Filed under: fertilizer, history, make a difference, Politics, safety | Tags: culture of violence, gun control, gun violence, guns, history, politics, safety, violence
Again another senseless shooting. Again innocents die. Again the press and many anti-gun people talk about the culture of violence we live in, but do we? A culture of violence is one in which it is, or seems to be, right to be violent, is that what we have here?
I would have to say that here in the “Western Nations” we do not. We here look at ourselves and wring our hands and talk of all the gun violence, but we are safer here from gun violence than many other countries. If you want gun violence look to northern Mexico, the Middle East or parts of central Africa, there you have gun violence.
In most western nations we have police and a rule of law that is lacking in much of the rest of the world. Many think that because we still have people being killed with guns we must do more to ban guns, and yet violence will still find a way.
I myself have been bullied and treated violently, yet there was no gun involved. Every day we have adults and children treated violently, yet without guns. There are many more ways to die besides with a gun. For most of human history there were no guns, and yet people died at the hands of other people. Getting rid of guns will not stop the violence. If there were no guns people will still find ways to kill large amounts of people. Just look at the huge number who died when a few people took over three airplanes with box cutters, or the number who died when a fertilizer bomb went off in Oklahoma City.
We humans have not yet removed ourselves that far ancestors who had to use violence just to survive. There still are bad people out there who must be controlled, and because of that we still need people willing to use controlled violence to protect us. I bless the soldier and police force that has taken on that job.
Do I long for a day when there is no more violence in this world, Yes I do. Do I expect to see it in my lifetime, no, nor perhaps even in the lifetime of my grandchildren. Despite what we want to believe, violence is written into our DNA. It is well controlled by only a few, much of the rest of the people in the world are only a split second from doing something violent. Most likely that violence will be to protect someone they love, but it is there.
So please, act for and promote peace and non-violent activities. Just do not expect laws controlling guns to stop violence.
Filed under: Ag education, Animal care, family, Farm, farm animals, food, food safety, genetic modification, GMO, organic, safety | Tags: Agriculture education, children, farm, farmers, Food, food questions, food safety, GMO, hormones, safety
Do you have questions about your food, how it is produced and what is in it? Farmers want you to be an informed consumer. To help they have started a website called Commonground. http://findourcommonground.com/ Here you will find some smart, hardworking, young women from around the country who will help you understand what it takes to produce food for the world. They, like you want what is best for their families, and are on the ground doing their best to provide for those they love. There are already answers to many of the most asked questions, but you can ask others if you wish. Please check out their website to get answers to your food questions.
Filed under: family, Family History, Farm, friends, garden, harvest, history, Minnesota, pond, rain, safety, seasons, snow, South Africa, tillage, time, travel, weather | Tags: children, farm, friends, harvest, Minnesota, politics, rain, safety, snow, South Africa, weather, winter
When I started blogging two and a half years ago I really did not know what I was getting into. As time has gone by my blogs have fallen into a pleasant cycle of comments. I write about farming, politics and family. What is happening in my life shapes everything I write about. So it is again. Here’s some of the highlights from 2011.
January was cold and snowy, and the blog http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/minnesnowta/ told the weather story. On a more personal note I buried a friend after a farm accident. That lead to a farm safety blog.
In February I traveled with others from Southwestern Minnesota to South Africa as we visited with folks from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Africa. Learning to understand their joys and struggles as we helped them with some gardening projects.
March blogs were about politics and snow.
Snow again was a subject for Aprils blogs, along with how slow the snow was to melt, and the advent of rain which kept us from getting into the fields to plant our crops.
In May we got our planting done just a little bit behind schedule. I also posted stories of the new decorative pond I was installing as part of a long planned for landscaping addition. The plans had to be hurried because we had a wedding coming up in June.
Our daughter, Elizabeth married Michael Feltes on June 10, our anniversary. Postings of crop conditions, wedding planning and pond creatures are the main topics for the month. My favorite is the copy of the wedding toast I gave http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/father-of-the-bride/. I hope you enjoyed it.
July’s weather brought rapid crop development and hot humid weather. Our garden was starting to give its produce and most of the field work was drawing to a close.
August brought us http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/flash-drought/ and more postings of the happenings in our pond.
September found our crops rapidly reaching maturity, wood cutting and a farm safety program for area fourth grade children. I got to tell the stories of farm accidents I and others have survived, plus the death of my friend Doug back in January in http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/scared-safe/. The birth of twin granddaughters at the end of the month also highlighted my month.
October was harvest. I do not recall a fall where harvest went so fast, nor so easy. The lack of moisture after such a wet spring was a big part of that speed. Oh yes, I did post about those cute little girls that joined our family.
November was a bit slower month, but I was surprised by the popularity of a “how to” post I made called http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/santas-peeking-in/. It caused a big jump in readership of my blog.
December has been a winding down month. The lack of snow and warm weather has been most of what I have written about. I did have to put in a post or two about the new girls in my life with http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2011/12/25/christmas-with-granddaughters/.
It has been an interesting year for me. There have been joys and hardships and a lot of learning. So here’s the best to you as you look forward to the new year. There is one thing for sure, It will hold a lot of new opportunities for me to write about life. I hope you join me in 2012.
Filed under: Christmas, Holidays, safety, school, School bus | Tags: children, Christmas, December, safety, Santa hat, school bus
For years now I have been wearing a Santa hat on my morning bus route in December. It gets me in the holiday spirit, and it’s warm. Oh, and yes, I do quit shaving for a few weeks, the white beard is a good seasonal complement to the hat. Although the kids on the bus may look at me a little funny when they first see me in it, I get few comments from them on it except a few “Hi Santa”s from them the first time they see me. The effect on the adults has been much more interesting.
The hat is a conversation starter. Usually the conversation comes around to the fact that I wear the hat for the school bus route, and then the stories start.
I also get comments from others about how they could not drive a school bus, and questions about how kids behave. Stories of out of control kids on the bus are often told to me, as are other stories that involve school and bus trips. I have a few stories, no names included to protect the guilty, but very few stories that I tell. After 17 years of driving school bus, I can tell you that most kids today are really good. I tell everyone that I have good parents for my route. That may be the most telling remark about kids.
I understand that kids will be kids. They all need to learn, some just take longer to learn. Younger children need to be told the rules more often, and older ones will usually keep out of trouble if they are allowed to. Mistakes will be made, and kids do learn from mistakes. Parents are my biggest help. Stopping and talking to parents when the kids are present really cuts down on problems. If a phone call must be made when a problem arises, so be it.
A school bus ride should be safe and fun. The Santa hat is part of the fun.
Filed under: family, friends, history, safety, time | Tags: friends, herefor, history, safety, senior moment
So you walk into a room, you stop and think, now what did I come in here for. Yep you’ve got the “herefors.”
The “herefors” can and do strike with no warning. Your day is going well, and they can hit you. You can get them at home or at work. It’s even possible to get them on vacation, except that when you are doing nothing they are less likely to find you. Don’t be concerned, they are not deadly, you will recover quickly if you just go back to what you were doing before they got you. You do remember what you were doing before the “herefors” hit you, don’t you?
“Herefors” are merely annoying if you are alone. When you are at work, they can be embarrassing, just brazen it out, and act like you came for something else.
“Herefors” are no respecter of age. They strike the old and the young alike. As you get older you can joke about having a “senior moment,” but they are not only for senior citizens.
There is no cure for the “herefors,” although a more organized mind will cut down on their incidence. Just accept it as part of life. Admit it, you came for a reason. Just stop and think, “Now what did I come in here for?”
Filed under: Ag education, Farm, Farm Bureau, Minnesota, P & E, safety, school | Tags: Agriculture education, children, farm, Farm Bureau, machines, Minnesota, safety
I spent the last two afternoons at the University of Minnesota’s Southwest Minnesota Experiment Station talking to area fourth graders about safety, especially farm safety. It was an interesting, exhausting two days. First off, fourth graders are very busy, and almost totally self centered. If you want to get their attention, you have to be both persistent, and insistent. You also need a message that will grab their attention. Unluckily there have been enough bad things that have happened to me and to people I know so that I have learned to hold the attention of a fourth grader. We did these presentations 8 times each day to a total of over 700 kids.
I had the help of Dave Van Loh on the first day, and Marilyn Nickel the second day. As members of the Farm Bureau, we were presenting our deadly serious information to try to scare these kids safe. Our stories of mishaps in flowing grain, and with animals, augers, tractors, atvs and combines helped to show some of the bad things that could happen.
We used props like toy tractors, wagons and a magnetic farm yard scene to explain how the accidents had happened, and why. We talked about the injuries we had experienced and those we had seen others suffer.
We also had the use of a combine harvester to show how power moves from place to place on machinery and talk about the accidents that can happen if things do not go right.
The toughest presentation for me was the Power Take Off (PTO) demonstration which we did only once each day. We placed newspaper in disposable coveralls and showed what happens if you get caught in a machine. Since I had lost a friend last winter to a PTO accident this one hit home hard. It was my hope to scare some of those kids safe. If we can prevent one farm accident the whole effort was worth it.
Filed under: cars, church, safety, School bus, South Africa, travel | Tags: ELCA, ELCSA, safety, school bus, South Africa
I started taking pictures of signs I saw that were in both Zulu and English. With English being the language of school and business and Zulu being the language of home and the church, there were quite a few of them around. If you want to read them they are usually pronounced just the way it looks. I don’t see any that have one of the two types of click sounds that are found in Zulu.
I hope you enjoyed your lesson in Zulu.
Filed under: church, friends, safety | Tags: accident, children, farm, friends, friendship, funeral, safety
Today was the funeral of a friend. It is very difficult to lay to rest a person who should not have died. The accident he was involved in tore him away from a wife and three children.
He was a gentle man with a huge heart. Quick to help his neighbor. Dedicated to his job. Easy to talk to. A huge loss to the community.
He will be missed. Rest in peace friend.
Filed under: Ag education, Farm, farm animals, Farm Bureau, safety, school | Tags: accident, Agriculture education, children, farm, Farm Bureau, farm safety, safety
For several years now I have been talking to 4th graders about safety on the farm. This Farm Bureau project is vitally important to help protect our children and their parents. Over the years I have found several stories that I can add to punctuate the presentation.
When we talk about safety around belts, pulleys, sprockets and chains I tell about the time when I could have lost three fingers on my right hand. It’s a personal story that turned out well, I still have my fingers.
When we talk about driving on slopes and the possibility of rollovers I tell about the time I rolled a tractor. How it was not the first time I had driven on that slope, but it still happened. That also turned out well.
When we talk about auger safety I have a story about a man who lost his arm in an auger accident. The story is not an easy one for those who listen. I let them know the details so that they will know this is serious business.
Unfortunately I now have a story to tell of a friend who lost his life in a power-take-off (PTO) accident. We will never know the details since he was alone when the accident happened. The fact that he left a wife and three children alone adds to the sorrow. This will not be an easy story to tell.
Please let those around you know that you love them. Keep reminding them to be careful. Learn how to be safe around machines and animals. Know safety rules and follow them. The loss of body parts is inconvenient, the loss of life is tragic. Please be safe out there.
Filed under: Animal care, cars, cold, Corn, Farm, food, harvest, hunger, Minnesota, safety, School bus, snow, Soybeans, travel, Trees, weather, Wildlife, winter | Tags: car, cars, cold, Corn, deer, farm, feeding deer, Food, Minnesota, school bus, snow, Soybeans, wildlife
On my morning bus route I have been seeing quite a few deer lately. Due to the cold and snow they have gathered from their scattered summer haunts to protected areas, usually in river valleys. One of their favorite areas has been a soybean field that was not harvested due to high water. The beans spent too much time underwater this fall and had to be abandoned.
A well meaning person left some corn along their path so that the deer could have a high energy snack. Unfortunately the corn was left too near the road, and four deer died.
To leave the corn for the deer was nice. But because the snow was deep it is hard to get very far from the road. Not thinking of the consequences the easy way was taken and four cars hit deer in that area in one night.
Please, if you are going to feed the wildlife, feed them in a safe area. Get the food well back into the woods or in a field. The carnage of dead deer, dented cars and the possibility of people being hurt because of the feeding of wildlife is not worth the easy way out.