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Since my little boy has gotten a little bigger and more independent we’ve spent more time helping on my family’s hog, cattle and crop farm.  My dad usually has at least one high school or college aged boy around to help him.  The Little Farmer and I fill in where we can, or we help get extra projects done.

This past school year, after his mechanics classes at the county vocational school, Scott came to help about everyday. Scott is very dependable and willing to try, but he had limited farm experience.  In the fall he helped with chores at the dairy farm until the guy that did the milking unexpectedly had open heart surgery.  I helped with every milking for a couple weeks until the decision was made to sell the milk cows.  Scott helped a lot during this stressful time.  I still hadn’t talked to him very much.

On Thanksgiving day I over heard my dad talking about his grain leg being plugged up at the top.  Since he added a new grain bin last year the pipe from the top of the leg to the new bin made a very tight space, so only smaller people could get to the top.  Scott qualified.  I said I’d go too.

The “leg” is a big elevator for grain.  Grain is dropped in at the bottom by augers, carried to the top and dumped in a distributor cap that can be adjusted (from the ground) to direct grain to different grain bins via long pipes.

Grain Leg

Scott at the top of the grain leg.

Scott went up first, then I followed.  Honestly I was scared (because I’m a single parent) and there was looming doubt that we would know enough when we got up there to fix the problem.  It was very cold, it actually felt freezing and windy like Kansas up there.

I made it to the top and I just sat there for a few minutes talking about being scared and asking Scott if he was scared.  He didn’t talk very much.  He was, but I knew there was no way he’d ever admit it.  We put any real or imagined fear aside fixed the problem.

Over the winter and into the spring we worked together a lot more and talked more.  He helped me grease equipment each day after school.  He would bring soybean seed to me and help fill the grain drill.  He even rode with me a couple times and repeated funny things like, “I just didn’t know girls could drive big tractors like this.”

Feeding Heifers

Scott getting ready to dump a bucket of feed to hungry Holstein heifers.

He asked lots of questions.  Scott is very interested in farming and I enjoyed talking about that.  Scott got a summer job working as a mechanic for a construction company.

Feeding Holstein Heifers

Friendly, curious heifers

The Little Farmer and I were helping bale straw today with a couple other boys.  The Littler Farmer and I helped on the wagon a little bit.  I told them, “If you hit my kid with a bale or knock him off the wagon I’m going to beat you up and put the video on YouTube.”

Baler in straw field

Baler in straw field

I thought of Scott because I told him the same thing one time when I needed him to drive my kid in my car two miles down the road.  If you want my dad’s number to apply for a job, just let me know.  Ha-ha.