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The Buzz Around Town- October 24
Christina Winch
Christina Winch
It’s almost my bedtime on Monday evening. I just got back from a quick two-day trip to Seattle for my cousin’s wedding, and I need to write my editorial. I thought about this on the plane today, but nothing was really jumping into my mind about what to write about. It’s not fun having writer’s block when we have a deadline. I think I have decided on a couple things I want to share with you this week about different things in the agriculture industry—World Dairy Expo and traffic safety.
    Let’s start with World Dairy Expo. The first week of October every year hundreds of exhibitors from across the United States and Canada make their way to Madison with thousands cattle to walk the colored shavings in the coliseum. This cattle show is equivalent to the World Series or Super Bowl. The best of the best have worked hard all year to compete against each other to win the champion banner. Not only is there a cattle show, there are numerous other competitions going on as well.
    I feel it’s important to talk about this because of the success that Fennimore area exhibitors had at the 2019 World Dairy Expo. Michael Maier of Lazy M Farm in Stitzer showed the Intermediate Champion Female of the International Milking Shorthorn show. Wesley Winch showed the Reserved Junior Champion Brown Swiss of the Junior Show.
    I can’t put into words what it was like sitting in the stands watching Wesley and Louisiana win. The smile on his face, the holding of our breath as we waited, the thrill of excitement as the judge shook his hand, and the excitement of seeing your son achieve something only a few ever do are just a memory now.
    Randy and Wesley also competed in the youth fitting contest where they placed second and third. The Fennimore FFA Dairy Judging team was 18th overall. When locals have success at the big dance, we should all share in their celebration.
    My second topic—traffic safety during harvest season. I have gone off on soap boxes before and talked to you about the rules of the road regarding farm machinery on the road. Just like when the first snow falls every year we need the yearly reminder on how to drive in the winter weather, I think the same is true when rural communities see more equipment on the roads during peak season. I shared this story on my Facebook page a couple weeks ago, but I feel it warrants for more people to be aware of the situation.
    Farming along Highway 18 poses a lot of challenges for us. When heading home we have to make a left hand turn onto the highway and then a left hand turn unto our road. We are literally only on the highway 1/2 a mile, but that half a mile scares me every time. There are just enough small hills that make it dangerous.
    When hauling manure, moving hay, and moving equipment we try hard to be respectful of the travelers by working to keep the road clean. We don’t overfill the manure spreaders, for example. However, this fall that proved difficult. We had a couple nice days when the sun was shining but the fields were muddy. It was all hands on deck to get the corn silage chopped before it rained again. A tractor and chopper box got stuck twice! This caused us to leave more mud on the highway than normal.
    We knew this mud was on the highway. We also knew that it was packed down and hard making it challenging to go back and scrape off. A couple days after we finished it started raining a little. About 9:45 p.m. we got a call from the sheriff’s department. That little bit of rain had made that mud slick. Slick enough to cause a slide off and a second close call. So in the dark, Pete drove the skid loader and I followed with flashers on onto the highway to go scrape up our mess. Unfortunately the officer had to leave on another call. I sat along the highway with my flashers on to warn drivers. I also witnessed numerous semis and cars just fly past me and come close to the skid steer.
    I share this story for two reasons:
    1. Treat mud and debris on the road like you would ice in the winter time. Slow down and be careful.
    2. If a car is sitting along the road with flashers on, SLOW DOWN. They may not be broken down, they may be trying to warn you of something.

    Guess my writer’s block really wasn’t blocked after all. As I close this time, I want to remind everyone that if you have questions on agriculture or farming please talk to a farmer.