Farm safety is near and dear to my heart. I am passionate, without being over-zealous. A nag, maybe, (but at least in my head I don't seem over-zealous!)
My husband, Chris, often refers to me as the "Farm Safety Czar," although he has yet to get me an armband or a pay stipend for the position. Do czars even get paid?
Maybe first I should tell you a little of my background and why farm safety is one of my causes.
In the mid-1950s, my paternal grandfather lost both of his arms, up to his elbows, in a corn picker accident. The picker had become plugged with stalks and in true farmer fashion he did the job that needed done. As the stalks were released and pulled into the picker, so were his hands. My grandfather was an amazing man and continued to farm until his death in 2001 at the age of 84.
In 1974, my mom's brother was 16 years old and loved helping on the farm. During harvest that year he was getting out of the passenger side of one of the semis while it was still rolling and his pant leg got caught by the tire. It pulled him under the wheel and he was killed. I was only four years old at the time and have vague memories of the aftershock.
This is why farm safety is something I hold so dear to my heart. I truly believe that it is not just for those directly involved in production agriculture, either.
Everyone needs to be aware that while agriculture feeds the world, it's a lifestyle, not just a job. And it is one of the most dangerous occupations there is.
There are so many small things we do that would only take a few extra seconds to do correctly and safely. How many times have you heard someone use the line, "Oh I was in a hurry, I don't normally do that"?
Keep this in mind as the busy season begins: There are people who need and want you to come home for supper ... even if it is 10 p.m.
The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.