I hope you have all survived the winter storm this week. As I am working on this week’s column, we are experience freezing rain and the trees are beginning to droop pretty good. I hate snow but I hate ice more.
By the time you read this we should be in recovery mode from what ever Mother Nature dumped on us.
Now that we have had this big winter mess, I am ready for spring. I am not sure relying on the ground hog is a wise thing.
Buckeye Chuck did not see his shadow which predicts we will have an early spring coming but his counterpart, Punxsutawney Phil lost his mind and said he a saw his shadow on an overcast day which means six more weeks of winter.
Easter is the middle of April, so based on the last several years that means we could have freezing temperatures and snow to deal with. However, I am going to be an optimist for an early spring and go along with Buckeye Chuck, since he is from Ohio. No matter what I am hopeful everyone is staying safe out there.
Speaking of safety, I want to announce a great opportunity for farm families to take advantage of on Wednesday, February 23 at the Clinton County Fairgrounds. On this date we will be hosting the Agricultural Safety Day, sponsored by Clinton County Extension, Clinton County Farm Bureau, and the Clinton County Local Emergency Committee (LEPC).
Farm safety comes in a variety of ways. Like right now, farm families need to be aware of working outside with extreme cold temperatures and dealing with ice and snow. This is so important especially when working with and caring for livestock.
Our safety is so important and quite simple if we take the necessary precautions like:
• Dressing in layers so clothing may be added or taken off in specific instances.
• Keeping dry. Keep extra dry clothes, gloves, and shoes/boots nearby.
• Protecting ears, face, hands, feet, and head. Extremities away from the body core have less blood flow and are more difficult to keep warm.
• Taking breaks in warm locations.
• Staying hydrated. Not often thought of as an issue in cold weather, but just as important.
All these steps can help protect us from things like hypothermia, frostbite and a condition called trench foot (Feet lose heat due to cold or wetness too long and tissue becomes damaged.)
But agriculture safety can get more complicated when it comes to mental health. How many of you suffer the winter blues? I personally go through a funk once the days get shorter and there are shorter hours of light.
Like me, during this time of year, many people often begin expressing a feeling of sadness or mild depression. Did you know that feeling sad during this time of year is very typical, and many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Often, we can feel ashamed or worried to share with others when feeling this way. But there is nothing to be ashamed about. Just like we take care of our equipment, friends, and family, we need to care for ourselves.
On February 23, participants of the Agriculture Safety Day will have an opportunity to focus on critical issues associated with agriculture safety. The sessions we have planned will be related to grain bin safety and rescue, storing hazardous materials on the farm, farm truck safety, Stop-the-Bleed, mental health and more.
This event may also qualify as necessary training credits for those who are carrying Workers’ Compensation(contact us for details).
This event is free due to sponsorship of the Clinton County Extension office, Clinton County Farm Bureau, and the Clinton County Local Emergency Committee (LEPC) as well as other organizations.
To accommodate people’s schedules, the day is split into two separate sessions folks can attend. You can choose between a morning session or an afternoon session. The topics covered will be the same during each portion of the day.
Lunch will be a common period during the day for each group. Session One will begin at 8 a.m. with registration and refreshments, Session Two will begin with registration and lunch at noon.
We hope that farm safety is important and that you can attend. Again, this event is free to anyone wanting to learn more about Farm Safety.
It is free but we ask that people register to helps us with our planning. You can register by going to the EMA website at https://www.cc-ema.org/events-1 .
We hope that farm safety is important and that you can attend. Again, this event is free to anyone wanting to learn more about Farm Safety. It is free but we ask that people register to helps us with our planning. You can register by going to the EMA website at https://www.cc-ema.org/events-1
You can also call one of our three offices at the following: Tony Nye, Clinton County Extension – (937) 382-0901; Ashley Rose, Clinton County Farm Bureau – (937) 382-4407; or Thomas Breckel, Local Emergency Commission – (382) 382-6673.
Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.