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December 2, 2021

10/22/2021 10:57:00 AM
We owe it to our farmers
With the Driftless Area comes many hills, and with many hills, there come pastures.
Next to those pastures are rows and rows of corn and soybeans.
In the next few weeks, those rows will be gone, as it is harvest time!
I'm sure many of us have seen farm equipment in the fields, and I am sure to believe that many of us have come up behind some farm equipment while driving. I am aware that this may bring mixed feelings. Some understand completely, and some might be a little frustrated as it may add some minutes to their commute time.
Regardless, safety for farmers and drivers and rural communities is of utmost importance. Being in a rural community, the minute I heard that an EMS call responds to a motor vehicle crash involving farm equipment, I can't help but remember I may very well know the person involved in that accident.
While it may be frustrating to some that there is farm equipment on our roads. If you find yourself in this situation please here this: I see and honor your feelings, and I understand that you want to get to your destination safely. I encourage you to remember: there is a reason they are out on the roads, harvesting food that could very likely land on your table for an upcoming meal.
I would rather be going slow on the roads, then hearing a local family receive a phone call informing them that there was a farm related motor vehilce accident to which they will never come back from.
We all can do our part this harvest season, and below are some very good tips for farmers and drivers to stay safe.
1. Be aware of the farm equipment ahead of you: Farm equipment comes in all shapes and sizes. With that said, the bigger the farm equipment is, the larger amount of distance needs to be kept due to the fact that they may have to take wider turns.
2. Keep your eyes open and forward: With fall upon us, we must also be aware of all of our surroundings. Deer are at higher levels of activity as well as the farm equipment. With that said, keep your eyes off your phone and keep them looking forward, you never know when you will have to make a quick stop, so its important to pay attention.
3. Passing farm equipment: I wouldn't try it. In 2014 it became illegal to pass farm equipment, including tractors and farm machinery, in a no-passing zone. Passing is allowed once both vehicles enter a passing zone (marked by dashed traffic lines, instead of one solid line). Also when passing, be sure its safe to do so.
4. Be Patient With The Farmer: Not only do they have to move their equipment safely, they also have to do so slowly. Tailgating them, honking at them, or getting frustrated only makes things worse. You get yourself frustrated and the farmer is frustrated, and we all know what can happen when drive frustrated.
Please follow these tips. We owe it to our farmers to do their job safely. If they safely do their job, they help us get food on our tables. We all must do our part.

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