Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Summer Showers Shy Away From Cummings’ House

    The State Championship Horse Show for Mississippi will be going on this week at the Kirk Fordice Equine Facility in Jackson.  The timed event classes will be held on Thursday and Friday morning with the judged classes to be held on Friday afternoon and Saturday.

    The Coffeeville Saddle Club has a large number of members who will be competing in the state show.  If you want to see the best horses in Mississippi, I encourage you to attend all or part of the shows.  As usual, there is no admission fee.  

    A lot of the county has at least gotten some showers the last couple of weeks.  Not at my house. A sprinkle or two is the most rain I have gotten.  This year’s crops show that the timeliness of rain may be more important than the amount of rain.  This year’s crops still appear to be good with some even being considered great.

    Hope everyone had a good Labor Day holiday.  Look for a whole new host of Extension programs coming up in the near future.

Horticulture Tip:

Keeping Life Happy on the Farm     Family farms are wonderful learning environments for children because the fun of learning is in the experiences on the farm—exploring the machines, the plants, the animals, the dirt—the list goes on and on.  Kids love it! Unfortunately, farms can also pose risks for injury and even death.  Since September is Farm Safety month, here are a few tips to keeping life happy and learning fun on the farm.    

    Whatever you are doing, remember to keep safety first!  It is best not to carry children as passengers on any type of farm equipment. Keep in mind the child’s age when making the decision to teach him/her about operating the piece of equipment.  If the child is not old enough to learn how to operate the machine, best rule of thumb is that the child should not be on that machine.  

    Sadly, being run over after falling from a piece of machinery is the leading cause of childhood injuries and deaths on the farm.  Be smart and just say no when your child or grandchild asks you to ride so you never have to face any sad consequences!

    Always be aware of your surroundings.  Look around to keep others alive!  The second leading cause of injuries and deaths is the running over of bystanders. If you know that your children or grandchildren are coming to visit the farm, make sure everyone is aware of their presence.      

    Children are often so excited to come and see you that they do not think about safety and do not wait for machinery to stop.  Because they feel safe around you and the farm, children do not always look both directions or think about the amount of space a piece of machinery needs to turn around.  Too many times, children are never seen until a farmer realizes he/she has run over something.

    When it comes to grain storage, always teach children to keep out!  It is important that children stay out of grain bins, wagons, or trucks hauling grain.  It only takes five seconds for the average adult to be knee-deep in grain, making movement difficult and escape even harder.  Additionally, it only takes 30 seconds for the average adult to be completely submerged in grain.  Children have wonderful imaginations and these areas look like they could be a lot of fun!  Teach your children and their friends the dangers that can take place so they understand why these areas are off limits.

    Keep in mind that you are the adult.  Always supervise children when they are operating or playing near any type of equipment.  Yes, accidents happen, but they are more likely to happen when youth are operating farm equipment.  They lack the experience and knowledge of how to react to situations that may turn dangerous in a second’s time.  As far as children playing near farm equipment, it is best to have the play area completely separate from where the farm equipment is kept.  If that is not possible, make sure to have an extra set of eyes on the exploring child.

    Whether you live on a farm or not, most people have the opportunity at one time or another to ride All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).  

    Did you know that they are designed specifically for off-road riding?  The tires are not made for pavement.  It is also against the law in Mississippi to ride an ATV on the highway or shoulder of a public road.          Encourage your children to wear protective gear while riding – at least a helmet.  We are only blessed with one brain, so we need to take care of it! ATVs are made to carry only one person, unless you have the newest model designed for two.  

    Yes, the seat is big enough for more than one person, but it is designed that way for all the different maneuvers the rider may have to make while operating the machine, not for double riding.  

    Animals are a great way to teach responsibility, especially on a family farm.  Teach children to use extra caution when animal babies are born.  Young animals are very fascinating and many children have the desire to pet the newborn.  Children lack the ability to realize the mother may be overly protective of her newborn baby and will attack if she feels her baby is in harm’s way, regardless of how gentle the child intends to be.  Also, remember to let your children know when an aggressive animal is brought onto the farm.  

    The last but certainly not least tip to remember is to use proper chemical containers that are clearly marked and stored in areas that children are less likely to have access.  Poisonings are not as common as what they once were, but they are still happening when most could have been prevented.  

    Teaching your child to recognize the symbols that mean “danger” on chemical containers can save their lives.  Simple adjustments like putting dangerous chemicals in a certain color container or in a certain area of a barn can help children to learn where to avoid.

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