20 May 2018 - Farm Safety Sermon

As many years as I have been doing Samuelson Sez, I am still surprised, sometimes amazed, at how you keep track of what I should be doing and maybe, haven’t done. I certainly have a prime example of it this week. I have heard from several of you saying . . . ‘You haven’t done your ‘farm safety’ sermon yet this Spring.” Others are saying . . . “you haven’t talked about the ‘slow moving vehicle’ sign this Spring.

So let me do that right now, and first I will direct my attention to the farmers reading this column. It is extremely important that you have all of your safety equipment in place and working, on your slow-moving equipment; the flasher lights, turn signals, brake lights, and by all means, the slow-moving vehicle emblem. Make sure the SMV emblem is clean, properly mounted and clearly visible, and if you get a long line of vehicles behind you, be a good neighbor, pull off to the side of the road when safely possible and let them pass.

Now, let me direct some remarks to my city friends who take drives this time of the year into the countryside. Slow down and enjoy the scenery! You never know, coming up over a hill or around a curve, when you are suddenly going to be in contact (I hope not literally) with a vehicle that is doing 15 mph, compared to your 55 mph. Your car is no match for a heavy steel piece of equipment. Be especially careful making left turns when you are behind the slow-moving vehicle (and your vision is limited) on rural rods and highways. Remember, farmers and ranchers legally have the right to share that roadway with you.

One other safety thought...if you are going to visit relatives who are farmers and they have livestock, remember that farm animals are not like your family pets and they will react differently than your pet dog or cat. So treat them carefully and with respect, another reason this farmer sign in a field has become my favorite farm sign, so I share it with you again. ‘The farmer lets you walk across this field for free, the bull charges.’ Have a safe and enjoyable summer season.

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