Dear Drivers: Please Be Careful, That’s My Farmer Up Ahead
I see you up ahead, behind that slow-moving tractor on this otherwise desolate county road. You’re on your cell phone, likely complaining that you’re going to be late for Something Very Important because Some Idiot Farmer took the paved road to the field.
You shouldn’t text and drive, even if you are only going 15 miles per hour.
I see you because I’m behind you, traveling just as slowly as you are. I’m a little impatient, too. I’m just as apprehensive about having such a big machine on a two-lane highway. Believe me–I want that tractor off the road just as much as you do.
But not for the same reason.
You see, the man driving that tractor isn’t just any farmer. He’s mine. And, yes, he may be an idiot sometimes, but I love him, and I know he’s a lot more careful about driving down a highway in a $300,000 piece of equipment than you may ever experience. He made sure his flashing lights worked, his orange triangle was visible, and his reflectors were on. He’ll move over as far as he can to help make it easier to pass him. You don’t need to honk–I assure you he knows you are there.
He worked hard for that tractor, and he works hard all the time. He didn’t even break for lunch, which is why I’m impatient–I haven’t seen him all day, and this lunch I’m taking him is the only time we have together until he comes in after dark.
The truth is, I do worry about him on the roads, but not because of him. I worry because of you.
You drive too fast. You tailgate. You’re aggressive and rude. You aren’t paying enough attention to the signs. Your music is too loud, and your head is buried in your phone. And you say tractors are dangerous.
Please relax and enjoy the drive. It seems providence has placed you in the slow lane for a reason; roll down your windows, breathe in this season’s fresh air, and accept this gift. Wave a thank you to him when you can safely pass, and send a grateful prayer or two in his direction for all he does. Goodness knows we all could use more of those this spring, where farmers are busier than ever.
That’s all I wanted to say. I hope you get where you are going in one piece, and that you sincerely appreciate the food on your table, the fuel in your tank, and the cotton on your back. It took a lot of hard work to get them there the minute you needed them. And we wouldn’t want to slow you down.
A Farmer’s Wife
Ragan & Massey is proud to support the American Farmer.