Where did January go? It’s February already, and with the warmer weather we have had, bloom will be here before we know it. Which means most of you are preparing equipment, finishing pruning and getting ready to start spraying. What does that mean? It’s time to make sure your employees are reminded of safety practices on and around the farm. As an employer, you are required to properly train your employees in several areas including Tractor/ATV safety, Pesticide Handling, and Heat Illness Prevention, among other things. Farm Bureau is your source to get these requirements taken care of (at a reasonable cost) before OSHA shows up for a “surprise” inspection. I urge you to reach out to MCFB to find out when classes will be offered. We also take suggestions for classes that you may want and have not been able to find locally. We plan to offer a Forklift Training in late March, and a Sexual Harassment Training, to meet the new requirements. Stay tuned for more information on those.
Last month I discussed the need for growers to “get involved”, this month I will remind you of that, but add to it…We tend to find ourselves becoming complacent, because we are tired of fighting, and feel that efforts fall on deaf ears…DO NOT become complacent! Ask the questions, complain, make some noise, because only then will people know you are paying attention. Give the praise where it is due, but also scrutinize where it is needed. Complacency is a very bad habit that leads others (consultants, leaders, government officials) to make decisions about agriculture based on their own thoughts, because they think they know what’s best, without asking questions of those that actually know what does work. DO NOT BECOME COMPLACENT, break the habit.