Written by Devin Helming
I want to remind everyone of the importance of farm safety, especially for our kids. I recall being a young farm kid many, many years ago and having a fascination with a lot of dangerous things: moving grain, pto shafts & tractors to name a few. Back in the 70’s and 80’s, we farmed with a lot of open cab tractors and I always wanted to ride with my dad or grandpa on the fender of the 1206, or standing on the draw bar of the 560 or one of our “M” tractors using the seat for balance. My dad and grandpa were always happy to have us with them, but they were very careful with us around and did their best to keep us out of harm’s way. Years ago, visibility was not near as limited as it is today. There were plenty of open areas of vision around the equipment to see little kids, and my dad could keep an eye on me much more easily than is possible today. Now, when you get settled into a 300+ HP tractor hauling a big planter or field cultivator behind, it’s hard to see everything, and a curious child could be watching with fascination in the yard. I know I would have been.
I have 4 boys spanning in age from 16 to 3 years old. I do not currently farm, but I do live in the country and my older children love operating equipment from ATVs to chain saws to lawn mowers. My youngest guy loves to ride with me on the lawn tractor or the ATV. I always have to be so careful because he’ll run right up to the mower or ATV unaware of the ability to get hurt. Children are very innocent and very precious, and curious. Let’s make sure to keep a focus on their safety at all times, but especially when we get distracted with the urgent aspects of farming.