To all local community members,
I am asking for everyone to be extra cautious and patient with farmers who are using the local roads. Please slow down when you see farm machinery on the roads, keep your distance, and don’t pass the machinery when it is unsafe to do so, only to save a few seconds. I have seen this happen all too often, and this past weekend I was greatly upset when someone nearly caused a very serious accident involving one of my family members. The driver went around the tractor and equipment, passing on the left, at a very busy intersection as the tractor was taking a left-hand turn. If it was not for the quick reaction of the individual driving the tractor, the outcome may have been very different and devastating.
I know we live in an ever-moving, fast-paced world, but for the sake of all farm families who want their loved ones to return home each night, slow down and think twice. Those who try to save a few minutes by making impulsive decisions, should realize that their decisions can be life shattering.
Farming is a lifestyle that many will never understand, it is a fire in your soul, and a mindset that few are willing to take on and commit to. The next time you are “stuck” behind that slow-moving piece of equipment, think about the less than 2% of all Americans that feed 100% of the population, and realize that their life is worth the extra few minutes that is takes you to get where you need to be.
We have so many great farms and farm families helping to support our local economy. The next time you see that slow-moving piece of equipment, take the time to be patient, wait for when it is truly safe to pass, and do so legally. If given the opportunity sometime, talk with a farmer, stop and listen to what they are able to accomplish, the knowledge that they have of and about their animals and/or crops, and when it is all said and done, don’t forget to thank the farmers who give so much, so we all can have so much more!
Mary Beth Montross-Parker