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Pair of dirty rubber boots sitting on step.
PRACTICAL FOOTWEAR: They may not be glamorous, but this new pair of boots keeps the feet dry and warm, even when slogging through mud or manure.

Slow learner when it comes to footwear for the farm

Hayhurst’s Hayloft: The bright side of ruining two pairs of shoes? A shopping trip for shoes!

By Susan Hayhurst

You would think that after 28 years of being a farmwife, I would learn that I shouldn’t wear my favorite shoes for anything farm related. I still have faith that I won’t be in any shoe-compromising situations. That doesn’t always work out so well.

My first shoe issue occurred when I recently attended the first day of an ag event featuring driverless robotic machines. The day’s forecast rain hit midmorning, with storms bringing about an hourlong deluge over the site and surrounding fields. The resulting standing water not only hindered the day’s competition, but also left folks slogging from food trucks to port-a-pots to team trailers.

Corporate sponsors gave me pitiful looks as they saw me trying to tippy-toe through ankle-deep water to my car in my peach metallic flats. My car had to be pulled out of mud by a tractor.

So much for another pair!
Several hours later, my husband, Terry, called to say I needed to help him coerce a new calf from mother-in-law’s front yard. Time was of the essence, so I slipped into my old but comfy gardening shoes and jumped in the nearest vehicle.

Upon arrival, I helped prod the calf back under the electric fence and through the pasture to its momma.

Momma wasn’t cooperating when we tried to corral her between a bunk and a cattle gate so the baby could nurse. Terry told me to hold the gate in place against the momma’s side.

She shortly decided she’d had enough of this treatment, kicked Terry and the calf away, pushed against the gate and threw me backward. My feet came to rest in calf-deep poop. I won’t repeat what I said at that moment.

The bonus to losing two pairs of shoes in one day was that I got to go shopping. Perhaps I’ll “bling” my new Muck Boots!

Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute.

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