This picture is from a sunflower field last year I passed by while driving. It shows no farm is like any other!

I was thinking about some of the things I’ve learned while visiting farms since joining the Farm and Dairy. Some lessons have warmed my heart, made me cry and others have just made me laugh.

And I think it’s important for me to share some of the lessons (or at least the ones that have made me giggle all the way home).

1. Parking! I’m always careful about where I put my keys when I get to a farm. Most of the time, they go in my camera bag and out comes my pen and paper. It’s kind of an exchange.

And having come from a farm background, I’m always mindful of where I park my vehicle. I know to stay away from the livestock and keep it out of driveways or pathways where I think machinery may need to go.

However, last winter I was visiting a dairy farm after one of our large snow falls. Don’t ask me why I parked my Jeep Liberty where I did. I honestly thought it was safe!

Then, after finishing my interview and farm tour, I went back to the Jeep, crawled in and started to backup. I felt something so I gave it some gas. WRONG MOVE! The Jeep had slid off the driveway and started down an embankment. It wasn’t steep, but I could a see a flower bed. Panic! And, of course, the entire family plus their employees were watching when I looked up!

Horrified, I stopped the Jeep immediately and got out. I wasn’t going to go any further! Luckily, one of the guys came to my rescue, and asked me if I wanted to know how to get it out. I said, “No, here’s the keys!” Within two minutes, the Jeep was out of the snow-covered hill and back on the lower driveway. I was quite embarrassed!

2. Socks! Let’s just say you can never have enough of these in your vehicle no matter what season it is outside. Even if you think it is nice and sunny outside, carry extra socks! If it’s cold, you are going to need them to keep your toes warm. And if it’s not, then chances are you will get somewhere and it will pour down rain.

Lesson learned: It’s no fun to have cold or wet feet!

3. Carhartt jacket and/or sweatshirt! Again, they are essential items in the back of my Jeep Liberty. Yes, it may be July or August, but you just never know! And it is always better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it!

4. Kitten watch!
Always take a second and listen for meowing before leaving a farm. You never know when a kitten has decided they want a new home and are attempting to hitch-hike under your vehicle! It’s better to be safe than have that on your conscience!

5. No farm is like any other! This is a lesson learned over and over. Each farm has its own culture, beliefs and terminology. It’s up to you as a visitor to learn it!

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses with her husband, Kurt. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism.
Kristy Foster Seachrist
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