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Posts Tagged ‘Kids’

Making Farm Safety #1

September 10, 2012 2 comments

For generations, Farming and Ranching has been considered one of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in the US. It’s no secret that large animals can be very unpredictable, farm accidents occur both on and around the farm, and now and again there are farmer vs vehicle accidents on our nations roads. While many farm accidents are avoidable many are simply a hazard that goes along with the job. Murphy’s law. without a doubt. exists in Agriculture.

Being a farmer and a father of three, safety is a top priority on my farm. Accidents can, do and have happened over the years. Let’s just say after an accident long ago, we are very lucky to have my Dad here with us today. That being said, its understandable to say that my family is very safety conscious and, from time to time, takes additional measures to help ensure our own day to day safety on our farm.

Our latest example of increasing safety on our farm is a simple one, A right side step for our tractor.

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On many front wheel assist (similar to a 4×4 vehicle) tractors, there are steps on the left (drivers side) for the operator to get in and out of the cab. However since there is no cab access on the right side, there are no steps and nothing to stand on to access the right side of the tractor. This presents a problem when a headlight needs to be changed, when washing the tractor or when simply cleaning its windows. In order to complete those tasks, I normally have to climb up the rear of the tractor, then climb onto the rear outer tire in order to reach the lights, or clean the upper parts of the windows.

That’s until these parts came in the other day
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Here is a picture of what the right side of the tractor looks like as if it were New from the John Deere Factory in Waterloo IA.

(See how a new John Deere MFWD Tractor is made by clicking here)

The Muffler is on the right, and part of the fuel tank is showing below.

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With two of us at work, a few wrenches, and about a half hour, here is what it looks like now.

Side view of new side step and railing.

Front Right of Cab with new step and railing

At the end of the day, I can honestly say that I am very satisfied with the step, how easily we were able to install it, and the increased safety it offers. The only thing I will change on it is the color of the hand railing. This winter, the green railing will be removed, repainted to match the muffler’s black color and replaced so it wont stand out quite as much.

Yes, this example of increased safety was relatively inexpensive, quick and easy to install, but that is exactly the point. The Majority of the most valuable safety measures are indeed cheap and easy to install, yet seem to be commonly overlooked. Another example of a cheap and easy safety measure is a simple SMV sign which I wrote about on this blog a few days ago.

Check it out by clicking here: “While Harvest Speeds Up, Please Slow Down”

In closing, I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to look around their home or at their place of work and identify at least one thing that could be a safety hazard and address it. Weather its big or small, weather someone else notices or not, you will make a difference to someone. The someone who didn’t accidentally get injured thanks to a moment of your kindness.

God Bless

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Goodbye Old Friend

June 28, 2012 5 comments

Today I parted ways with and old friend of many years.  I’ve known and have spent countless hours with this friend since I was a little one myself and know every thing about er.

 I basically grew up with this friend but after realizing this friends time has come and gone, I as well as my Dad and Uncle knew it was time to cut er free, and let er go.

Now this may sound a bit silly at first but hear me out, this friend isn’t a family pet, or a family member, or anything to get too terribly attached to, it’s a piece of Iron.

Yeah, I just might have made you say WTH? in your head, or maybe you get where I’m headed here.  Either way, let me explain:

This Old Friend is a 1980s model 4600 Cultivator:

Ever since I was barely big enough to sit on my Dads or Uncles lap in the tractor cab in the spring, this cultivator was behind me, tilling the dirt, prepping the fields for planting, etc etc.  Through out the years, I can fondly remember a few memories made here and there while pulling it through the field.  I learned (as a kid) that even though you have 4 tires on the main frame, if one goes flat, the others will not be of any help getting you to the other end of the field, they work together as a team.  I also learned how to change a tire on that day.  I can remember leveling off plowed ground with it one spring and coming up on a wet spot in the field, but it didn’t look too bad.  While the tractor made it through it just fine, when this old friend hit the spot, it went down..hard, and almost stopped the tractor as well.  I also remember learning a very important lesson about changing the sweeps (the part that actually moves the soil around when in the field).

NEVER, and I mean NEVER, attempt to hold the sweep bolt down with your finger if you are using an Air Wrench to take the nut off on the other side!

 I’m sure just about every farmer knows what I’m talking about there, but incase you don’t, here’s a short explanation on what happens when you spin that nut off the back side:  Since the front of the bolt is constantly  rubbed by soil, it wears flat, and gets very sharp edges.  Now picture, your finger holding it in place then all of a sudden that bolt spins around at an RPM high enough to slice your finger open in a flash.  The usual result is something like

Son of a *#&$^#&^&@#&@*&&^$,

followed by a lot of blood, water to clean the cut, and electrical tape…farmers dont need band aids 😉

The point is, I learned a lot from this old Red Friend, and will miss it.  Well, I suppose I wont really miss it, but I will miss the memories, life lessons learned  and much more that running this rig in the field taught me.

To loosely quote a conversation between my Uncle and I this past week,  I stated that it is just a piece of Iron, which is true, but he replied (in not so many words)

 Its more than that.  Its your heritage, your memories, it’s where you came from, it’s what got you to where you are today, it’s a part of who you are.

Today, Im finding those words to be very true.

To me this picture says it all.  Years ago, when I was a kid, this tractor and cultivator were perfect in every way.  Today, the tractor and soil finisher in the background are the widely considered to be the preferred tools to use.  I’m not saying either is good or bad, just that everything has its time.  And for this old Friend, its time has come on our farm.  So maybe, someday, my kids will look back on the tractor and soil finisher in the background with memories of their own, just as I am doing now.  Maybe, they will have their own stories to tell their kids (and you), as I do.  But one thing is for sure, they too will eventually have to say:

Goodbye Old Friend, and thanks for the Memories

Friday Farm Flicks 4/27/12

April 27, 2012 Leave a comment
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Seed beans sitting in the shed. We are currently waiting for some warmer weather and a nice rain before we put these seeds in the ground.

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Our biggest surprise of the week. About 28 days ago this Hen took over our Malard Duck's nest of a few eggs and decided to hatch them on her own. She recently hatched these 4 Mallard Ducklings.

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Our first Iris bloom of the season

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A flower I can't kill!! This beautiful creation and others, made 100% from metal was created by Metals By Marla. Marla has made many creations, from Football team signs to life-size stalks of corn and everything in between. She even makes 100% custom designs. Check her out at http://www.metalsbymarla.com

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Our newly designed seed tender. We mounted a seed conveyor on the side of our wagon, which will store seed beans untill its time to plant them. A hitch on the back of the planter allows me to tow the wagon to and from the field where I can load the planter with seed.

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Loading our seed tender wagon with Soybean Seed for the first time in 2012. We arent planting yet, but are getting everything ready to go.

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Seed beans inside our seed tender wagon. Yes, Soybeans are actually Yellow, however most Soybean Seed comes with a Crop Protectant applied to it to help give it a great start when planted. The blue color comes from a dye mixed in with the seed treatment.

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Soybean seed emptying from the seed box and filling our Seed tender. Each box contains enough seed to be planted over 50 acres.

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This is our sprayer tender (nurse tanks). I am currently redesigning this tender to make it more efficient. In this pic it's currently under construction, by next weeks Friday Farm Flicks, it will hopefully be done.

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A great sunset is developing!

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Sitting idle, waiting for some warmer weather and rain to put moisture back in the ground before we begin planting soybeans.

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Our first field of field corn (planted over a week ago) is beginning to emerge.

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My little mans School Project. The goal was to make something, anything, out of 100% recycled materials. He wanted to make a Robot. A pizza box, 7 water bottles, a milk jug, a paper towel roll and a MC'ds drink holder later, we have a new life-size Robot complete with a bobble head and hat and he can stand on his own!

Farming Truly a way of Life. Thanks to Ranch House Designs for this pic.

Yesterday, the Department of Labor backed down from creating legislation which would regulate what a Child (under 18) both could and couldn't do on their own and other Family Farms. If the DOL would have proceeded and passed the new regulations, a person under 16-18 years old would not be legally allowed to do even basic chores around their own farm. The DOL found much opposition on many fronts to their proposal and backed down yesterday.

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This field was planted over a week ago. If you look closely you can see the Corn starting to emerge.

This week has proven to be an interesting one here at Boucher Farms.  New life has arrived in the form of Ducklings and Corn alike, proving Spring brings a new beginning.  Thank you for stopping by Off the Cobb and God Bless!

Matt

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