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The Folks We Work For

December 14, 2009

 Arthur Meade, over at Winding Brook Farm in Morrisville is a sheep, goat, beef, poultry farmer that sells his product to veunes all over the state and at Farmer’s market.   He is member of the Vermont Fresh Network and a strong supporter of the locavores movement.

Art is also a pretty busy guy, and with all of the recent winter weather and snow, it is not unusual to see him plowing snow around with his tractor.   I was not surprised when I got a call at 6:15 am the other morning from Art telling me that he had managed to get the sheep out of the upper pasture on Stagecoach Rd.  Snow fell late this year and he was able to keep the flock out longer then usual.  

 What came next really surprised me though,   “Hey Ms. Farm Safety Person, I got my ROPS  on the tractor too, you should come over and see for yourself!”   

 I jumped at the opportunity and asked if I could bring my colleague Matt Myers with me.  He is the   Roll Over Protection Retrofit Program Coordinator for Extension and will be helping Vermont farmers over the next couple of years retrofit their tractors.  Meeting Art is a good field introduction.

Art had taken the ROPS off a couple of years ago so that he could move the tractor in and out of his barn, in the low sections.  He just didn’t get round to putting back on.  Art claims that my farm safety visits were enough “encouragement” for him to actually figure out a system for cleaning the low roof sections of the barn using his  rental Bobcat.  So after a years worth of seeing him at farmer’s market, seeing him around the community and on his farm, he put the ROPS  back on.  

He and Matt talked for a while about the process and the program while I snapped up photos.  We were invited back this coming week to see the other farm safety adjustments Art has made over the year. 

Sometimes it is all about the relationship you build with the folk you work for, even if they do call you out of work hours to tell you of a success.

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