee patch plucking black-eyed peas from their bushes that we would later have to shuck. THERE IS NOTHING IN LIFE WORSE THAN PICKING PEAS!!
It wasn't easy work and it wasn't as safe as working at McDonald's or Taco Bell working a cash register. One time, I was chased up a tree by a protective mother. My uncles got a good laugh at that one. Another time, I had my hand crushed by a bull that decided he no longer wanted me touching his horns. He pinned my hand between the fence and his horns.
Perhaps the most labor intensive thing I did over the summer was bailing and loading hay. In the 80's, we didn't have the loaders that we have today that automatically stacked all the hay in neat stacks without ever touching a bail. I would either walk along a truck with a giant hay elevator (essentially a ramp with spikes built into a chain that would grab the bales as we passed them and raise them to the bed of the truck) or I would be in the truck taking the bales off the elevator and stacking them on the bed. Each bale weighed about 60 pounds and seemed to gain weight as the day wore on.
The media and some morons in Congress want you to believe that our kids are dying exponentially on our nation's farms. These places are death traps and need to be regulated. No kid should have to work where death is certain and acceptable.
(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...
“...THERE IS NOTHING IN LIFE WORSE THAN PICKING PEAS!!...”
Try sun up to sun down picking suckers off of tomato plants.
And staring down those positively alien-looking tomato worms.
Heck, it’s worse than looking at Nancy Pelosi.
Been there, done both.
Children being shot while sitting on their front porches in Chicago is atrocious.
Wait! We should focus on dangers found on farms instead!
When I was a kid, they guys would manually toss the bales up to the guys on the wagon. They would in turn keep the momentum going and stack them. Take some strong guys to stack bales on the top when it must be about 12 feet tall. Not to mention summertime temperatures and humidity in the middle of Ohio.
Not that many years ago we lost a good part of a young family here in VA due to Methane in a manure pond. Sometimes education is a good thing.
...THERE IS NOTHING IN LIFE WORSE THAN PICKING PEAS!!...
Try picking green beans when the temp is 105 and the humidity 70%.
Or shoveling out a chicken house 12,000 capacity on a real hot hot,day. The stench and ammonia will nail you. Nasty, filthy work.
Or hauling hay out of a field in the same hot weather. Ever notice a farmer will bale 90 lb bales when he cuts for himself?
He will make a 40 lb bale to sell (per bale) to others. You get paid the same for bucking it out of the field.
My neighbors (now in their eighties) still have a picture of me and their daughter the night I took her to the Homecoming Dance (1969.) Haying had ended just a couple weeks before and I look like a 120 lb scarecrow in a blazer that hangs off me.
It usually took till the following June to get back up to 160 lbs.. Man, that was hard work.
You betcha. The other guys who did hard work were the short, stocky guys who humped feed sacks at the grain mills.
One time I was at a rural electric co-op and was demonstrating a machine that weighed about 600 pounds. When it came time to put it back in the truck, two workers volunteered to do it since I was obviously a little small. They damn near threw it through the front of the truck. BIG BUCKS they were. Wasn’t nothing but a thing, as we say.
Heh. I remember that, too. I suppose they have forklifts these days. And it's still hard work.
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