In this episode we explore one of the most wonderful and unique aspects of farming, the ability to leave a real tangible legacy for your children. The sentiment and realization of that legacy is predicated on the quality of soil you pass along to them. NDSU Soil Health Specialist Dr. Abbey Wick and farmer Kerry Swindler about the importance of protecting the soil for this legacy. NDSU Extension Farm & Ranch Safety Coordinator Angie Johnson goes onto share about how to safely involve your children on the farm.
“Farmers in general, they’re not farming for themselves. They’re farming for the next generation. They’re thinking of the future of their farms, how they’re going to set up the next generation for the best possible situation financially, but then also in their resources…..So if we’re really thinking about farm legacy, protecting that soil is your number one priority.” – Dr. Abbey Wick
Mott, North Dakota farmer Kerry Swindler has experienced this firsthand. He remembers how much topsoil they lost from tillage, and he actually remembers the day over 40 years ago he and his father decided to make a change to preserve their topsoil and promote soil health on their operation.
“I stopped my combine and I went over and I got on my dad’s combine and I said, “Dad, we gotta do something here or there’s not gonna be any land left for me to farm, much less my kids.” And he could see it….And it was a shock in a lot of ways, but it didn’t take long to start seeing some of the benefits.” – Kerry Swindler
Farming is unique in that it is multi-generational, and it’s certainly a joy to watch the next generation get interested in agriculture. But tragic farm accidents involving children are all-too-common, and NDSU Extension Farm & Ranch Safety Coordinator Angie Johnson says it’s important to remember that farms are job sites.
“It’s the only work site where children are ever allowed. You don’t bring your kids to a construction zone or you don’t take them on to work with you in most cases. And so it’s very unique and we need to realize that at some point we need to be mindful and …..I think it is so crucial that we match a child’s ability with a task on the farm.” – Angie Johnson
Angie recommends creating an open dialogue with kids where they can communicate questions and concerns while working on the farm. Incorporating them into the operation is not only teaching them what tasks are appropriate and how to perform them safely but also having open lines of communication so they can voice their concerns and stay safe.
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Soil Sense Podcast is hosted by Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast.