24 Oct Christy: Dark clouds overhead
Ocheyedan, Iowa- I was bragging about how fantastic the weather was last week, and this week we saw some changes. A little bit of tiny hail, a small rain shower that only slowed things for the afternoon, and some snow flurries to the south and north. Temperatures cooled this week, but I think we might see them warming up one last time.
The wind also decided to pick up starting on Monday and blew through Wednesday. Wednesday is a day that me, and our community, won’t forget anytime soon. After quickly running to the field by Round Lake, Minnesota, on my way home I noticed black, black smoke that wasn’t there on my way to the field. I thought to myself that someone must be burning tires. As I got closer, I was worried it might be my house, as I had left lunch going in the oven while I ran to the field quick. That wasn’t the case.
I came upon a terrible accident, one that I won’t forget. A tractor and grain cart caught fire while going down the gravel and ended up in a standing cornfield. The driver did not survive. He happened to be my neighbor only two miles from our farm.
Our community lost a great neighbor, loving husband and father, grandfather, and friend. Marlin Laverman was the type of guy who held farming in his heart as not only a joy, but also a pride to share with everyone he knew. Before we left for the wheat harvest this year, he took a FaceBook Live video of our crew taking the first load of equipment down to Texas. He spoke so kindly of our family and crew. It’s really hard to believe he is no longer with us.
Farming is a dangerous occupation, though there have been so many advancements in technology and equipment. We were sorely reminded of that this week. Safety has come a long ways in recent years, yet it remains one of the top ten most dangerous jobs one can have. After this week, I can see as I have a few times before, just how quickly a situation can turn disastrous, or now even fatal.
Fall harvest for us is still moving along, though I don’t feel I have the same passion for it right now as I usually do. Beans are all done, and all crews are switched over to corn. We’re still seeing good yields overall, if in some places a little below average. Crops are disappearing in the area very quickly now, and I think it’s still possible to see an early end to harvest this year. As I mentioned before, I think we’ll be seeing more sun and a little warmer temps for a little longer yet.
It’s been a tough week for our community. We would like to express our most heartfelt condolences and sincerest prayers to the Laverman family during this time. He will be greatly missed and forever remembered for his love of farming and love for family. Please be safe out there, and take care.
Christy Paplow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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