Providing food for all this holiday season
The days are certainly getting short and it appears winter has arrived. Most of our area got four to five inches of snow but we are hoping for some warmer temperatures to melt the snow pack on the roads. Hopefully all the roads will be cleaned and cleared for Thanksgiving.
Last week I was performing a few feedlot checks before winter arrived. As I finished and headed home, a warning light flashed on my Ford diesel. The warning stated I had an exhaust system failure and in fifty miles I would only be able to travel fifty miles per hour. I was about thirty miles from Mitchell so I decided to place my Ford dealer in Mitchell on my immediate itinerary. I got there about 4 o’clock at my rapid pace of 50 mph. They added DEP to the tank, but it did no good. The service manager said they couldn’t look at it until tomorrow. Could I leave the truck? No, I needed to get back to the clinic. What’s another 25 miles at 50 mph?
It is hard to believe, but there is a rush hour for about thirty minutes on about a fifteen mile stretch of SD Highway 37. I cruised at a maximum speed of 50 mph and allowed traffic to pass me like I was standing still. Most drivers were courteous, but a few vented some frustration at my speed. Finally, I arrived at the clinic, finished my daily work and decided to head home. What a mistake.
Several miles down the road the message on the dash flashed , the vehicle has been locked at idle. No one mentioned this possibility to me and of course I didn’t check my owner’s manual as suggested. Does anyone understand idle speed? Well, my best estimation on the speedometer, it is about three miles per hour. Driving on the shoulder of the highway it took about twenty minutes to cover a mile. At least the radio still worked in the truck.
Some Amish families have moved into the area around my home. As I crept down the shoulder of the road one on my Amish neighbors trotted around me in his two-wheeled cart. As he passed he smiled, waved, and suggested “Get a horse!” I guess I should think that over.
During this Thanksgiving season, we must reflect on all the blessings we have received and be thankful for them. Of course, there is our health and our families, but also our professions and jobs. We farmers and ranchers tend to be very conservative and resistant to change. It appears to me we should also be thankful for technology. We have been placed in charge of the agricultural resources of our farms and ranches. It is our responsibility to use them wisely to feed the world. Without the new technologies and change it will be impossible for us to accomplish this massive task.
Be thankful for all entrusted to you and use them wisely for the benefit of all. It is your role to help yourself, your family, your state, your country and the world to provide food for all.
Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for your efforts.
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Drought stressed forages can be high in nitrates and may be potentially toxic to cattle. Photo credit Troy Walz.